I confess that one of my favorite parts of either making or going to a crawfish boil is what happens toward the end.
Everyone has eaten their fill of mudbugs, leaving behind a mess of heads, claws and tail shells scattered all over a newspaper-covered table. Any leftover corn and potatoes are cold. The sausage, long gone. But there are almost always still whole crawfish that didn’t get eaten.
Maybe they are the runts of the pot, the small ones that got picked over for the big guys. Maybe they were the last few crawfish sitting in the pot, where they soaked up all those seasonings. I like to sit around with whoever else is left at the table and peel all those tails, one by one.
One complaint about crawfish is that they are a lot of work for only a little bit of meat, but once I get in the flow of peeling them, it’s hard to stop, especially once you see the tails start to pile up.
My friends Roger and Emily have always hosted crawfish boils in the spring, usually around Easter. They bring all their friends and families together for a potluck, backyard egg hunt and crawfish boil, where no crawfish goes unopened.