Thinking about my childhood, my family was always really connected. I come from a big family and we always made time to hang out with each other. I think sometimes I take for granted how good I have things, but there were definitely not so stellar times, too. I think it’s important to always find the silver lining in any situation, and cooking/food seems to be a great one to me. It’s almost like meditation or going for a jog–it takes your mind off of things. Plus, you have something delicious to show for it.
I can remember our arguments very vividly in my mind even 17 years later. She would be telling me that I should dress more like a woman and less like a little boy. She would loudly proclaim that my hair needed to be washed and that I needed to go out and get more exercise. She would yell at me that I was turning into my Father and that she couldn’t stand “that man”. She would scream at me over the phone when I refused to come visit her on the weekends. These were normal interactions that I had with my Mother.
I attended my first crawfish boil one March about five years ago. I was staying with friends at a small hotel that was an old shotgun style house that was said to be inhabited by Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau. The owners of this establishment welcomed my friends with open arms and made sure we were well kept during our brief trip to the city. On our last day of the trip, the host asked us, “y’all comin’ to the boil?” We looked at each other with bewildered reactions and inquired further. We were told to come back in a few hours and all would be told.
Almost a sister city of Baltimore, New Orleans is steeped in crustacean food delicacies that locals and travelers alike enjoy. Both cities enjoy their crabs (we steam our crabs while they boil theirs with flavor) and snowballs in the warmer months. Much akin to the Maryland tradition of picking crabs with friends and family, New Orleans has their version with crawfish boils.