Mardi Gras has never been a thing in my family. Maybe it's because I wasn't raised Catholic. Maybe it's because we never gave up something for Lent so there was no need for Fat Tuesday. Regardless, I have always thought the parties and theme of Mardi Gras seemed like fun. I've never been to or thrown a party with such a theme, but this year we've been invited to one and I am pretty excited.
For Chris, Mardi Gras marks the beginning of mudbug season ("mudbug" is slang for "crawfish," and you get thrown out of the South if you call them "crayfish") and the official spring party of the south: the Crawfish Boil.
Crawfish Boils are an all-day event. It begins with the purging of the critters in a gigantic water and salt filled drainable vessel, usually a cooler of some sort. The mini-lobsters will play in there until they are empty of disgusting stuff, then get a quick rinse off and before making the nosedive into a turkey fryer bath of boiling water, Old Bay seasoning, halved potatoes, third-ears of corn and chunks of andouille (pronounced an-dewy) sausage. The critters will cook away in there until the potatoes are cooked through and the corn is bright yellow, being stirred often with long "spoons" such as hockey sticks, golf clubs, baseball bats and the occasional bar stool leg.
When ready for consumption, the mudbugs, sausage, corn and potatoes will be dumped onto a picnic table, card table, patio table, or any combination of the three, covered in newspaper, a salt shaker and the leftover Old Bay, where the boil attendees will eat with their hands while they ingest the first tastes of Spring in the south.
And let's not forget the King Cake. But be very careful to not eat the baby. I think it's very bad luck.
With beads and masks abound, it is sure to be a perfect evening with two friends and 26 strangers. Few parties bring a group of people together like the shared love of a Crawfish Boil.
I have only been to one other Crawfish Boil, Chris was the host and we had only been dating for a month. The party was so much fun, and new friends were made. However, the cleanup of the crawfish shells almost resulted in a trip to the ER for me: swollen tongue and violent vomiting. Turns out I am allergic to mudbugs (and other water-dwellers from the crustacean family). For this party, I will be taking food I can eat and will keep my utensils in my pocket until I am finished eating...Once the eating begins, most people don't think about what they have touched and what may happen if I get the goobers on my hands and into my mouth. It's pretty unpleasant and VERY embarrassing.
Saturday night is sure to be full of fun, adventure, new friends, old friends, and plenty of laughs. Too bad my flight leaves at 6:00 am on Sunday morning for Detroit. Sigh. It will also be an early night.