Here is a picture I took of my nephew on Good Friday holding a crawfish. Don’t worry, there’s a special way to hold crawfish where there’s no way to get pinched. Easter is a special time for all Christians and Catholics, but for us Cajuns, we also eat Crawfish on Good Friday and all get together as a family to eat our one meat free meal together. This little crawfish didn’t make it into the boiling pot, but was set free in an annual tradition I started when I was a little girl.
There’s something magical about coming together as a family and sharing one large meal together. The adults start by peeling the tails for the little ones, and once they have had their fill, we peel for ourselves. Once we’ve all had our fill, we peel the rest to be made into crawfish stews, omelets, or just to be eaten the next day as left overs.
Preparing, peeling, eating, and cleaning up after crawfish takes hours and is something the whole family does together. The kids help season the pots, and the grown men, lift the heavy pots. The women in my family prepare the side dishes like potatoes, corn, and dip. We all have our tasks and we do them together while chatting and catching up.
As I was peeling for my nephews this year, I couldn’t help but be hopeful and think about how in a few years, once they’re old enough and we know they don’t have a shellfish allergy, I could be peeling crawfish for your child, and that was such a joyous though. I thought about that kiddo sitting by my mom or my dad or my husband or my sisters, buttering them up to get easy access to someone who will peel for them, just like I did as a kid. It’s a really pleasant thought, and I look forward to it becoming a reality.
Elise and Cory