Greg Young empties a basket of just-boiled crawfish at Baton Rouge's Tony's Seafood, where he's worked for 25 years, Thursday, January 18, 2018. Co-owner Bill Pizzolato, background right with manager Blaine Pizzolato, said crawfish being cooked Thursday were actually harvested Monday, before the bitter cold froze some ponds and made crawfish less active. He was hoping higher temperatures and sunshine would increase the available supply, which he estimated at only about one third of the amount available at this same time last year.

The headlines have brought their usual freight of anxiety this month -- the familiar fears over war, natural disasters, poisonous politics near and far. But in any given news cycle, it’s comforting to have something more pleasant to worry about, whether it’s an agonizing loss in a football game or — in Louisiana — the enduring question of food.

Recent Louisiana cold not enough to kill crawfish ahead of season, but...

So amid the dreary dispatches about deadlock in Washington and fiscal cliffs closer to home, we welcomed a front-page story this week about the state of this year’s crawfish season.

Experts predict that recent cold weather will delay the peak harvest, but there’s hope for a plentiful supply, which is welcome as Lent approaches.That's when the devout who go meatless on Fridays often turn to seafood. It’s not much of a sacrifice, as anyone who lives here knows. This is probably one of the few places where Christians gain weight during Lent. God bless, and bring on the mudbugs.