Releasing Her Inner Cajun

May 18, 2009 at 2:25 am 9 comments


How is it that my picky little eater can turn her nose up at bologna, hot dogs and chicken nuggets, but has no problem licking the head of a boiled crawfish? Even befriending them before watching them boil to their deaths; then creating little colonies of crawfish to bring to her leader? Could it be that small percentage of her Daddy’s Cajun blood she has coursing through her veins?

I couldn’t believe my eyes last weekend as my normally non-adventurous starchoholic showed signs of her New Orleans roots while I stuck to the Popeye’s chicken and other known edibles; sans claws and antennae. I’ve never been the shellfish type. And, Reagan, won’t touch any type of meat. We’ve tried. I’ve prepared hamburger, ham, hot dogs, chicken, pork, pepperoni and tuna in numerous and varied ways only to meet with complete and utter resistance. Pureed, grilled, fried, roasted, broiled, boiled, hot, cold—ain’t gonna happen. Reagan’s diet literally consists of fruit, cheese and pasta, with the occasional vegetable allowed here and there depending on her mood. Period. Don’t ask me how two loud and proud carnivores produced an apparently self-declared vegan. Will she ever be cured of her affliction? Maybe. There’s hope yet…

IMG_1193She watched as the first batch of crawfish were lowered into the boiling pot of spices. I told her they were getting their bath. I think she knew there were no rubber duckies in there. While the first 10lbs of crawfish slowly simmered in their tasty bath, the rest tried their best to claw their way out of the bags that held them. Reagan was drawn to these bags, over and over again she would sit next to them on the cement waiting for one to make its’ escape until I would find her there, take her by the hand and pull her away. It was fascinating to watch her obsession with them. Would she make the connection that each batch that was drawn out and spilled onto the table for the attenders to crack open and devour were formerly her playmates from the bag? I never expected what happened next.

IMG_1206Without hesitation, Reagan made her way to the table of hot, steaming crawfish, picked out a friend and set him aside. The smallest person at the table, she then picked out another. And another. And another. Each time, exclaiming, “hot!” and shaking her hand before reaching for another crustacean.

IMG_1211She made a small pile and then began playing with the poor things. Like they hadn’t been through enough already. I’m not sure, but I think she even named them. Did she know their current state, or did she imagine they were fresh from their bath and ready for pajamas and a bedtime story?

IMG_1212I couldn’t contain my laughter and once discovered, Reagan decided to share her plunder with us. Proud as can be, she carried a crawfish over to her Daddy. She must’ve known this was something only he could appreciate. And he did. He snapped the head off the crawfish, held it out to Reagan and in a true bayou-bonding moment, she tasted it. Yuck! Was that not just your little friend, Fred there? Danny pulled the meat from the tail and put it to Reagan’s mouth. She tasted that too. Whatever. I can see what’s happening here. Pretty soon the two of them are going to be shucking oysters and cracking crab legs together while I decide between the chicken breast and the chuck steak. Fine. Fried alligator and oyster po’ boys it is. At least Reagan is officially no longer vegan. She’s just Cajun.

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alisa  |  May 18, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Wow! This is twice in the past week I’ve heard of friends’ young children (both girls) being willing to sample major seafood! What’s the secret??

    • 2. Mama Bird  |  May 18, 2009 at 11:10 pm

      No secret, just Cajun!

  • 3. Blog Buddy  |  May 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    What an adorable family you have! I love your post on mothering and adjusting to life:) I can totally relate-♥ Thanks for sharing…

    • 4. Mama Bird  |  May 22, 2009 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you! And, as a mother of 5, I’m sure you do! You really have your hands full!

  • 5. Mary  |  May 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Too funny! Beautiful family and a great story:-)

    • 6. Mama Bird  |  May 22, 2009 at 7:22 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Mary!

  • 7. Anma  |  May 21, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Man I miss Crawfish! I used to live in Louisiana when I was in college and I love Crawfish. Crawfish in New Mexico just isn’t a very suitable food item. One of these days I’m going to have to go back and pick up a bunch of Crawfish for Just me. That little girl is sure a cutie though.

    • 8. Mama Bird  |  May 22, 2009 at 7:37 pm

      These crawfish were flown in overnight from Louisiana by Louisiana Crawfish Co.: You should definitely treat yourself – it sounds like it’s been too long!

  • […] Jim Kelly’s Second Annual Crawfish Boil was held. Reagan managed to eat the tops off of 6 cupcakes without me seeing, until I found the evidence all over Jim’s yard. […]


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