New Orleans

I flew to Houston in March to visit my beautiful friend Cathy for five days. Cathy's husband Chad is a commercial airline pilot and they're based out of Houston because it's a major hub for his airline. I know one of the perks of working for a large successful airline is the free flights but wasn't I completely surprised and over-the-moon when I arrived in Texas and Cathy told me she had an overnight New Orleans adventure planned for us!! We were only in NOLA for 24 hours and I'll be honest, most of our time there was spent drinking Hurricanes and so, albeit brief, here is part one of our adventure.

Cathy and I freshly arrived in NOLA, me with the first Hurricane of the day in hand. Uh oh. (Instagram pic)


Jazz band playing in the middle of the street.


Taking a break.


Blue cat - It's all good!


Cathy taking a pic of the famous Blue Dogs for her friend Sean.


At the corner of Jackson Square - looked as good a place as any to stop for lunch!


Lunch at Muriel's on Jackson Square with Hurricane #2. I had a wicked fish dish here - Roasted Puppy Drum with Crawfish and Pecan Butter Sauce. It was fabulous.


Inside the atrium at Muriel's.


The view into one of the main dining rooms from the atrium at Muriel's.


Relatively new by-law around Jackson Square - so refreshing!


Saint Louis Cathedral


Buskers doin' their thang for the huge crowds.


This kind of street art abounds everywhere.


It takes all kinds to make the world go round!


Lacy skull mask. Where would you wear this - Mardi Gras?


Cathy with her mudslide in front of The French Market.


WTF is a Swamp Burger?!?


Gator PoBoys at pretty much every stall. I didn't try one.


Gator Sausage


Love the chalkboards everywhere.


Fried Green Tomatoes!! I shot this for my friend Dave - it's his favourite movie.


Poor little gators.


Pat O'Briens for Hurricanes. It's all downhill from here.


And, here we have the final shot of me before things got really out of hand. Cathy and I made a pact - what happens in NOLA stays in NOLA.


Messy. This is the point where I looked at Cathy and said 'I have to take my camera back to the hotel now'. We meandered our way through the streets back to the hotel and documented the rest of our evening adventure on our iPhones. Smart move. Until I lost mine. But that's another story...


And... we found Jesus on our way back to the hotel. Maybe it was a sign? Although at this point, neither of us would have been very good at reading signs. (Instagram pic)

How to Host a Crawfish Boil

One of the major highlights of my trip to Texas in March was the crawfish boil my friends CC and Chad hosted at their house. Now, I'm no expert, but I think I can give you a pretty good breakdown on how to host your own crawfish boil!

Step One - Find a roadside crawfish shack (Hmmm, we may not have much luck with this in Nova Scotia...). We bought 2 sacks of crawfish and 2 plastic containers of homemade seasoning.

(iPhone pics)

(iPhone pics)

Step Two - Dump your sacks of crawfish into a large clean cooler.

Step Three - Sprinkle the wriggling critters with copious amounts of salt. They don't like that. Apparently it helps 'purge' them if you catch my drift.

Step Four - Fill cooler with fresh clean water.

Repeat steps three and four 2 more times. You want to get as much mud and poo out of their little systems as possible!!

Step Five - Fill a HUGE pot - this one is specifically for boils of this sort and is connected to the propane BBQ tank - with water and turn on the heat. Add one container of seasoning to water. 

Step Six - While water is heating, drain crawfish in the basket that comes with the huge pot and rinse out the cooler.





Step Seven - Add whole small potaotes, onions, mushrooms and corn to the boiling seasoned water. Once potatoes are cooked through, scoop all vegetables out of water and set aside.


Step Eight - Lower basket of crawfish into boiling water. They're done when they turn the colour of a cooked lobster. While waiting for them to cook, make sauce for dipping - mayonnaise, ketchup and Tabasco. Surprisingly good!


Step Nine - By now you will be very thirsty. Walk to the fridge and grab a Shiner. Open it. Drink it.

Step 10 - Remove basket of cooked crawfish from pot. Dump into clean cooler. Add cooked potatoes, mushrooms, onions and corn as well as second container of seasoning. Mix and then close lid for a few minutes to steam. Open cooler, reach in and scoop out large bowls of goodness.


Step Eleven - Cover tables with newspaper and grab at LEAST one roll of paper towel. Pull the tail off of a crawfish and pull out the teeny tiny little piece of meat. Eat the meat and discard the rest of the body into a pile on the newspaper. Repeat.


It's all for this one little morsel...


Step Twelve - Drink beers and laugh a lot. Before your friends leave, bribe them with another Shiner and get them to help you pick the meat out of the mountain of remaining crawfish.


Step Thirteen - Repeat on an annual basis.