Friday, September 2, 2011

A Crabby Tale

Today I would like to share an adventure with you.

Something new and fun that I had never done before.

Something called crabbing. 

It starts like this.

First, you drive to a cute, scenic little town nestled against a fishy-smelling bay. You acquire the proper permits and purchase some bait. You steal a bite of your husband's Snickers bar. Then you put your boat on the water and venture into the bay.

Then you search for the perfect spot to catch crab. I'm not really sure how a spot is determined perfect, other than trying a bunch of spots out and seeing if you catch crab or not. Which is done as follows:

Take your crab ring and bait it. We used dead fish and (dead, obviously) chicken. The smellier the better, as my brother-in-law says. I know, we're actually interested in eating something that's attracted to things like this. Gross. Yet so delicious. 

Next, you lower your ring (which is now a basket) into the water. If it helps to make a fierce, manly face while you do this, then, by all means, go for it.

Once you've lowered the ring all the way, the little buoy attached to the rope will remind you where it is. Go about your business for fifteen minutes or so. We had five other rings to drop elsewhere. But if you don't have anything else to do, be creative. Play charades. Buy auto insurance. Take a million pictures of nothing (like yours truly).

When the fifteen minutes or so are over, go ahead and yank that sucker back up to the surface. You can go slowly pulling the rope up, but once it gets heavy and the basket is close, go faster so the basket doesn't tip and dump the crabs out.

If you were successful, your basket will be full of creepy, long-legged little aliens scuttling about trying to pinch your face off.

Crab! Ahoy!

Sorry, just wanted to use that word.

Next, you must sort the crabs. Gloves are recommended. You're not allowed to keep females, so they must be thrown back. How do you tell the difference, you ask? Well, female crabs tend toward wearing bows and high heels, whereas the male crabs will more likely have little bowler hats on their heads.

If that doesn't help, look underneath. The female's abdomen, designed to hold her eggs for several months, is wider and squishier than the male's.

You must also sort the crabs by size. If the crab is too small, it gets thrown back to sea.

Goodbye little crab! Live like there's no tomorrow! Remember, it's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away!


By the way, don't feel bad if you don't look as stylish as I do during your crabbing adventure. I don't hold other people to my standards of excellence.

Once you've procured a substantial load of unhappy male crabs, you're ready to pack up and head home.

And then the fun begins.

Boil the crabs until they turn red and look like this:

Look at the steam coming off those suckers.

I'm pretty sure my brother-in-law added some other stuff to the boiling water to season the meat. I just don't remember what.

Next, you clean the crabs and remove the meat from the shells. I didn't clean any because, well, it looked unpleasant. And I had to get Baby Brown Eyes to bed. I half-hoped when I rejoined the group that all the work would be done and a platter of delicious crab dishes would be set out on the table for me.

No such luck. 

Turns out removing the meat from those spindly little crab legs takes an awful long time. Especially when you catch twenty-five of them. We were cutting and cracking and pulling out meat for what seemed like hours.

At least we had fun doing it.

Finally it was time to eat.

This crab sautee is the only dish I managed to get a picture of. Hey, we were hungry. But we also made crab cakes and decadent crab macaroni and cheese.

It was an adventure that left me with a very full belly.

The best kind.

Happy Crabbing,
The Brown-Eyed Girl

1 comment:

Kolena locksa said...

You crack me up! I loled for a good 5 minutes after reading this. I loved the comment about using the 15 minutes to buy insurance, and that the female crabs wear bows and high heels!