It’s here. The clock just struck 2016 and crawfish are making their way into markets and pots all around for the beginning of a season that looks to be promising.
To what do we owe this sweet news? The answer is the warmer, wetter weather. Sure, crawfish in December/January aren’t unheard of, but reports of medium- and large-sized mudbugs at this point in the season have already put last year’s crop to shame.
Warmer temperatures and the recent record-breaking rainfall have given our backpedaling friends more of a chance to come out of the burrows and stretch their legs, so to speak, which promotes growth for healthier and larger crawfish. This, in turn, increases the survival rate, which increases production, which drives down prices.
Mudbugs at the Loop is already singing the praises of an early crop on social media, as are the folks at DIP Seafood Mudbugs. The Seafood House (see this issue’s review) began serving them in late November. I personally never have boiled any until Mardi Gras, but all that is about to change.
I remember last summer, when I had a full tank of propane, two bags of Zatarain’s Pro Boil and a strong desire to pinch some tails, I called every seafood market in this city only to find I was a day late. I shorted myself one last batch. In a huff, I threw away the corn. I tossed the sausage. I shot the potatoes from a potato cannon. But I kept that Pro Boil. It’s been waiting for the right pot. This may be the week.
Mobile county’s premier sausage-maker enters the venison game
Our favorite sausage gang from Chickasaw is getting into the deer processing business. After much badgering and many requests from customers, Hall’s Sausage made the decision to give the people what they want.
This past Saturday, they made the announcement via Facebook and posted a list of prices the next day. They are doing everything, from deboning meat to burgers, from bone-in steaks to bacon-wrapped backstrap, but the real magic is in the smoked sausage.
They have venison red hots plus cajun-style sausage, jalapeño, pepper jack cheese and my favorite, green onion! Bag a buck and I will make a sizable investment with you on some of that stuff. It’s a shame I don’t have time to hunt. Really, it’s a shame I can’t get up at 4 a.m. and sit in a tree in the cold.
Give them a call at 251-457-3321.
IHOP celebrates the new year with AYCE pancakes
In an effort to thwart New Year’s resolutions and increase the number of first-quarter guilt-ridden gym memberships, the International House of Pancakes has brought back one of its most celebrated promotions.
Participating IHOPs are hooking up lovers of what they do best by offering all-you-can-eat pancakes. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can test your mettle from now until Feb. 14 at participating IHOP restaurants nationwide. The rules are simple. Order a combo plate of eggs, golden hash browns and your choice of breakfast meat with either a stack of five or a short stack of two buttermilk pancakes. When you finish your initial order of pancakes, you may order subsequent short stacks to your heart’s content.
Feel free to sweeten the deal even further by adding strawberries, blueberries, cinnamon apples or peaches for a single additional cost.
“Since the moment we opened 57 years ago, our guests have been able to get the perfect breakfast any time of day,” Kirk Thompson, vice president of marketing, International House of Pancakes LLC, said. “And now with the return of all-you-can-eat pancakes, one of our most beloved traditions, it’s even easier for our guests and fellow breakfastarians to get their fill of our warm, delicious buttermilk pancakes morning, noon and night through Feb. 14 — and what better time to end this promotion than Valentine’s Day, when breakfastarians can celebrate their love of IHOP!”
Obviously the promotion is “dine-in” only. I have to admit those are good pancakes.
Rouse’s promotes tasty lifestyle with in-store cooking demos
In the short time they have been here, I have indeed become a fan of Rouse’s supermarkets. I frequent these places when I have a special need or some time to kill and favor their seafood departments, wine selection and locally made products. I also love the chance to buy in bulk. But another unsung way these guys have brightened our community is with their cooking classes and demonstrations.
Rouse’s has its own traveling Chef Nino who tailors the topic for each location he visits, and he stays on the go. The next class in our area is Friday, Jan. 8, at the Gulf Shores store, where he will be teaching snowbird cooking classes. Jan. 9 you’ll find him teaching more classes at the Spanish Fort location before he heads off to Louisiana for a spell.
Don’t worry, he’ll be back Jan. 15 in Gulf Shores and Jan. 16 at the Theodore location. Call your store of choice for more information and times or see the schedule on the Rouse’s website at www.shop.rouses.com.
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