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It’s been decades since we last steamed blue crabs. Last weekend we finally had the opportunity to put half a bushel in the pot and have our own personal crab feast.

I grew up looking forward to those rare celebrations of the “beautiful swimmers” as our Bay blue crabs are called. Simply prepared. Steamed in either vinegar or beer. Covered in Old Bay Seasoning.

Put the newspaper on the table, grab a mallet and a knife and get down to business. We have been enjoying the eastern shore crab houses the past few years. Not making the mess in the kitchen steaming them ourselves.

Now we have a neighbor who crabs every week and sells what he catches. We bought half a bushel of mixed size “sooks”, which are mature female crabs.

Cost us less than a pound of lump crabmeat costs these days. We ate a few dozen right from the pot, and then started picking crab meat to make soup and crab cakes,

The crab cakes were worth the time to pick all that backfin.

I made these in my cast iron skillet using browned butter to get them nice, crispy and dark.

We have until the end of the month to get more if we want to do this again. It’s been far too long and besides the little mess in the kitchen, they aren’t that hard to do.

Makes me remember growing up in crab country.

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

2 responses »

  1. Ahh…what a blessing!!! I love crab, shrimp, lobster – I love to do a beer boil with Old Bay seasoning, and veggies, and seafood (sigh – not local, not in season, all the ingredients – sigh….). This land locked personage who struggles to have a treat now and then in such forms, while defying EVERY TENANT of her ‘shop local, shop ethically, shop direct, eat in season” etc., soul is DROOLING over your meal – –

    but not hard enough to leave my beloved, Rocky Mountain/High Plains region, for the few times a year, I can eat, locally, responsibly and support a neighbor through food dollars, the crab – :D.

    I just buy the bulk of all the ‘hard to crack/hard to get the meat out” stuff bags sold at discount – when season comes in and I can afford – –

    Sigh – it’s such a STRETCH in the rationalizations I make to have seafood once in awhile – LOL

    I tend to cook with whole chickens or, if purchasing from local butcher, pieces parts, thighs – every one seems to be enamored of boneless BIG breasts and wings – – but thighs? Ah! They make the BEST chicken dishes – more flavor! LOL

    Thanks for sharing! and helping me remind myself why I need to wait for awhile before I can have crab again – for all the reasons stated above – but HAPPY for YOU!


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