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CRAB BOILING 101

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CRAB BOILING 101

Cindy Maddera

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We had planned a camping trip for this weekend, but by Thursday the weather forecast for Friday and Saturday was all doom and gloom. So we cancelled the trip and then, wouldn't you know, it didn't rain at all until Sunday. Of course. But that's OK, because as it turns out, Michael and I seem to be pretty good at salvaging a weekend. He only grumbled a teeny bit when I made him get up early to go to the Farmers' Market with me on Saturday morning. It helped that I bribed him with You Say Tomato first. There was also the promise of buying some sort of live shellfish to cook up for our dinner that evening. Michael likes to cook. In fact, I'm the first girl he's every dated that can cook. He's used to doing all the cooking. I'm used to doing all the cooking and the clean up. Basically, we've been learning to dance. He worked in the restaurant industry and picked up his cooking tricks there. I was schooled in my mother's kitchen. He stirs the things I walk away from. I wash things as I go and will often be washing a kitchen tool that he just set down but still planned to use. It's like a tango, but I think we're getting better. At least the tango we're doing looks less awkward and is more fluid. When it came to cooking up the live blue crabs we bought on Saturday, I was more sous chef. Those little buggers were feisty and snappy. They made quick jerky movements that made me jumpy. I was more than happy to stand back and let him handle them.

This was were I was going to insert some video of Michael tossing crabs into boiling water, but I accidentally deleted the whole thing. I'm still learning how to use that app, but I can tell you how we cooked up everything. I didn't have a big enough pot to cook it all in and I think this worked out in our favor. We boiled new potatoes, corn and white button mushrooms in water with lemons. Potatoes went in first and cooked for about ten minutes before tossing the other things in. While that was going, we had another pot of boiling water. We added lemons and then crabs. The crabs cooked for about ten minutes. Next, in a GIANT bowl, we mixed a Hawaiian BBQ seasoning mix (we got it from the spice guy at the Farmers' Market) with melted butter. This part was done in batches. We strained the veggies and then tossed them in the bowl of seasoning. Then we repeated that process with the crabs. We dumped it all out on a newspaper lined table outside and then picked apart delicious crab meat.

Dinner

It was the best meal I've had in ages. I think part of this had something to do with time. Time was not even a consideration. For the next two hours we sat outside in the shade, with a cool breeze, a good drink and great food. We laughed and slung crab bits everywhere. We made a mess. I don't have actual seafood mallets, so we used hammers which I thought was hilarious. At one point, I said "You know you're really comfortable with someone when you can eat a dinner like this together".

Dinner aftermath

It was a most pleasant evening. All that was missing was smores.