Louisiana Crawfish Co. brings mudbug season to faraway Southerners

Louisiana Crawfish Co. brings mudbug season to faraway Southerners | StayingSouthern.net

(Image source: lacrawfish.com)

It’s a tough time of year to live outside the South – crawfish season.

If you’re a Southerner far from home, chances are you’ve spent the last few months drooling over your friends’ Facebook photos of more than a few crawfish boils.

Louisiana Crawfish Co. is a farm after my own heart: They strive to bring the South to those of us who loved it and left it. Founded in 1985, Louisiana Crawfish Co. specializes in shipping Louisiana products – especially live crawfish – just about anywhere. 

Louisiana Crawfish Co. brings mudbug season to faraway Southerners | StayingSouthern.net

(Image source: lacrawfish.com)

Retail and wholesale customers can enjoy live crawfish delivered right to their doorstep.

In addition to crawfish-only orders, Louisiana Crawfish Co. also offers party packs that include live crawfish, seafood boil, their own special Creole seasoning, crawfish bibs, a t-shirt, a koozie and even Mardi Gras beads. With prices starting at about $75, you and 3-6 of your pals will have almost everything you need to have a traditional crawfish boil in your own backyard, wherever that may be. Louisiana Crawfish Co. also accommodates larger shipments, in case you want to invite the whole neighborhood.

Louisiana Crawfish Co. brings mudbug season to faraway Southerners | StayingSouthern.net

(Image source: lacrawfish.com)

This family-owned and operated business leads the industry with tried and true shipping methods and competitive pricing. They stand behind all of their products, offering a money-back guarantee and they will price match if you are able to find a lower delivered cost. With a “why pay more” attitude, the Louisiana Crawfish Co. website offers price comparisons with other retailers.

A standard of stellar quality and service is evident in an abundance of happy customer testimonials.

Louisiana Crawfish Co. doesn’t stop at distributing only mudbugs. Alligator, turtle, various seafood, King Cakes, spices, Lasyone’s meat pies, turduckens,  a wealth of other party supplies and Southern goods are available on LaCrawfish.com.

More than 25 years in the business and over one million pounds of shipped lived crawfish proves this trusted company is here to stay and ready to help you with your next crawfish boil.

Louisiana Crawfish Co. brings mudbug season to faraway Southerners | StayingSouthern.net

(Image source: lacrawfish.com)


Lousiana Crawfish Co.
1-888-522-7292
1-866-593-5320
lacrawfish.com
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SPOTTED: Familiar Springtime Faces… and side-dishes.

SPOTTED: Familiar Springtime Faces... and side-dishes. | StayingSouthern.net

Viola tricolor or Johnny Jump Up

There’s nothing like a relentless winter to make me leap for joy when I finally spot a couple of tiny, familiar springtime faces in the yard.

As pretty as the flowers are, Johnny Jump Ups make a tasty little treat, too. Members of the same perennial family such as sweet violets, violas and pansies are edible as well. The most common way to integrate the colorful blooms into a meal is as a garnish or in a salad. They also make delicious spreadsjellies and even vinegar. Sweet violets (Viola odorata) can be used in tea, syrup and cakes or even candied.  While the sweet violet flowers taste slightly perfumed, their leaves are tart.

 Johnny Jump Ups have even been known to treat epilepsy, asthma and eczema.

For best flavor, harvest newly bloomed flowers in the morning. This is when the oils are most concentrated and blooms look their best. The more you harvest, the more flowers will grow.

5 Easy Ways To Celebrate Easter

In my Southern family, Easter always comes with a big celebration. Relatives come to town, huge spreads of food are prepared and the Easter baskets are packed full of treats.

Now, living far away and having only a husband and a dog to celebrate with, the epic festivities seem like a lot of work for just a couple people to enjoy. It’s easy to get complacent about carrying on customs, but each year when I make the effort, I’m never disappointed. Although I may be a far-flung Southerner, I can always take traditions with me wherever I live to make it feel like home.

Here’s five easy ways to celebrate Easter that will have you feeling like you’re back home without a lot of fuss.

1. Dye Easter eggs. This easy activity will have you feeling like a kid again as soon as you try the old half-pink, half-blue dunking method. The eggs in this ancient activity are meant to symbolize new life, reminding Christians of Christ’s resurrection. Ukrainian customs hold great significance in each color of Easter eggs:Here’s five easy ways to celebrate Easter that will have you feeling like you’re back home without a lot of fuss.

White: purity and innocence
Yellow: wisdom, recognition, harvest and reward
Orange: strength, endurance and ambition
Red: happiness, hope or passion
Green: sign of spring, hope and innocence
Blue: good health
Purple: royal color, faith and trust
(Ukrainian Easter by Mary Ann Woloch Vaughn)

5 Easy Ways To Celebrate Easter

2. Eat. In my family, Easter Sunday Mass is always followed by a delectable lunch. Ham was on the menu when we were young, but as everyone got older and the family grew in members, fried chicken from the grocery deli took its place. Either entrée is enjoyable with sides of potato salad and ambrosia salad.

3. Stage an Easter egg hunt. Whether you have kids or you’re a kid at heart, hunting Easter eggs is a surefire way to add a little excitement to your Sunday. Fill plastic eggs with traditional candy, love notes, jokes, money or other fun trinkets to suit the hunters’ taste and bring smiles all around.

5 Easy Ways To Celebrate Easter

Photo: Maida Owens louisianafolklife.org

4. Knock Eggs. Whether you call it egg tapping, tucking, pocking or pâquing, this tradition is a competitive sport in Louisiana. My mother taught my brothers and me when we were young and the tournament-style competition has been an Easter ritual ever since. The rules vary by region, but my family’s are simple: knock the pointy ends of two hardboiled Easter eggs until one of them cracks. The unbroken egg goes on until the last intact egg is standing. Don’t be shy about getting into it. Since 1956, people in Marksville, La. gather in the courthouse square after Easter Sunday church services to compete. Some families even make brackets and keep score.

5 Easy Ways To Celebrate Easter5. Go to church. I’ve lived a lot of places, most of them hundreds or thousands of miles away from my tight-knit family. Going to church has always made me feel close to them no matter how far away I may be geographically. Raised Catholic, there is a comfort in knowing my family members are hearing the same scriptures and saying the same prayers as I am at Mass 2,100 miles away.

Transplant Profile: Stinson Carter in Los Angeles, California

Transplant Profile: Stinson Carter

Stinson’s novel, False River, is available on Amazon.


Name:
Stinson Carter

Born in: Shreveport, Louisiana

Occupation: Screenwriter, Journalist, and Novelist

I currently live in: Los Angeles, CA

When I go back, I always: Eat Southern Maid Donuts and a Herby-K shrimp buster. And I appreciate the time I get to spend with elderly family members. I listen to their stories like it’s the last time they’ll ever be told.

I miss: Family. And being in a place where I have a past. In Los Angeles I feel anonymous most of the time, but in Shreveport I feel like I’m part of a lineage, and there’s a deep comfort wrapped up in that.

Similarities I find between the South and where I live now: There is a kinship between ex-pat Southerners that I enjoy whenever I meet them in California. I’m working on a script with the producer of The Help right now, who is from Jackson, Mississippi. I think the fact that our hometowns are only a couple hundred miles apart definitely helped me get the job.

A Southern value I keep: I value knowing how to cook, and how to be a good host. A modest spread by Southern standards goes a long way in Southern California. Also, being accountable for what you say you’re going to do. In Hollywood you don’t make real plans. For example, you might say to a friend, “Let’s get lunch this week,” and they’ll say, “Yeah, that’d be great!” (Everything is great in Los Angeles.) But of course you don’t actually get lunch. What you’re really doing is just both agreeing that the idea of lunch sounds nice at that moment. There’s an old joke in Hollywood that goes like this:

“Did you hear that so-and-so died?”
“No!”
“Yep”
“That’s a shame. We’ve been meaning to get lunch.”

Being Southern has helped me: Keep a fundamental baseline for my values, and preserve my integrity in a city and within an industry that doesn’t exactly reward it.

Morsel of wisdom to other transplant Southerners: Don’t forget who you are. If you have a strong work ethic and treat people well, then you will make the kind of friends who will root for your success.

Transplant Profile: Stinson Carter in Los Angeles, CaliforniaRead Stinson Carter’s novel, False River, available for download on Amazon now.

Would you or someone you know like to contribute a Transplant Profile? Contact us!

Read more Transplant Profiles here

Recipe: Easy Gumbouffee

Recipe: Easy Gumbouffee | StayingSouthern.net

From the mad-scientist test kitchen: Gumbouffee

What’s that smell? Is that success or the huge pot of Gumbouffee?

My friends, it is both. Although it felt a little like mad science, the recipe for this semi-homemade dish turned out to be oh-so-delicious.

Like we talked about in Friday’s post, store-bought spice mixes are convenient, but they don’t deliver when it comes to authentic flavor and texture. Mainstream products are “good enough” to get by when you’re craving Southern food, but what if you want great?

We combined widely-distributed Louisiana-made products, additional seasonings and a few vegetables. The result was a savory etouffee-meets-gumbo.

The best part about this recipe is how easy it is. Even those who don’t feel comfortable in the kitchen can create an authentic Southern dish. No roux-related stress, no major time commitment. Just a fun, tasty meal with real Creole texture and flavor.

Total time spent in the kitchen was less than an hour, but the Gumbouffee tasted like it had been on the stove all day.

We used catfish in our recipe, but chicken, Andouille sausage, shrimp, crawfish or all of the above would be just as tasty. You could even add okra or diced tomatoes to make it your own. Follow these easy steps and you, too will be saying this sauce is c’est si bon.

Gumbouffee

–       1 box Tony Chachere’s Creole etouffee mixRecipe: Easy Gumbouffee | StayingSouthern.net
–       1 box Zatarain’s gumbo base
–       1 pound catfish, cut into large bite-size chunks
–       3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
–       1 large yellow onion, chopped
–       2 cups celery, choppedRecipe: Easy Gumbouffee | StayingSouthern.net
–       2 cups green bell pepper, chopped
–       ½ cup green onion, chopped
–       8 cups water
–       1 Tbsp Emeril’s Essence seasoning
–       1/4 cup blackened seasoningRecipe: Easy Gumbouffee | StayingSouthern.net
–       6-8 cups cooked white rice

Directions
–       Mix catfish pieces with blackened seasoningRecipe: Easy Gumbouffee | StayingSouthern.net
–       In a large pot on the stove, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium setting
–       In small batches, cook seasoned catfish until almost done, remove from pot and set aside
–       In the same pot, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté yellow onion, celery and bell pepper until onion becomes slightly translucent
–       Add Zatarain’s and Tony’s spice mixes, stirring to coat vegetables
–       Gradually add 8 cups of water while stirring frequently
–       Add Emeril’s Essence seasoning and catfishRecipe: Easy Gumbouffee | StayingSouthern.net
–       Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes until catfish is cooked through, liquid should coat the back of a spoon
–       Serve over cooked rice, garnish with green onion. Feeds 8-10 people

Etougumbalaya? You work on the name, I’ll work on the recipe

cajungrocer.com

cajungrocer.com

It’s Friday and during Lent, that usually means fish is on the menu.

Tonight’s kitchen adventure features a little Cajun ingenuity and catfish.

While boxed spice mixes for gumbo, jambalaya and etouffee are easy to find outside the South, they come up short when it comes to flavor, texture and authenticity.

One dark and stormy night, it was time for dinner and we were without a plan. And hungry.

It's all about using what you have to your advantage in the kitchen | StayingSouthern.net

The red beans hybrid. In the words of Emeril Lagasse, “BAM!”

My husband and resident kitchen whiz dove into our stockpile of Cajun dry goods (yes, we have a shelf devoted to this).

He combined boxes of gumbo base, etouffee mix and red beans seasoning mix along with the Cajun holy trinity of fresh onion, bell pepper and celery. A ham hock and a couple bags of beans later, and we had a savory, authentic pot of red beans and rice. Sometimes you just have to use what you have to your advantage.

Tonight, we will make another attempt at combining store-bought Cajun favorites.

A few more seasonings, catfish and the Cajun holy trinity will make appearances in this recipe.

A few more seasonings, catfish and the Cajun holy trinity will make appearances in this recipe.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, catfish GumboJambaToufee. Or Gumbatouffee. Or Jambotoufee. Etougumbalaya?

You work on the name, I’ll work on the recipe.

Stay tuned to find out how it turns out and the full recipe!

Happy Friday!

Recipe: “Better For You” Chicken Pot Pie

Recipe: This ain't your mama's chicken pot pie | StayingSouthern.net

This ain’t your mama’s chicken pot pie

I miss Southern food more than anything else about the South – besides my family, of course.

It’s probably a blessing that I don’t live in the South because if I did, I would chronically overeat the delicious but not-so-nutritious regional favorites. (Did someone say boudin?)

In my kitchen, I try to balance recipes that meet the “good and good for you” standard.

Chicken pot pie is one of those dishes that I compare to getting a hug. No doubt, it’s the buttery, creamy sauce and pie crust that makes it taste so good. It’s the epitome of comfort food. But, as comforting as it is, I’m not very comfortable when I can’t button my pants. So, I made some adjustments.

PotPie2This pot pie recipe might not be diet food, but it won’t leave me feeling like I just sold the farm either. By ditching the bottom pie crust, substituting half-and-half with low fat Greek yogurt and replacing traditional potatoes with cauliflower, this fiber-packed dish of bubbly goodness leaves me smiling without all the guilt.

Give it a try! I promise, you won’t even know what you’re missing.

Chicken Pot Pie

1 medium onion, diced

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 cup cauliflower, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 cup carrot, diced

1 cup canned sweet peas, drained

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp melted margarine

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth

1 cup low fat Green yogurtPotpie3

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 ½ teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoon thyme

4 cups chicken breast, seasoned with poultry seasoning (sage, rosemary and thyme), cooked and diced

1 pie crust (store bought, or your own recipe)

Directions

–       Preheat oven to 400 degrees

–       In a large sauce pan, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil and sauté onion and garlic over medium heat until onion becomes slightly translucent

–       Add celery, carrots and cauliflower, stirring frequently, until vegetables become tender

–       Combine chicken broth and yogurt in separate bowl

–       Thoroughly mix in melted margarine and remaining olive oil

–       Add flour gradually while stirring constantly for one minute

–       Add chicken broth and yogurt mixture gradually while stirring well until it becomes thick and bubbly

–       Stir in peas, salt, pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme and chicken

–       Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish and cover with 1 pie crust

–       Cut slits to allow steam to escape

–       Bake 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly

Transplant Profile: Kera in Illinois

 

Nothing makes you appreciate being a Southerner like living outside the South. Spend any significant length of time away from home and you’ll find yourself attempting to master every classic Southern recipe and being friendlier than ever. And, you’ll learn to appreciate the simple things when you do get back home – like egrets and Raising Canes. Just ask Kera.

StayingSouthern.net | Transplant Profile: Kera shares her take on being Southern and what she does to feel at home wherever she is.Name: Kera Simon Brossette (pronounced “See-maw” “Bro-say” in Louisiana and no where else)

Born: Kaplan, Louisiana

Occupation: Communication Specialist for the county health department

I currently live in: Bloomington, Illinois

When I go back to the South: I look out of the window a lot more than when I grew up there. I find myself getting excited to see an egret. Those creatures I grew up dodging as a teenager driving on my way from school are somewhat weird and foreign to me now, and I hate that. These little things that I took for granted when I was young are so special to me now, more than they’ve ever been. Spanish moss hanging from the trees, sunlight gleaming off the crawfish ponds and rice fields, the smell of crawfish boiling, pulling up at a gas station and ordering boudin– it’s the little things.

When I go back, I always: Stop at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers first (and will schedule driving stops around the nearest Raising Cane’s).

I miss: Meeting a person for the first time, and then hugging them when you leave!

Being Southern has helped me: Connect with people on a human level. I’m an open book, and I show my faults mostly through humor, because that’s the only way I know how. I’m also honest with people and show sincerity — that’s how I was raised to find a friend in everyone.

Morsel of wisdom to other Transplant Southerners: Learn how to cook the meals you grew up loving! There will be some trials, some errors, and some big fat failures. But, when you finally get it right, it’s all so worth it! Plus, it will help you keep your sanity when your Southern friends post all of their meal pictures on social media.

Would you or someone you know be a great candidate for a Transplant Profile? Contact us!

Read last week’s Transplant Profile here

SPOTTED: Zydeco Kitchen – Bend, OR

(zydecokitchen.com)

(zydecokitchen.com)

Zydeco Kitchen
919 NW Bond Street
Bend, OR 97701
(541) 312-2899

This downtown hotspot in Bend, OR has authentic Cajun nuances that a Southerner can appreciate when far from home.

(zydecokitchen.com)

(zydecokitchen.com)

If you’re around for lunch, consider the Potato Chip Crusted Wahoo Sandwich. It’s a sort of an Oregonian take on a catfish poboy. The tarragon remoulade is like heaven in a ramekin and the sandwich is served with a delightful couscous salad on the side.

Zydeco has an extensive cocktail and dinner menu as well.

Transplant Profile – Lauren in Washington, D.C.

Family comes first for most Southerners. Whether it’s pitching in around the house or enjoying a meal and a glass of sweet tea together, time spent with family becomes invaluable when it doesn’t happen every day. That’s just one of many things Lauren has learned as a Southerner living in Washington D.C.

It's all about spending time with family when Lauren goes home to Louisiana.

It’s all about spending time with family when Lauren goes home to Louisiana.

Born: Hampton, Virginia, but due to my Dad’s military career we lived all over!

Occupation: Public Relations Executive

I currently live in: Washington, D.C.

When I go back, I visit: Louisiana is home because that is where the majority of my extended family lives and where I spent my college years. When I go back to visit, it’s all about seeing family and spending time with them since I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. I like taking my younger cousins to the movies, doing my Maw Maw’s grocery shopping for her, watching the news with my Pops every night, or driving out to the casino with my aunts and uncles for a little boot scootin’.

When I go back, I always:
Over-eat. It’s true – women of the South just know how to cook really, really well. I probably over-drink, too; Maw Maw makes the best sweet tea and my uncles love a good totty.

I miss: So much about the South! The generosity and kindness of strangers, the slow-paced lifestyle, the Southern men and their jacked up trucks! I was home over Thanksgiving last year and I forgot how nice it was to see a sky full of stars. You don’t see that very often with all the city lights reflecting off their buildings.

Being Southern has helped me: To appreciate finding joy in the little things. When someone holds the door open for me at the local Starbucks (even if it was an accident), I appreciate that so much more than the next person who never grew up with that as the norm.

 Morsel of wisdom to other Southerners living outside the South: People outside of the South and the military don’t like to be referred to as “ma’am” and “sir” but that doesn’t mean you should forget your manners. Make it a point to get back to the South at least once a year. Even if you don’t have family to visit, just do it.  It will be refreshing, rejuvenating and will give you the time you need to just relax.

Would you or someone you know be a great candidate for a Transplant Profile? Contact us!