Thursday, June 19, 2008

Rock Lobster

On Tuesday my dad and C brought home two blue claw crabs from the town landing. Unusually big ones for this time of year, except that one had no claws and the other had only one claw. Technically, I guess that would make them blue claw-less crabs. Do crabs regenerate claws like starfish do arms? I wonder. With or without claws, I didn't mind since crab meat is delicious, much better than lobster.
Anyway, I was charged with the task of cooking these bad boys up - and they were boys, I checked. Even though my mother cooked a fair share of crabs in her day, I felt more like my grandmother at that moment. Cooking a crab is no easy feat. Even a crab with only one claw puts up a mean fight. I had to switch from the regular tongs that I use for taking corn on the cob out of the put, to the long-handled grill tongs. I summoned up the nerves of steal my grandmother must have had in order to lop heads off of chickens, grabbed up my local meal, and put it in the pot. I wondering how many times my grandfather and returned home, the bottom of his skiff filled with crabs for my grandmother to dispatch of. Those must have been some good dinners.
Even though they seem every bit as ornery as their reputations suggests, I still felt guilty about cooking them. No one deserves to be boiled alive, even a hostile crustation. I pictured myself sometime in the future at the gates of heaven where I would be met, not by Saint Peter, but by a very large crab holding a pair of equally large tongs. "You wanna see hot?" he'll say in a voice that sounds not unlike Jack Nicholson's.
After the crabs were cooked I had to pick out the meat which - a labor intensive task. Am I missing something here? Is there an easier way? I did get to employ Flossie's method of extracting meat from the legs by flattening them with a rolling pin.
C seemed put out the next morning when he found out that in order to take out the meat, I had to crack open the crab bodies. Guess he thought he was going to have his crabs and eat them too.

song: Rock Lobster • artist: B-52s

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