>la cuisine de vacances [inspired by my sister]

>The Holiday Cuisine – Every family does it different and I just happen to think my family does it best. [But, everyone’s family does it best, so it doesn’t really matter what I think.]

Usually, one does not celebrate Easter any differently, but for my family, it was crawfish.
Oh yes. Crawfish.
Kin to the lobster, though lobsters aren’t nearly as fun to eat and don’t have nearly as much character, in my opinion.

You don’t see folks suckin’ the head of a lobster or dumping a huge steaming pot of..lobsters with potatoes, corn, garlic, onions and sausage.
Nope…you just don’t see it, and it’s a downright shame.

We as Southerners are blessed with the crawfish – though as a new found resident of Oregon, I end up missing them because well damnit, it’s Oregon! [Though we have the massive availability of fresh goodies and is seemingly incomparable. Still, we don’t have crawfish, but one or two in a creek.]

I used to see them crawfish build their dirt skyscrapers in our front yard when we wouldn’t get rain for a while…because that’s what crawfish do. When it doesn’t rain, they use the wet mud to build their uh, “nesting holes”. It keeps them from dying and the last thing we need on our hands is dead crawfish – they’re expensive enough as it is.

I remember crawfish at Easter vividly. Sitting on MeMaw and PawPaw’s hot southern Louisiana porch [after taking a barrage of Easter Sunday photos wearing our best..] with Maybelle’s sweet tea and Phil’s violently red cocktail sauce that consisted mostly of horseradish, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, ketchup and…other things. Always tested by Pawpaw’s index finger, we knew when it was ready to eat when he smacked his tongue against the roof of his mouth and said, “Dat’s good boy…”

The adults could eat them in 5lb intervals, where we kids would work hard just to eat the tiniest bit of meat from its tail. But, as you grow older and become a more experienced crawfish eater, you soon determine how much crawfish you can eat by the pound. Depending on your style – you suck the head to get all those good juices out of em’. Some do it everytime…others every third or fourth time…depending on how much heat you could take. Others don’t do it at all, and that’s perfectly okay.

Another funny thing my sister brought to my attention was our Stuffing situation. My mom makes the best stuffing, but I know your mom does too…or your grandma or grandpa. Hey that’s fine. But this mom is my mom and she makes the best of everything. (Especially children and…stuffed bell peppers…)
My Memaw always makes her stuffing with boiled eggs. It’s silly but she has her reasons. She just never wanted to put raw eggs in her stuffing before she baked it. Though, it would obviously cook through, she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. It’s probably second on my stuffing list.

Thanksgiving and Christmas in Louisiana….we’d have a good three or four different kinds of stuffing. Shrimp. One with/without onions, and sometimes even a crawfish pie. Hallelujah…a crawfish pie. I dare not speak such blasphemy.

Granted, every family has their thing. Songs…hot cider…hard alcohol – ours is strictly the volume and variety.
My sister and I would always have to eat ketchup with our turkey…otherwise, it was just kind of….’eh.’
Until we discovered and successfully pulled off the fried turkey.
We’ve been marching on ever since then – and I’ve yet to see the ketchup on the table for a deep fried turkey…

but always….ALWAYS…if there has to be ketchup,

make sure it’s Hunts.

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