Took a recent Saturday off and met with family down at Rocky Ford creek to look for crawdads and have a cook-out. The creek was cold and clear…perfect for a hot summer afternoon and looking for crawdads.

Crawdads can be a bit tricky to catch…just ask me and I’ll tell you…I’ll tell you that if I’m lucky, I’ll actually catch one about every 3 years. Fortunately, my kids and other relatives are pretty adept at catching them – I blame my lack of ability on my no-line bifocals (and the fact that I don’t particularly like being pinched.) Although there are a lot of ways to catch crawdads (traps with bacon, nets, etc.), the quickest way is to start looking under rocks……

And if you are lucky, you’ll get your hands on a pretty nice sized one…..

Depending on how many people that plan on eating these little critters determines how long and how far up/down the creek you hunt. Took us (or should I say “everyone else”) a couple of hours to get enough worth messing with. My aunt, who has been cleaning crawdads since she was a kid, has tried for the past 40 years to teach another generation how to “clean” them for cooking. We are hoping that perhaps the 2nd generation is catching on……..

Although I have watched her clean these things for many years, about all I can tell you is that you pull the middle thing on their tail which removes something and then you pinch off the head and legs. (Just writing that gives me the heebie jeebies, so you can understand what I do not partake in the “cleaning of the crawdads.”) After they have been cleaned, powder them with some cornmeal, salt and pepper.

Throw them in a pot of hot vegetable oil (or bacon grease, if you are true affectionado….)

It doesn’t take too long before they start turning that typical shellfish pink when they start cooking……

And while I have issues catching and cleaning crawdads, I have absolutely no problem eating them…..

Bon appetit!