Ahhh. The blue crab. Callinectes sapidus. From the Greek calli = beautiful, nectes = swimmer, and the Latin sapidus = savory.
Now is the season to eat blue crabs, because they are huge. They're fattening themselves up
for the winter, when they bury inthe silt, mud, and sand of their environs.
We had stopped at Billy's Seafood, on Colington Road, and Mr. Hawthorne asked for a dozen crabs. The going price now is a dozen crabs for $14. We got 15 crabs for $14. What can I say? They like us.
Kinda hard to fit these buggers in the pot. Mr. Hawthorne put about an inch of water in the pot and steamed these crabs for about 18 minutes. But these are huge crabs and there are a lot of them. Normally, we steam them in half the time.
Crabs are messy business, so I spread out some grocery bags.
Mr. Hawthorne's dip in the bowl, back right,is Balsamic vinegar, malt vinegar, and Old Bay. Me? I'm a butter/lemon kinda gal.
After pulling out the back fin, work on each leg, snapping off from the next leg at the body, and getting each chamber of meat.
Check out the size of this one. For you amateurs out there, here's a step by step on how to pick a crab, thanks to Mr. Hawthorne.
Or could could just pay $21 + a pound for somebody else to do it. But then you'd miss out on all the fun.