Tips for Arranging a Crayfish Party
Reserve 8–10 crayfish per person. Boil the crayfish well before your party, and let them cool completely. Stack them on a big dish, preferably with a foot, immediately before serving. Decorate with fresh dill umbels.
Serve toasted bread, butter and chopped dill with the crayfish. You can make a crayfish sandwich by buttering your toast, sprinkling chopped dill on it and finally adding abundantly with crayfish meat on top.
Make sure in advance that there is no one amongst your guests who cannot eat crayfish or other crustaceans. Instead, serve him or her something else that requires a bit of poking at and fiddling with, e.g. a plate full of tapas made of Finnish raw materials like deep-fried vendace or salmon with different kinds of dip sauce.
Prepare the whole main course in advance, or, if it is not possible, prepare it to the point where it only needs warming up during the party. Should you have reserved cirka ten crayfish per person serve a salty pastry with a green sallad as the main course. Should there be less crayfish, prepare a heartier main course, e.g. a hotpot cooked in oven or a roast.
A crayfish party means slurp, spatter and splatter. So, it is wise to cover the table with a tablecloth that you do not mind getting stains on. You can also put a place mat under the plate. Provide every guest with a bip and a generous stack of paper napkins.
Place setting includes plate, cutlery (for the main course) and glasses, and – the most important tool – the crayfish knife, which is a short, sharp, sturdy knife with a hole in it. The hole is on the blade, and you use it to break the top of a pincer off.
A finger bowl filled with water freshened with lemon and garnished with black currant leaves is essential for each guest: you need to rinse your fingers every once in a while.
The crayfish table is dominated by a green colour complemented with red. In addition to dill umbels, wild flowers and rowan twigs are traditional decorations on the crayfish table. Also live candles and lanterns are integral embellishments at a crayfish party.
Drinking songs enliven the party. Therefore, deal out song books with drinking songs (snapsvisor) to your guests or hand out copies with the lyrics of a few songs printed on them.
When the time comes to go to the table, the host or hostess should inform the guests about how many crayfish there are per person. If you have novices among your guests, it is polite to inititiate him or her into the secrets of eating cayfish.