We returned to Austin last night and this time the weather during the drive was MUCH better. It had to be, barring an actual typhoon or something ramming into the car. Anyway, here is a photo-journal of my culinary experience at home. The people were great and all . . . but as I’ve mentioned before, we can talk to them on the phone. The food, not so much.
Anyway, Thursday C and I met Mom and went to Croaker’s, a seafood market/restaurant for lunch. And oh my god, we were happy. Just look at this . . .
Doesn’t that look good? Now, for the food-porn closeups:
This is what a roast beef poboy is supposed to look like. See that? Gravy mixing with mayonnaise to make a concoction that drips evilly down your wrists as you attempt to eat it. And this is dressed, which means that it comes with lettuce, tomato, and pickle. Basically, this is how the majority of South Louisiana eats their vegetables.
Incidentally, I also got extra gravy on the side for dipping the ends of the bread and my french fries into. Because fries in gravy are one step away from a french fry poboy. Moving on!
This is C’s shrimp poboy. She doesn’t get anything on it except mayonnaise, because she’s weird. I don’t always get my shrimp poboys dressed, but I at least put tartar sauce on it. Whatever. It was also very good and I stole some shrimp from her.
And, lastly, here is Mom’s shrimp platter which was astoundingly good. This not only came with french fries, but also hush puppies and toast. Because there just aren’t enough carbs in the world to make people happy.
Now, while I was sitting here taking pictures of the food and making Mom and C quite impatient, the cook strolled on out into the dining room. I had been having a good time chatting with the wait staff and was happy enough just to hear my home accent and bitching about the weather. But this boy walks out and starts laughing at me.
Cook: That good? You gotta take a picture?
Me: I’ve been homesick, this will make me feel better later.
Cook: Where you been?
Mom: They’ve been living in Austin for the past year (pointing at me and C).
Cook: Ohh, Austin. Got a brother that lives there. At his wedding, someone threw a crawfish boil. God, that was somethin awful. I tried really hard not to laugh. But it’s pretty!
Me: Oh yeah, very pretty. Just can’t get good seafood there.
Cook: When did yall get in?
C: Last night, we’re leaving Sunday.
Cook: (all kinds of shocked) You’re going back?!?! Why?
I mentioned this to M over email that night and she said that most people think it’s really cool when they find out you’re living in Austin. But not people around Slidell and New Orleans. They just give you a blank stare and ask “What in the hell do you eat?”
Anyway, that night Dad cooked for us and used his recently purchased smoker. Dad is already brilliant with barbecue and he’s really branching out with the smoker. It rocked, completely and utterly. Observe the smoked chicken thighs:
He also made smoked pork tenderloin which was equally delicious:
And for sides we had baked beans and Grandma’s Brown Rice. The beans are so black because they have molasses and other stuff in them. They are amazing and decadent:
Again, you will notice no vegetables in this meal, unless you count the mushrooms. Coleslaw was offered, but we were too impatient for it and there was plenty of food. It was incredible.
The next morning we went for brunch at Court of Two Sisters, which I’ve already written about. That night, B and her family came over for Roast Beef, more brown rice, fresh green beans and . . . cake. The best cake. The ultimate cake . . . the Better Than Sex Cake. There are TONS of versions and ways to make this, but B makes it best. It was amazing.
Then it was Saturday and time for the crawfish boil. C and I ran up to Vincent’s Seafood to pick up 30 pounds of live crawfish (at only $1.19 a pound, take THAT Quality Seafood in Austin) and then we ran to the store to get things to dump in there with it. Upon getting back to the house, I started making my potato salad and C, um, watched tv. Then Heather and Casey showed up with their dogs and we got started. Casey did a wonderful job boiling the crawfish along with the corn, mushrooms, onions, and garlic cloves. Quite tasty, all of it. I mean, just check out my crawfish!!!
Normally, you just put a bunch of newspaper down and pour the crawfish from the pot onto the table, but my mother has weird rules about newspaper that she has and has not read yet, even if it’s from 3 years ago, there might be something REALLY important in there that she needs and if you touch her unread newspaper THE FIRE OF HADES WILL RAIN DOWN UPON YOU OH MY GOD I’M COMPLETELY SERIOUS. So we found these seafood trays instead.
I didn’t get any pictures of the corn, because by the time that and the mushrooms came out, my hands already looked like this:
This is not at all good for holding your digital camera. Or scratching your face. Or doing anything, really, besides peeling more crawfish. Which is what I did, with some help from Casey, Dad, and C. I also cut the rest of the corn off the cob and brought it all back to Austin with me so I can make some crawfish-corn bisque. And people everywhere around me will be jealous. I might also use some of the crab-boiled corn to make spicy cornbread. G and M have already been informed of my culinary plans and invited for the yum-yums when they happen.
So, now I’m back home and while it is nice to see the cats and be around my stuff again, I’m kind of craving another poboy. And frankly, looking at these pictures isn’t quite cutting it. Oh well.