So, May 24th, 2008. The day we had been waiting for. The annual LSU Alumni Association Crawfish Boil. You can't imagine how exciting it is to pay $45 for crawfish and beer. Yeah, I know it sounds like a lot - but it is so worth it!
So this event takes place on the Chargers' practice field at Qualcomm. Yeah, the whole field. That's how big it is. So our friends went to LSU, and that's how we heard about this event. I can't imagine this thing going on under our noses and us not knowing about it. That would be disturbing.
So anyway, this year, our friend Party Girl had to go stag because her husband - Big n Smart is having some digestive issues. This is really strange. He is a few years younger than me, and he has diverticulitis. It's like pockets on your colon. The doctor told him it's caused by poor diet and genes. Well, let's pray for my genes, because my diet is not always well rounded. But the kicker is that Big n Smart is a very healthy fellow. He works out a lot, he eats right, he's healthy. But I guess if you ate shitty earlier in life you could still have effects from it later, like diverticulitis.
Now, I can't imagine how he must have felt not being able to go to the crawfish boil. I would have cried.
But we went, and Party Girl picked us up. So it was raining when she picked us up. We were all bundled in our three layers. By the time we got there, it had stopped raining and the clouds were breaking. Then by the time we got in the gate and found our table, it was getting warmer. I shed my raincoat, then my thicker jacket. At one point I took it all off - except for my tshirt of course.
So LSU colors are purple and "gold" - so there was a lot of purple and gold clothing. And there were a lot of people who brought food, even though they were going to eat, and there was the beer. So we went to the beer stand, and it's all you can drink until 2pm. So the choices were bud, bud light, red hook, esb and, some IPA, I can't remember the name because I wasn't familiar with it. So I drank ESB. This turned out to be the popular beer.
So we were at our friend's tables - he reserved 3 - and people would come up and we'd meet them. But basically, we just sat there and drank, then when we needed another beer, someone would get another round. We hadn't seen Party Girl much, so we caught up over several beers. She is fairly fair complected, so she broke out the sunscreen. She was slathering it over her arms, and she asked if we wanted some. It was just raining 45 minutes before that, so I declined. It did get warm, and I hiked my sleeves up all the way, but I was fine.
So the time passed, but not quick enough. Finally, they told us to get in line with our table number and a ticket to get our big boxes of crawfish. The thing was that last year we were shorted a lot because they underordered. So we were excited to get a big pile.
So we waited in line, got a beer when we needed one. Then we were almost to the front, when we noticed that we were in the wrong line! There were 2 lines, and we were in the wrong frickin line! So we decided we were just going to use Party Girl's pull to get our crawfish - she was the association secretary last year. So I think I had to pee or get beer or something, but when I came back, they were bringing the box back to the table! Yay!!!!!!!
So we got there. We had already prepared the newspaper on the table. They dumped it out, and, oh, it was a beautiful sight! This pile filled up the table. Plenty for us. There were only 6.5 of us at the table. The .5 was one of the LSU Alumni who bought Big n Smart's ticket from Party Girl. She just came by at one point and grabbed a handful of crawfish.
So we dug in. For those of you who do not know what they are, let me get the picture up.
So these are freshwater creatures. They are lovingly called mudbugs sometimes. Northerners call them crayfish cause they don't know what the hell they are talking about. They look like little lobsters. They taste something between a lobster and a shrimp. They are delicious. After they harvest the rice in Louisiana, they flood the rice paddies and they farm crawfish there. And then they sell them. And then the San Diego LSU Alumni Association buys some, and they rent an 18 wheeler to go pick them up and bring them back live so we can boil em up and suck da heads and pinch da tails.
So what happens, is they get those huge outdoor boiling pots with the steamer basket inserts. They get water boiling, and they throw cajun seasoning in there. Of course everyone has their own method. But it's like you buy this spice packet or liquid - Zatarians or Tabasco or whatever you like. Then you throw in maybe some veggies. To keep it simple for under 3000 people though, they didn't have the veggies. They just had potatoes and corn. So what you do in this case, you let the spices boil for a while. Then you throw the potatoes in. Then later on when the potatoes are pretty much cooked, then you throw in the crawfish. They don't take too long. You stir them around, they'll float and turn red. You cut off the gas. Then you throw in the frozen corn to stop the cooking. You let it sit for a bit so that everything soaks up the spice. Then you pig the fuck out!
But getting back to some of the the extra stuff you can put in the boil - whole garlic, sausage, mushrooms (these are so good because they are little sponges that soak up all the flavor), artichokes, and a new favorite of mine - peanuts in the shell.
So we were all just happily feasting away. Actually, our tablemates were not eating with as much zeal as the three of us, but they seemed to like them. They were spicy, but not too spicy that the average person couldn't eat them. They were medium size, not too small, with a couple big uns. I pretty much ate until my stomach was visibly distended a bit more than the usual pooch. But then we were told to try the other table's crawfish. They seemed bigger and spicier! We got jipped! Nah, not really. But theirs were definitely better - not to complain... But it was about time to go anyway. So we had a ton left over. Party Girl had had to get another box because someone had stolen ours a minute after we set it down. This shindig is pretty cutthroat. We were warned to watch out for scavengers and never leave our table unattended. Towards the end, these hyenas with their rolling coolers were walking by asking us if we were going to take the leftovers. We were very posessive. Yes, we were going to take them! How dare they ask. I think I snarled at them. So we loaded the leftovers in the box, and it was pretty damn heavy. We hauled that thing back to the car. It took two of us to carry it.
I was exhausted. But we had to go to the Bluefoot and watch the Penguins/Redwings hockey game. So we were deciding whether to go home first and drop some crawfish at home, or go straight there. The Food Pimp was drunk and thinking irrationally. He wanted to go straight to the bar. The game was starting right then. So when Party Girl dropped us off, I grabbed a napkin and put a pile in it, and walked into the bar with it. She asked if we wanted the box top, but I didn't want to walk in with a gigantic box top. So we ate that pile at the bar as soon as we walked in. It turns out, the game didn't start for half and hour or an hour. Then the FP regretted not letting us go to the apartment to drop a big stash of crawfish in our fridge. Figures. I get in trouble for being bossy, then I get in trouble for being submissive. I never make the right choice! Oh well, hopefully Big n Smart will get to enjoy the crawfish that he missed at the boil!
So of course we got very burned that day. It started out dark and rainy, but this is San Diego. Our faces were so red, they looked like crawfish. Or maybe we just ate so many that we turned red.
Sunday Sandwiches - Bistro 24
6 hours ago