Crayfish Boil in Cajun Louisiana
I'm speaking of an old fashion Crayfish Boil in Cajun Louisiana (within 100 miles of the Atchafalaya Basin)
I hosted crayfish boils for our customers back in the 1970's. Crawfish in peak season (April) were sold in 40lb. sacks at 18 cents/lb. (Way higher than that now)
The whole 40lb sack of live crawfish was added to 15-20 ears of sweetcorn shucked and halved, 15 lbs of baby red potatoes, and about 10-12lbs of Andouile Sausage cut in 2 inch long pieces. All of this was placed in a Cajun made perforated removable liner to fit in the 55 gallon cooking container.
The 55 gallon cooking container was about half full of water to which about 5 lbs of "swamp spice" (predominately cayenne pepper) was added.
The thing was heated with a cajun made natural gas or propane burner which would put out about a million BTU's if turned to max.
Once boiling the perforated container of food was added and boiled for about 15 minutes. Then the cajuns would dump in a 20lb sack of ice which would cause the barrel to overflow. The cajuns claimed adding the ice at the end of the boil and thus quickly cooling the boiling spiced water to about 140 degreesF drives the spices into the crayfish and makes them even spicier.
Long picnic tables were covered in newspaper and then topped with brown paper towel rolls .
2 men would remove the perforated liner of steaming spicy food pour it out in long mountainous pile running down the center of 2 prepared picnic tables.
Add to this unlimited beer and a band playing cajun music and you have the ultimate Feast-Party!!!!