Please don't be mad, I just can't write about anything to do with the holidays today. I have taken about 100 pictures of my tiny coastal Christmas tree in my bedroom and nothing looks right! Pictures are blurry, lighting isn't right, it's just is not working. So I give up on a coastal holiday decorating post for today...
See, I am already wishing for next summer, and crabbing season with my family on the Kitsap Peninsula. Maybe it's because I miss my kids, maybe it's the dungeness crabs that I am craving?
Maybe it's because I am planning out our Seven Fishes dinner for Christmas Eve? Thinking about paella... or cioppino...
Last summer when we were up visiting our families in Seattle and Portland we had the best time taking out the crab pots in the "Gypsy Miss" dinghy on a stunningly gorgeous Puget Sound late July day. Check out the Cute boyfriend; getting ready to dump the crab pots in the bay!
(I just take the pictures, and let everyone else touch the crabs!)
Here's Tom and my brother Jeff, heading out to check our haul of dungeness in the crab pots!
It's imperative to throw back the non-keepers; girl crabs and crabs that are less than 6.25" have to go back in the sound. Rock crabs do not fall into the same category, but we throw back the non-keepers of those too.
Looks like we caught some crabby keepers!
Kristy is so brave! Here's one big guy before he goes in the pot for cooking....
And now for the cooking! Everybody gets a turn.
Boiling actual clean saltwater really is the best. Throw the crabs in the pot of boiling water, and then cook for 15 minutes. Flush with cold water rinse immediately. We use a garden hose in the backyard - much easier and less messy than in your kitchen.
(This is my dad's secret crab success, other crabbers may have different ideas)
Done. Ready for cleaning and eating - get out the crab crackers!
I have lived at the beach for most of my life, growing up crabbing, clamming, beachcombing, but had not realized that we had not taught Allison the finer arts of cleaning crab. Until today.
She was pretty darn funny, and took this job with all seriousness...
Kristy, giving Allison a few tips and lessons.
Now, for the hard (gross) part...
She eventually got the hang of it and between she and my mom, they cleaned our haul of crabs for the day!
(Geez, now she thinks she's Crab Queen.)
All in all, a pretty fabulous day. Salmon on the barbeque, courtesy of my dad and Tom (with a martini or two!) and tons of dungeness crab. A veritable Pacific Northwest feast.
All topped off with s'mores and a lovely beachfire....
Well, that was fun, now I had better get back to shipping and ordering for our customers at Caron's.
Sure was great though to relive our summer day!
Caron, I have to share this: my dad taught us a lot of things, such as how to clean crabs and fish. I remember watching him gut a fish on a rustic sink which he had set up on our bulkhead, throwing the guts into the water for natural predators to eat. Likewise, he has a quick method for cleaning crab: after they've been measured and found to be "keepers," while still on the dock, he chops them in half with a hatchet. Then he dips the halves into the Sound, pulling out the innards and again, leaving that for predators to come and have a free meal. One time,we had guests from Germany for dinner. The husband was a big, strapping sport fisherman and hunter. When my father tried to show him how to clean crabs this way, Michael went "green around the gills," and declined. We have smiled about that ever since! It's not for everyone. Thank you for sharing your memories!
Caron, I would so much rather live your glorious crabbing day vicariously than think about Christmas! This has been a gift, and made my day (an extravagant seafood lunch helped too)
I don't know how I missed this post but it's just delightful! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful family with us.
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