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Tom and Mark grew up in Louisiana, and learned all about tasty crawdads. When they moved to Colorado many years ago, they discovered that there's lots of 'em here too, nice big ones! It starts out with Tom and Mark setting traps for the crawdads in local reserviors. They go out every evening and tranfer the keepers into holding pens under water and toss the little ones back.

At the end of the summer, they got a whole bunch of 'em. And every year, they have a great big crawdad party and invite all their friends over. It has now grown to a much anticipated event, and now they have three separate parties, first one for the family. Then one for friends to bring their kids, and finally one to leave the kids at home so the grown-ups can act like kids :-)

I'll try to describe the process, but there are lots of details and stuff, I learn more every year. First they bring the live crawdads home in great big coolers. They get a whole bunch of stuff to prepare the crawdads and cook everything. They get a couple of huge pots to go on huge propane burners. To the water to boil them, they add gallons (literally!) of hot sauce, pounds and pounds of cayenne pepper, bushels of cut up lemons. There's probably more too, like bay leaves and stuff. Besides crawdads, they also throw in a bunch of potatoes and corn on the cob, Louisiana style.

First they soak (one batch at a time) the crawdads in salt water. This purges them. After that, they hose off all the yuckies. This is a photo of Tom hosing them off in a contraption that Mark made.


This next shot is after they've been hosed off. You can see all the crawdads in the bottom of the cage.


Next, Tom runs them over to the cauldron full of boiling hot boil. The reason he's smiling so much is he knows how tasty they're gonna be. Plus Tom just plain smiles a lot!


Here, Tom gets ready to dump them into the pot.


There they go! In the forground you can see the other caudron. At any given time one is cooking and the other is getting ready. You can also see all the lemons floating around in the boil. The canoe oar is to stir them up! Along with another piece of wood, they also use it to lift the lids of the caudrons.


The other batch is just about ready. When the lid is lifted the wonderful smell fills the backyard! You can see that inside each pot is a perforated liner. This will be used to lift them out.


Here, Mark starts lifting them out.


Mark checks his path to the picnic tables. He needs to make sure no one's in the way, as it's very heavy and very hot!


Rosco looks on as Mark prepares to transport them.


Jenniee smiles as Mark trots by with the crawdads.


Mark dumps them out on the table. You can see all the lemons in there too, the potatoes and corn on the cob are setting in bowls. People start to gather quickly! At the lower right is a container of claws. Some folks like them, for others they are a lot of work for only a little meat, but boy are they tasty!


The feeding frenzy begins!


Look at that yummy crawdad!


Tom and Mark discuss their next batch.


Jenniee and Linda


Rosco and Andrew


Linda, Ann and Jenniee


Tom is having a blast!


Linda, Jenniee and Andrew


Ann, Jenniee and Linda chat


Ann's brother and his wife, Ann, Linda and Rosco.


Linda, Ann and Rosco


And the gigantic moth that crashed the party. At first people thought he was a bat!