Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Something Smells Fishy Around Here

This is a flashback post from October 2008. This was the very first time we were gifted live crab. We’ve done this a whole lot of ‘em since then but we still do it just like this…

Well maybe not fishy, but definitely , crabby. Last night, a couple in our church gave us a gift of 5 live, large dungeness crab. It was quite a treat and we were all excited, but had no idea of how to go about cooking live crabs.

So, what do you do when you don't know what to do? You call your parents. My parents go crabbing and I knew they would know exactly what I needed to do.

Warning! The remainder of this post is not for the squeamish or faint of heart.

They did know exactly what I needed to do and I wasn't all that excited about doing it. But you can't let $50 worth of crab meat go to waste, so...

Crab tastes better if you kill it before you cook it. And then you don't have to hear it "scream" when you drop it into boiling water, either. Therefore, the first thing we had to do was the killing.

Andy helped me by wielding the rubber mallet while I held the knife. You cut the crab in half while it is on its back.

Then we pulled off the shell and cleaned out all the undesirable parts and put the legs in the bucket of cold water. This made for an interesting lesson on crab anatomy during school today. We learned that we were right, it was the heart.

After everything is cleaned and removed, into the boiling salt water they go for 15 minutes.

Followed by an ice-water bath.

Then the picking begins. With four of us working, it went pretty quickly. Much thanks to Andy for his ingenious idea of using our fondue forks for removing the meat. It worked great!

In order to freeze the crab, it gets frozen into another saltwater bath.
You can also freeze the legs whole after they are cooked and cooled. Then you just boil or stem them to reheat.

It was a lot of work, but the crab cocktails at supper were well worth the effort.

But we now know why my parents do all of their crab cooking out of doors. It's really difficult to get rid of that "down by the docks" smell! It was like being at the beach, but not in a good
way. :o)
Now we do the whole messy ordeal out on our deck. It is usually dark and cold but being able to hose the whole thing down and not deal with the smell is worth it!

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