Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You

I wrote a post back in February called Jambalaya  which was really about alligators and the bayou with a great video of Hank Williams and real pirogues but no actual jambalaya.

Today I’m writing a post called Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, which really is about Jambalaya and Crawfish and the kind of creepy feeling I get when my food watches me while I eat.

This past week, here in the no longer-a-town of Concrete, Texas, we’ve been transported back to the bayou. We have several guys on the rig that are from Louisiana. Our Directional Driller called us down for heaping portions of his homemade jambalaya. It was better than a biscuit buttered on both sides (they have a lot of biscuit sayings here, but no biscuits so far, just a lot of beans). 😀

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The meat in this batch of jambalaya was sausage and chicken or pork, I’m not sure which. It was either the white meat or the other white meat. In any case, the jambalaya didn’t have any eyes. It was like eating regular, non-accusatory food.

Last week I experienced my first crawfish cookout. The caterer drove 14 hours from New Orleans with fresh crawfish and let me tell you, they made quite a splash! For those of you who, like me, have roots about as southern as central Indiana, you’ll get that this was a unique experience for me.

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Seafood has never seen me eat it until I moved to the south. It began in February in Galveston with the Granddaddy Lobster Crab pot when we did Eat at Joe’s, but that didn’t prepare me for the crawfish fest.

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Pardon the way that I stare.
There’s nothing else to compare.
The sight of you leaves me weak.
There are no words left to speak.
But  if you feel like I feel when I peel you I feel.
Please let me know that it’s real. This all is entirely surreal.
You’re just too creepy to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.

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The fact that I’d never eaten crawfish was a source of both amazement and amusement here among these southerners. Heidi, who begged off due to allergies (not entirely untrue – she hates most all seafood and probably would get sick) left me to fend for myself.

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Some of the guys are a little shy about having their picture posted for a variety of reasons. Clay, our mud engineer, doesn’t mind and you can see everyone was feted with a turkey pan full of crawfish and plenty of extra Cajun seasoning.

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The Company Man called me in for a crawfish cracking lesson. As it turns out, this was entirely necessary since, instinctively, I would have aimed for the wrong end.

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There’s really quite a lot of technique involved: breaking off the tail, removing the first band, grabbing the meat and shaking it (really, no kidding, shaking it loose).  After Jimbo showed me about 10 times, I made one successful attempt and returned to the RV with my own turkey pan (despite my protests that I didn’t need nearly that many).

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Heidi ate the corn and potatoes while I began the task of shelling my dinner. Shelling crawfish isn’t anything like shelling peas, which I’ve done quite a lot of.

I took a nice before photo.

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Thirty plus minutes and a torn up thumb later, I had my dinner ready.

When there aren’t any fish in the sea, a crawfish can pass off for a fish. ~ Lech Walesa

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There you have it.  A turkey platter of crawfish reduced to about 10 oz of meat. Amazing! It was an adventure to be sure!

You’re just too creepy to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.
You’d be like heaven to touch so icky to touch.
I wanna Don’t want to hold you so much.
At long last love has arrived. Sorry you didn’t survive.
And But I thank God I’m alive.
You’re just too creepy to be true.
Can’t take my eyes off of you.

With apologies to Frankie Vali…