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!