The word Bugs has many meanings from insects to crawfish (which are called Mudbugs). It was the year of Cicadas in Louisville…seems they only come out in early summer and the Brood X variety, which are in hordes and terribly loud and annoying, come out of the ground every 17 years. It was also the year the Thoroughbroads decided to have a Mudbug and cold beer event to commemorate the bug event.
Crawfish were not as abundant at the Kentucky groceries as they are now so they had to be ordered and shipped in. We found a source and would make some dishes, Low Country Boil, some seafood crepes, swig down some quality beer, and enjoy a warm evening at Scarlett’s house. Her house was built on top of a big hill where the calmer winds blew down the back patio making it the perfect place to stay cool on a July evening. The deck could be washed off after crawdad shelling, and garbage cans could be placed to hold the shells and any beer cans or plastic cups and plastic utensils and plates so clean-up would be easy. A table with an oilcloth cover was used to pour the Low Country Boil on top after it had cooked and folding chairs would be used so they could be hosed off as well after the event ended.
A keg of beer was brought by a couple whose wife told us her motto “When God was handing out legs I thought he said kegs and I told him I would take two big ones.” We have never forgotten that and to this day remember Pat every time we drink beer. Now, with the craft beer frenzy, that is quite often.
Scarlett also taught everyone to sing a southern song that goes like this…” Whatcha gonna do when the crawdads come honey…whatcha gonna do when crawdads come babe…whatcha gonna do when the crawdads die…sit on the banks and cry cry cry honey oh baby mine.” Those who attended this hot July event probably sing that song every time they eat crawfish, I know she does.
If you have never had Low Country Boil you have missed out. It can be made with all types of seafood but shrimp usually is the go-to, but in this case, we wanted Mudbugs. The recipes follow that were enjoyed that evening in the 80s and they are still popular with a few of us that live below the Mason Dixon Line.
Fill a large pot with crawfish, shrimp, or crab, along with spicy sausage, corn, and potatoes, and boil using the ingredients below, then fish out with a large strainer and place on the oilcloth table or a table with layers of newspaper on it and enjoy!
- 1 (3-ounce) package extra-spicy boil-in-bag shrimp-and-crab boil
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle pale ale beer
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 3 pounds of baby red potatoes
- 2 pounds mild or hot smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Shrimp, crab, and crawfish leave in the shells and placed after a rolling boil in the pot.
In a pitcher add your favorite Kool Aid powder ( preferably not red so you don’t ruin your clothing as red will not come out of clothes!) add amount of water it requests less 1/4 cup. Add sugar to taste, or a simple syrup mixture then add 1/4 cup vodka or more to your liking and throw into each glass a garnish of a gummy worm…now enjoy over ice!