In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Enigma of Cajun Folks

I was born, raised and live in the far southeastern corner of Texas. What's the distinction? It's the home of Cajuns that followed the oil boom and ended up as part of the petrochemical industry.

These folks came from various parts of Louisiana and they left much of their families behind. They didn't leave their heritage and they brought the fine family values most were raised to uphold.

So, what's the enigma? You can't really explain what's so special about Cajuns, until you find yourself at a family gathering, or a festival and realize you didn't know anything about them until you went. Even after that wonderful event, you still can't find the exact words to describe what you experienced.

Many television, or movie shows embellish the Cajun accent, or portray Cajuns as very simple people that have really spicy food and live on the bayou. Many do, but they're only a small segment of the settlers that came to a strange land, survived, embraced what was to be found and added their rich heritage. That's not an accurate portrayal and I sometimes find it insulting to people I love and respect.

To me, Cajuns represent the best of what a past society had to offer; much like other ethnic groups that settled the United States. Their ancestors left France with the hope of starting over, taking advantage of opportunities and becoming part of the greatest nation ever created. The entire nation is blessed with their contributions and I'm thankful for their arrival.

Even with my wife being of Cajun heritage, and me being immersed in their culture, I still find Cajuns an enigma. The fierce pride, self-sufficiency and unwavering effort to never forget their ancestors can only be glimpsed for a few moments by an outsider like me. I'll never really understand what they feel, but I'm a part of their family, and they've accepted me. That's good enough and I'm proud they did.


  1. I was at a crawdad/crayfish/mudbug cookoff last year (don't ask) and as I was standing there, staring at these things cooked and waiting, I asked the buy behind me "How do you eat one of those things?"

    Well, he grabbed one, jerked its head off and offered it to me saying "her'eh." or something like that. I LOVE the Cajun patwah. Well, I'm not accustomed to eating a bug just dismembered from the hands of a stranger, but I was trapped.

    Be polite, or run. I sucked the innards out of that alien lobster and wasn't even aware of the taste. I have NO IDEA if it was good or not. I choose "not".

  2. That's called "sucking the head", which is sucking the juice/innards of the cooked crawfish. Some like it, some don't, but the real meat is in the tail; like a lobster.

    I'm not a big fan of boiled crawfish. I've found most people go overboard with the hot spices, which are usually doused over the cooked crawfish after it's boiled. Seasoning for the meat is transferred from the fingers, when the meat is peeled from the tail. I've seen people pouring sweat, while eating the crawfish, and their lips are red from the hot spices.

    Best way to eat crawfish - to me - is in an etouffee or fried. Only the tail meat is cooked and the seasoning is better.

  3. I love crawfish no matter how it is prepared. I have a lot of cajuns in my family as well. Love them all.

    1. I've helped boil crawfish for company promotions, which entailed huge propane heated pots and over a thousand pounds of crawfish. They leaned toward the hotter seasonings, which had a tendency to make them way to hot for my tastes, but they would cook potatoes, corn, carrots and mushrooms, also.

      We always ran out before the crowd completely thinned. I'd have to fill up a beer flat for my wife, hide it in the refrigerator and bring it to her when I arrived late that evening.