“C” Is For Crabs!!!!

What kind of Marylander would I be if I didn’t have a deep rooted love for crabs?  And love crabs we do!  Andy is on the boat on the Chesapeake Bay most weekends from April through September crabbing his heart out. 

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Yes….I said September.  Crabs seem to be even more plentiful in the early fall.  And this weekend we got to enjoy some of the last crabs of the season. 

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For any crab rookies out there, blue crabs are cooked alive.  The best way is to steam them in a large pot with beer and apple cider vinegar.  The seasoning is a mixture of Old Bay and salt. 

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Even as a little girl, I picked my fair share of crabs during the summers.  We’d sit out on our porch around the newspaper filled picnic table and pick them until we were either full or just sick of it!  Crabs are delicious, but if you’re hungry, make sure you have something else to snack on in between.  Our favorites are french fries or corn on the cob. 

I know crab season is virtually over, but I thought I’d give a little tutorial on how to pick a crab.  Something to book mark for next summer!

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Start by pulling off each leg one by one.  Try to snap the legs as close to the base or knuckles of the crab as possible.  If you get lucky, you’ll score a huge hunk of meat at the end. 

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Once all of the legs are removed, flip the crab over on it’s back and pull down the “apron” or the tab.  It’s kind of like opening a can of beer…kind of….which reminds me…true Eastern shore people MUST have a nice frosty beer with their crabs.  Coors Lite is preferred by this family! 

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As you pull down the apron you can pull the top shell of the crab off to open it up.

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Inside you’ll find lots of yellow mustard and gills and sometimes stringy/squiggly intestines.  Don’t be grossed out.  These things are merely there to filter the toxins/pollutants/etc that the crab runs across.  Cut them out.  I normally use my knife to clear off the gills and then gather all of the mustard.  This is referred to as “cleaning the crab”.   Here’s a picture of the finished product. 

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It’s okay if a little mustard is left.  I promise it won’t hurt you and some people like the taste.  Once you’ve gotten to this point, you’re almost done.  You’ll notice two hemispheres of the crab.  Put your thumb in the center and break open each hemisphere to the outside. 

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Look at all of the wonderful crab meat!  Now is the fun part.  Pick out the meat and enjoy.  The back portion of the crab is where the lump meat comes from.  Most of the time, this can be dug out in nice big chunks.  The rest you have to pick through avoiding cartilage. 

Once we pick the meat, we love to dip them in some apple cider vinegar and then more Old Bay. 

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This may seem hard, but honestly even a 4 year old can do it!

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Then again, he’s got it in his blood! 

We’re very thankful for Andy for providing the family with crabs all summer long.  We love you Daddy!!!!!

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8 Comments

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8 responses to ““C” Is For Crabs!!!!

  1. True story: I’ve lived in Maryland almost my entire life and never even crabs. Well, I’ve had crabmeat but never the full crab experience. Blame it on being more of a Washingtonian than a Marylander, I guess. 😉

  2. This was COOOOOOL.

    I’m a So Cal girl (boo) but what a fun adventure.

    we go “crabbing” at “Joe’s Crab Shack”. sigh.

    but I get my crab and my husband has to get the shell off because I always get poked by something sharp, start bleeding, start whining and wish I had just gone to some pricy place for crab they already prep for you (sissy am I)

    gosh I bet your boys have a blast with this!
    do you make crab cakes???????
    I do absolutely love all shell fish!

    thanks for sharing

  3. Old bay is totally a requirement! How fun to have real fresh seafood! You and your kids are adorable!

  4. Oh gosh, I cannot tell you how much I love fresh crab…sitting here trying to figure out how long it would take me to drive to Maryland. Seriously, I think I might be able to make it in time for a late dinner. 😉

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