Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Authentic Cajun Crawfish Boil at the Lake



For Memorial Day we attended the 3rd annual east Tennessee/North Carolina blogger get-together at Almost Heaven South’s dock on Tellico Lake. Each year this get-together is hosted by Larry of Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings on his dock at his house at Almost Heaven South, Chris of Nibble Me This, and Katherine of Smoky Mountain Café.

This is probably the longest post I've ever done, so grab your hats and buckle your seat belts. But don't worry, it's mostly pictures and it's not nearly as long as it seems - you'll see.

The theme this year was an authentic Cajun seafood boil and the chefs were A. J. & Katherine of Smoky Mountain Café.


A. J. & Katherine are the real thing – New Orleans natives, and who better to introduce the group to an authentic Cajun Louisiana crawfish & Gulf of Mexico shrimp boil than these New Orleans natives. Please click over to Katherine's blog to see steps 1 and steps 2 on how to do an authentic crawfish boil including great step by step pictures.

Here’s a close-up of a live Louisiana crawfish. I think we’ll call him "Mud Bug Billy" Boudreaux. After he got cooked in the spicy crawfish boil, he was a tasty fellow, but getting the meat out of him takes a bit of skill.


A. J. with a tray piled high with boiled Gulf of Mexico shrimp to be added to the cooked crawfish already spread out on the tables.


Our host Larry of Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings and his lovely wife Beverly enjoying a morsel of crawfish.



Chris, another host and author of Nibble Me This, grabbing a shot of the seafood boil, and his wife Alexis and me chatting before the festivities.




Penny of Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen visiting with Larry of Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings. We were thrilled Penny & her husband David could join us this year.


Dave of My Year on the Grill & E-Recipe Cards, his wife Jackie, who traveled all the way from Kansas (a very long way), & in the blue shirt Dave of Big Daddy Dave and his wife Laurie, who live nearby on the lake, and Meakin, my lovely photographer, in the background with is camera around his neck.

Courtesy of Penny of Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen
Penny’s husband David and my brother-in-law Stuart & his wife Sandy.


Group shot of a table of guests picking crawfish and peeling shrimp Louisiana style. Tables were covered with butcher paper to make life easier.


We were not able to get a shot of all of the pictures of the food people brought, but here are a couple of samples. Penny's delicious and refreshing dessert of watermelon & pineapple cream cheese stuffed celery.


I made a Bahamian pigeon pea and rice salad. It's cool flavors were a perfect foil for the spicy seafood boil.

Photo courtesy of Penny of Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen
Larry makes the best margaritas on the planet and did a demonstration on how to make them including the secret ingredients. Penny got great pictures of the entire thing and check out Katherine's step by step "how to" make Larry's famous margaritas. My photographer was out on a boat ride with Jim, who offered a ride around the lake in his boat after the seafood boil and some of the younger guests water-skied.



As you can tell by the photos, everyone had a fabulous time. Thank you Larry, Chris, and Katherine for hosting this fabulous get-together. Larry & Bev's Almost Heaven South once again lived up to its reputation. Dock parties don’t get any better than this.

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This post will be linked to Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Foodie Friday at Not Your Ordinary Recipes, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, and Stone Gable’s On the Menu Monday.


51 comments:

  1. Looks like a fabulous weekend! Now, that's the way to celebrate a holiday!

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  2. what a great time - looked like a lot of fun

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  3. A marvelous meal! It looks like you had a great time on that boat.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. What a fantastic event. I'm so wish I had access to fresh seafood like that. Love the way the food is just "poured" down the center of the table.
    thanks for sharing

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  5. Oh, that looks like a marvelous time! Wish I could have joined you. Nothing beats great food, great company -- and a beautiful setting to boot! Thanks for sharing all, Sam, That salad of yours looks delightful.

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  6. Great post Sam. We had such a great time with everyone. It will be hard to top this next year, but we sure can try.

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  7. That is Serious food! Reading this post was another instance of my drooling into my laptop. Where's my bib?

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  8. Fabulous post Sam and great photos. Sure wish I could have been there. I missed a great time.

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  9. What! You can sit down at a table for one of these? Who knew? I was introduced to these seafood boils at Ten Mile Lake in Minnesota one summer. Three of four families would line the walls of a summer porch passing around a silver jug with some sort of mint julep inside that needed cooking by vigorous shaking of each kid present. Then all of the contents of the kettle were dumped on top of newspapers and butcher paper. My hostess called it a "dump dinner." I thought eating on the floor was half of the fun as a kid - especially seeing all of the adults squirm in their seats. Your way is, admittedly, more elegant. I hadn't thought of these in years and when I saw your pictures fabulous memories came rushing back.

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  10. You look great Sam.and the get together looks like so much fun for all of you:)

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  11. What a great way to spend the weekend! It looks as though everybody had a great time. One of these years, I have got to make it!

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  12. This is one for the memory books. It looks like n event we would all love to attend Sam.

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  13. Love that table shot with everything from the boil tumbled out. Great foodie experience!

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  14. Great post Sam as I knew it would be. Tahnks for the skiing shots as I wasn't on the ride. I really like that each of the bloggers took lots of shots and did their own post(s) about the event and hopefully next year we can bring in some more new friends to meet - the B&B will be open.

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  15. Great pictures Sam! I wish I would have gotten more pictures of your wonderful salad and Penny's awesome celery. It was so good to see you and Meakin again and to meet Stuart and Sandy, they were so interesting to talk to.

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  16. Wow - that's the real deal! Last 4th of July, the family gathered for frogmore stew - similar but not. Love the glowing photos - it truly is a feast when there are smiles all around and good food to be had by all.

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  17. What an abundance of delicious seafood! It looks so heavenly! What a nice time you all must have had and what a wonderful tradition this has become. You have the nicest friends, Sam!

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  18. Oh wow wish I could have joined you with this fantastic feast. Just my taste :) Diane

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  19. A great meal for a great group! What a fun time for all!

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  20. You couldn't ask for a prettier location. What a beautiful venue for a party with friends. I've really enjoyed seeing all the pictures everyone has shared.

    I'm hoping to join in next year. I think we are only about 3 hours away. I think we could make a nice weekend trip out of it.

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  21. What a perfect way to spend the holiday weekend. We will be at the beach next week and I can hardly wait for a delicious seafood boil...great fun and wonderful memories!!

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  22. What a fun post, Sam! It wasn't too long at all. It's is so much fun when you can get together with people who share a love of food and who are also food bloggers. Oh, how I wish I could have been there. Thanks for sharing your fun day with me.
    Debby "A Feast for the Eyes"

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  23. Lots of crawfish, and laugh..that's a FUN weekend!

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  24. What a fantastic post! You made me feel like I was participating and that food was awesome!
    Rita

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  25. Sam Sam Sam... So much fun and such food!!! But of course, the best part was the get together. Loved meeting you and getting personalities with the blogs... To all your commenters who wish the had been there... Make time. TOTALLY worth every mile!

    And thank you so much for the stunning shots you sent me of my wife. She is a doll!

    Dave and Jackie

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  26. Oh, my gosh, what an amazing party!!! Perfect way to usher in the summer...I'm certain everyone had a blast!

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  27. What an amazing time! That's just too cool. I love the shot of the table full of crawdads and everyone's just sitting around it having a great time :)

    "Mud Bug Billy" Boudreaux. Love it.

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  28. Great food and fun had by all, your pictures reflect that beautifully!

    I miss Cajun food immensely, thank you for sharing your feast with us,
    Merisi

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  29. This looks like an incredible event! The crawfish boil looks amazing! I've never had crawfish but these pictures have me more motivated than ever to get some.

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  30. Such a fun blogger and food get-together! I've done a crawfish boil a few times...we just dump it all out on newspapers and go to town with our fingers. Love it! Wish I could have been with you.
    Photos made me feel I was. :)

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  31. I thought it was a fabulous event too! It's hard to believe it came and went by so quickly. I'm already looking forward to next year.

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  32. That a fun and delicious time, Sam! I saw some of the pics on Larry's blog too. Those crawfish look amazing. I wish I lived closer!

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  33. Hi Sam,
    How exciting to have a "gathering" with all those great bloggers.

    The Crawfish Boil, looks very familiar we have a Craw Boil which we call our "Mud Bug Party" every year. It is so much fun and like yours the food is always awesome!

    This is a great Post! Hope you are having a great week end and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  34. What a great time! I just love to see family and friends enjoying themselves. The food looks amazing.

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  35. Hey I know a WHOLE BUNCH of those wonderful faces. I'm so happy you all had fun together. Water skiing looks like a blast. Never done it! GG

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  36. Love, love, love this! I have been following the last three years of this Annual Event-Its so great to see the familiar faces. Awesome.

    What a great day.

    Velva

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  37. wha great and fun Sam all look georgeous!!

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  38. Looks like a great time, Sam! Have a terrific week.

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  39. It looks like you all had a fabulous weekend! :) Everything looks so yummy, love the little watermelon balls and celery.

    Sam, you look so pretty in pink-lovely scarf too!

    Have a wonderful day!

    ~Karla

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  40. now your speaking my language! LOVE LOVE LOVE a good crawfish boil and this one looks like it was amazing!

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  41. Wow - what a day - your rice caught my eye! I've never eaten crawfish! I need to head down south and sample some - this just all looks too good!
    Mary x

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  42. The food looks fabulous - it looks like it was a good time, too. My friends and I like to do a lowcountry boil every so often - we just use shrimp instead of crawfish and throw in a few sausages, too. Delicious.

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  43. I can see that a great time was had by all. What a wonderful get togehter. That was some mound of seafood.

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  44. What an amazing get-together! It looks like everyone had a wonderful time. I have been to a crawfish boil before and it was so much fun!

    Have a blessed and wonderful day!
    karianne

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  45. Wow, it sure look a lot of fun...I so wish I could have my hand on the crawfish :)
    Hope you are having a great week Sam!

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  46. Awesome photos of the event. I sure hope to be there next year!

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  47. What a great time and what a spread! We recently actually had Louisiana crayfish - somehow or other (my husband told me...) they ended up in France and about an hour from where we live there are swarms of them washed up from the river. Fabulous! But your outing looks like so much more fun!

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  48. Oh gosh, I don't know which dish/photo to comment on first. What a great time with wonderful friends and superb food at Larry and Bev's!!!! Oh how I envy retirement life! I love all of the photos of you! I've only been to one cajun crawfish dinner once and we had a crawfish race on top! We had plenty to drink if you can imagine!

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Sam