For weeks we’d been planning to have the Cajun Cookout as a sort of after-party from Thanksgiving, only the Cajun Cookout would be a gathering of the Boyos. It had been planned that we would deep fry five pounds worth of crabs in Kyle’s 5 gallon deep fryer, as well as a whole medley of assorted snacks we would also deep fry.
The day of the cookout, we first did some shopping at four different grocery stores to find the most fitting dishes for the event. To truly have an authentic Boyos’ Cajun Cookout we would need some iconic seafood and lots of spice.
I was tasked with acquiring the crab. I found a suitable very large crab at Winco, but it was already cooked. I asked the lady if we would still be able to deep fry it, but she said the way for one to serve it would be simply heating it via steaming.
So I got back to the house with the crab and was joined by Will, Jake, Kimmy, Kyle, Nick, and Jimmy. Kyle had brought two bottles of fancy champagne and Nick brought some Fireball whiskey. We all went out into the back where I had the honor of shaking up and spraying the first bottle of champagne all over the group. After the first bottle was gone we poured the second bottle and each drank a glass.
I broke out some tortilla chips and a bowl of queso blanco dip. When I brought it into the room for the group to try, Kyle asked “is that pancake batter?” From then on we always referred to the dip as pancake batter and convinced people to try it under the guise that it really was pancake batter.
I brought out the crab and showed everyone just how big it was. I explained how it had to be heated via steaming, but no one was sure exactly how to do that. My dad suggested using the method he uses to steam his vegetables: put it in a container with a thin layer of water, cover it with plastic, and microwave it for 15 minutes.
It worked well in heating up the crab, but it also caused much of the crab juices to spill out into the container. The next problem was figuring out just how to eat the crab. We were able to use a nutcracker to crack open the legs and claws fairly well despite our inexperience. I personally managed to get Kimmy, (who was somewhat reluctant), to try some.
The real challenge was figuring out how to get into the torso and which pieces of it were actually edible. After much struggling, we used a hammer and just wailed on it, caving the shell into the torso and spilling juices everywhere. Everyone was very interested in the inner workings of the crab, which, along with the bits of shell pieces now strewn over the torso, caused the crab to quickly change from meal to science project. We each took turns probing and prodding the various organs and pieces of the crab with great curiosity. Somehow in the mix both Kyle and Will ended up each eating one of the crab’s eyeballs, followed by Kyle chugging the entirety of the now lukewarm crab-juice water on the bottom of the container. It was truly a sight of intense crab-gore.
We broke out a pack of spicy chocolate coins that I had gotten earlier from Trader Joes. Each coin had a pattern or pictures of peppers printed on it. The box came with a key to tell how each coin was flavored and how spicy it was, but we decided to disregard the key and choose randomly, like an intense game of Russian Roulette.
The first round of spicy chocolate roulette had some interesting results. Kimmy and I each got a coin with a green colored pepper on it, which ended up being the spiciest flavor. Nick was already into spicy chocolate, so he decided to try the habanero flavor. He was surprised when it was not too spicy, so we convinced him to try the kind that we tried (jalapeno). He agreed that it was unintuitively a lot spicier than the habanero flavor.
Some time during the night we decided to pick up some more snacks over at CVS. We headed over there as a mob and caused quite a commotion walking through the streets at night. Kimmy got a pack of straws with mustaches on them, and Nick got a case of Dr Pepper.
The rest of the night we spent staying up playing Call of Duty Zombies and taking shots of Nick’s Fireball.
The next day, me, Jake, Kimmy, and Gavin decided to go visit Conor’s house. We got there while Conor was preparing for a D&D game with Will, Steven, and Santos. We decided to make a fire in Conor’s outdoor firepit in his backyard.
Me and Gav were tasked with going out to find some firewood. I remembered a place in the orchard near my house that usually has firewood, so we headed there. We got there while it was lightly raining, and in the mud we found a huge pile of uncut branches. We stuffed as much as we could in Gavin’s car and headed back.
Once we got there we were able to rearrange Conor’s patio furniture into a nice setup around the fire pit. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the fire to actually catch, no matter how hard we tried.
I suggested we try a round of Cards Against Humanity, a game we had previously played at Conor’s house to great success. Unfortunately, the game belonged to Brady, who took it with him while he was off at college. Kimmy came up with a solution: she had been planning to get a gift for her parents, so she would buy them the game, but we would play it before then. So we headed to Target, picked up the game, and brought it back to Conor’s house.
After playing a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity, we left Conor’s to go crash a Gav’s. On the way we picked up some of the extra snacks that were still left at my place, because that night was our last night to finish them up before I left the next day for San Jose.
We had two large hipster flatbreads full of ingredients that I couldn’t even pronounce, some cheesecake, some dynamite chicken bites, and two salads, one Italian and one Caesar. We decided to mix the two salads in a big bowl, which we called “everything salad.” Even after having a big feast, there was still a lot left, so I packed it up to take to San Jose the next morning.
The whole weekend was pretty much a constant string of parties and feasts. The Boyos Cajun Cookout, and the crab we dissected that night will go down as legend.