Hello everyone! We are back from our trip and going through the spoils. I'll post trip photos later on this week--for right now, here are some food shots. Yesterday, our last day on the road, we drove through southern Louisiana. So, of course, we picked up some crawfish and decided to make etouffee. Every time I make etouffee, I use Kathryn's recipe, from Smoky Mountain Cafe. It was exciting to finally have some crawfish involved! (I usually use shrimp) I followed her recipe almost exactly, just subbing some hot peppers for the red bell peppers. I have no idea why, but red bell peppers are $5 a lb right now at the store and I just couldn't justify that expense.
We bought these from this crazy little seafood shack that was way back in the middle of a neighborhood! We thought we had bad directions at first, but after winding back on side streets for 10 minutes, we found the shop. It doesn't have a web page, but you can google "LA Cajun Seafood & Market" to get the address and visit next time you are in Rayne, LA.
While the etouffee simmered, we pulled out toothbrushes and started cleaning the crystals we found in Arkansas. Again, we visited a place with no website, but what a fantastic business. Here is an article about them, Gee and Dee Crystals in Mount Ida, AR.
It was really neat--we followed Dee up a dirt path to the "mine" which was actually out in the open. The key to finding the crystals is to sift through the dirt and look for flat pieces that are almost black in color. When you pick them up, you can see if its quartz or crystal. This was a ton of fun and reasonably priced, too.
Then we cleaned up and had some etouffee on the back deck. I love traveling, but it is definitely nice to be home.