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Eatin’ Good on the Bayou

April 14,2011

Here in Bayou Blue/Houma, Louisiana we have hit upon a cornucopia of culinary exotics.

Mark Lipping: griller, boiler and smoker extraordinaireOff and on over the years for Christmas, Mark1  has ordered a Turducken instead of a traditional turkey for Christmas dinner. Now that I am here in Louisiana Cajun country several people have asked me if I have ever eaten Turducken. Of course I am delighted to reply, "Why Yes", and I feel so much more a part of the gang at the meat market counter showing I have some knowledge of local food. (Turducken is a boneless turkey stuffed with a boneless duck, stuffed with a boneless chicken stuffed with  shrimp jambalaya.)

venison tamales and wild game jambalayaLow on groceries and a bit too tired to shop, we hooked-up here at Capri-Court early last Saturday evening. Right away, Vanessa, the owner’s wife, brought us venison tamales and wild game jambalaya. We knew it was wild game because of the tiny bit of buckshot we spit (delicately) out occasionally. It was probably the little hint of gunpowder that gave the dish its extra special flavor. With cold beer, it was a new taste delight for us.

CrawfishShe gave us a lot of jambalaya and we ate it for three nights. Inexpensive and lovely campsite on the bayou and free food. You can’t beat that! Vanessa was off to New York City for a bachelorette party. (We sent her off with lots of recommendations, and kept a touch of homesickness in our hearts.)

We finally made it to a grocery store about mid-week, but on Friday it was time to continue our new tradition of Fish Fridays, in this case, crawfish. Our neighbor Donna took us up the road to Jeep’s to pick up hot boiled crawfish. Apparently 10 lbs is considered average for a couple to share. $3.50 a pound seemed like a bargain to us...but Donna and Jeff2 thought they were small. Anyway we all hung out at their table and ate 20 pounds of the little red buggers between us. For dipping, we brought Russian Dressing and melted butter but Donna made the best sauce.

My recipe for boiled crawfish would be to buy 50 lbs of the little crustaceans, a bag of Old Bay and take them to Mark Lipping to cook. I would supply Donna’s Dipping Sauce, Donna’s Fire Crackers, and a few buckets of cold beer.

The next Day it was off to the Bourgeois Meat Market, “Miracles in Meat”. This really tested my courage. There on the daily specials board they were offering hog head cheese, turkey head cheese, crawfish boudin and beef jerky.  All the sausage type items were in natural casings. We came home with a pound of each and I’m here to tell you the boudin and the head cheese were like paté on crackers. The jerky was what jerky used to be. No bear hairs in it, but still really good.

Bourgeois Meat Market

Bernie has been sitting around the camper every evening since our visit to the meat market chomping away on chewy strips of the Cajun jerky. This jerky has been smoked for hours. No liquid smoke, no fancy sauce... Just the natural smokehouse smell, flavor and texture. 

I could almost want to go kill something and smoke it myself. One could be a peace tending a smoking fire. On second thought maybe I will send somebody else out for the killing...

One final note about the culinary delights that have abounded during our stay here on the Bayou. To the tune of, “When the Saints Go Marching In”, Une Lapin Bleu camionnette de la crème glacée (The Blue Bunny ice cream truck) comes to the campground every evening. Bernie prefers the Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Sandwich while I’ve been going big every night for the Mississippi Mud Ice Cream Sandwich.


Yes, we have been seen running through the campground after him.

  1. Our-son-in-law, Mark Lipping: griller, boiler and smoker extraordinaire.
  2. Neighbors in the campground, who’ve been here two years this time.