It's shrimp season, cher`
That’s right. The inland shrimp season is full swing, and this is that wonderful time when you can drive down the bayou,
look for a boat tied up to its moorings with someone on board, roll down your window and ask, “Hey Buddy, you still got some shrimp for sale?”
And hopefully, the first one you come to says, “Yea, I sure do and they pretty, too!”
And then you ask, “What size?”
And he says, “A nice size. Twenty-five thirties. What you size you looking for? I got some bigger if you want.”
And then you say, “25-30 is good. I like the medium size for making gumbo and stew.”
Well into his sixties, Mr. Buddy is agile as any 2o year old moving deftly across the blindingly white deck of his boat, which he built himself.
“Mr. Buddy, your boat sure is clean!”
“Oh, no, it’s a mess right now.”
Folks, I”m here to tell you, I think I could have eaten raw shrimp off that deck it was so clean. I love to buy shrimp from Mr. Buddy, because he and his wife work this boat together. They leave on Sunday and come back on Thursday. Hopefully they sell their catch quickly and have Friday and Saturday off.
After removing the ice from the top layer of the basket, Mr. Buddy dumps about half a champagne basket into an empty one for me. I don’t want a whole basket, as I am only taking 25 pounds to LilSis, a six-hour drive northwest.
Buddy knows how much the basket weighs, as he hangs it on the scale. He continues to add shrimp until the scale tips 26 pounds. He usually packs 52 pounds to a basket, so he knows he has 26 pounds left in the basket for the next customer who only wants “half a champagne” like me.
Mr. Buddy pours the shrimp into my ice chest as I ask,
“How much do I owe you,?”
“Uh, let’s see. At $2.50 a pound, that’ll be $62.50” he answers.
I dig in my wallet only to discover that I have three twenties—and someone took a five dollar bill from my coin purse.
“I’ve only got $60–I’ll go back home and get the rest, unless you want me to write a check?”
“No, cher $60 is good. We ain’t gonna worry about the rest. You got some more ice to put on those shrimp, cuz I’m all out.”
“Yessir. I can get some more ice. Thanks a lot!”
And off we went on a trek to Northwest Louisiana–25 pounds of fresh shrimp, Miah, Termite, Butch, TiDu, the white kitty, and me.
So, how much do YOU pay for beautiful shrimp?
Next post: How to break heads off fresh shrimp!
Now I just have to ask, how did you cook them? Boiled, fried, gumbo? I love my shrimp. I think one of my favorite ways to serve them is Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocados. Love em!! Of course, peel and eat after boiling in a good seasoned crab boil is great too.
Wish we could get them for that price. Here, they start at about $5.99 lb on sale and average about $7 lb for the 25/30. That is my favorite size also.
I agree about the cleanliness of the boat! Wish my house looked that good.
Wow, Cammy! You commented before I even finished editing the post! I love that! I can’t tell you how I cooked them because the next post is cleaning and then after that is a new recipe LilSis and I developed for Camp Dularge with step by step photos. So, you’ll just have to wait a couple days!!! Can you? LOL!
I will try to wait patiently! I do so love Gulf shrimp! I try to always check the package for their origin and to see if they have been previously frozen.
You don’t happen to have a good shrimp with alfredo sauce over pasta do you??
mmmm… yummy! The least I pay is $4 a pound. and that is for imported farmed! Wild Gulf shrimp are at least twice that.
No, no no Christy! “imported” are fighting words here!
We don’t really have anywhere to buy fresh shrimp here in NE Oklahoma. The stuff they sell in the grocery store is an abomination to seafood. Maybe I need to load up some coolers and head south once a year!
Oh how I miss those bayou shrimp! We bought Georgia shrimp last week, 25-30…..$8.99/lb!! AND….they weren’t nearly as tasty as LA shrimp.
P.J. do those shrimp come out of the Atlantic?
People, these photos are staged for your benefit! You can’t believe a word BW has written! That boat is too clean, Mr. Buddy is wearing BLACK boots ( bonafide shrimpers wear WHITE) and……I paid $3.25 a lb. for 25-30’s opening day in Grand Isle for a friend. LOL! Does Mr. Buddy take orders? I’ll need to restock soon. I’ve still got a few quarts left from last year, so…I’m waiting for the new recipe before I cook shrimp. I CAN wait a few days because we’re having a crawfish boil tomorrow. So, I won’t be doing any cooking till Sunday at the earliest.
Mrs. Coach, we have friends in Pa. who come down in their RV twice a year (Brown and White shrimp season) and fill up a small freezer for themselves and their adult children.
Staged? I’m hurt. Buddy doesn’t need white rubber boots since his boat is so clean!! He doesn’t take orders–first come first served! I guess Dularge shrimp are cheaper than Grand Isle shrimp–or did you buy them from the dock?
The highest I’ve seen shrimp here is $14.98 for the pink 8-10 shrimp. The 25-30 I can get on sale for $6.99 at times. And I suspect they are farmed. We can’t get beyond eating them boiled in Zatarain’s shrimp boil.
Joan – what is a pink shrimp? We don’t talk about “farmed” or “imported” shrimp down here because those things threaten to put our shrimpers out of business. Literally. But most folks don’t know to check the packaging to make sure they are Gulf Shrimp and harvested in American waters.
Just another interesting bit of information from Bayou Land!
I googled pink shrimp and got all kinds of conficting information – they’re large; they’re small, salad shrimp; they grow only in East coast waters; they only live off the coast of Oregon, etc.!!! “My” pink shrimp in the grocery store are very large, a uniform pale pink, and I wish I could afford some! The next time I’m in, I’ll ask him where all his shrimp come from – there is no package I can check.
No swimps up dis way. Just some goofy stuff been chloroxed to death and then 2 more times for good measure. Think the dock at GI won’t sell to yankee foreigners what he sells to regular coonasses. I paid $3 for 20’s.
Pink shrimp are pre cooked probably with bleach. $12 a pound for ones you can see. And fine print sez thailand farm raised.
Blu – thanks for clearing that up and for being so sensitive to our little bayou feelings by not saying the “I” word!!!! Hey, you paid less than Steffi! You should be happy about that! 20’s is a good-sized swimp.
Great post. I’m loving the wonderfully fresh Louisiana wild caught shrimp during my tour of the bayous. Did you catch the article in today’s Courier? I posted it on my blog. We gotta remember that as our wetlands disappear so too will those beautiful shrimp and the livelihood of good bayou folks like Mr. Buddy and his wife.
Thanks for the article tip, Diane. Here’s the link:
Yeah, we had to buy them at the docks. Our regular source tore his net, so he came in basically empty. I don’t speak Cajun French, but I could tell by his tone, he was none too happy. The little catch he had, he sold for $2 a lb. When we return in a few weeks, I’ll have an extra ice chest.
Pink shrimp are sometimes called deep reds. They are usually IQF and are caught in deep ocean water. Not bad for an import. The ones I’ve eaten have a little larger head than white or brown shrimp.
Got an idea for a topic. Of course it would require work on your part. I think you need to hitch a ride with a “Shrimper” and give us a photo shoot (with captions of course) on just what is involved to get shrimp into our pots and skillets.
Way ahead of you on that one but they’re funny about taking “photogs” out. I’ve got a couple folks that I keep bugging, so one day they’ll give in!
To Cammy – that dish sounds awesome! Are you willing to share the recipe?
Steffi, that is a great idea. I’m sure BW would have no problem wrangling a ride on a shrimp boat!
I have yet to cook any of the shrimp…. If my dear sister would do a photo post on making shrimp stew, that’s what I would make first!
Be glad to share the recipe. Just not sure how to do it on here. Just type it in this area? Send it to BW and let her post? Let me know.
As for using my bright and shining face as an avatar, it would scare all the wild life away!! Actually, it is beet red right now from a day in the sun without a hat.
You can post it here, if you want.
If BW did a post on how to put your picture on your comment, would y’all do it? I’d like to see all your bright and smiling faces!
Heather, I’d love to see everyone’s smiling faces, too! Cristy has her own avatar. Christy, how did you do that????
Let’s see if this works. You can’t see my mouth, but I am smiling under there.
I see what looks like your glasses, Diane, but I can’t tell what that is over your face! What is that? LOL! Thanks for keeping me company today! And folks, she is loving her 2-cup French coffee press she recently won in a random.org drawing.
It’s the respirator I wear when gutting out homes. And oh yes, definitely enjoying the french press. Made it extra strong this morning. This getting up at a quarter to four thing is not what I call enjoyable. I used to do it in my previous life, but have become rather undisciplined since giving up my hour commute.
For those of you who don’t know yet, Diane Huhn is a bayou guest from Michigan who is down here volunteering about a year of her life to help people recover their homes and some semblance of normalcy post-hurricane devastation. I, for one, am blessed to know her! And I’m looking forward to getting to know her better.
Shrimp Salad Stuffed Avocados
Serves 8 as a small salad or 4 real hungry folks
1 cp cooked, cleaned shrimp (cut to 1″ pieces)
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 cp diced celery
1 or 2 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cp mayonnaise
Minced onion to your taste if you wish
Sprinkle the shrimp with half of the lemon juice. Then to the shrimp, add remaining ingredients except avocados. Mix well. Cut avocados in half, remove the seeds and brush with remaining lemon juice to prevent darkening. Fill avocados w/shrimp mixture, cover and chill before serving.
I love this and have added other ingredients such as a bit of garlic, chopped parsley, worcestershire sauce, cajun seasonings, etc. I also like to dice the avocados and fold into the mix and serve it on chopped lettuce. Hope you enjoy it.
Mmmm. Yum. Wonderful, Cammy! I see an adaptation making its way into the Camp Dularge recipe book!!!! Thanks so very very much! And thanks, LilSis, for asking!
ooooohh… that sounds really good!
Looks good, Cammy. Can’t wait to try it!