Blue Crab from the Barge

I have always loved eating crabs. I remember sitting in a restaurant as a 7-year-old downing all-you-can-eat dungeness crab legs to a fatigued waitress’ surprise. My Aunt Rocki and Uncle Joe make the most delicious crabs too, and I’ve spent many hours battling through cuts burning with Old Bay just to dig out one more morsel of meat. Crab legs were also a delicious New Year’s Day tradition at my grandma’s house. For years after moving away from home, I was crab deprived. For years, I failed to get fresh crabs from the Maine Avenue Fish Market in DC. I will never repeat my mistake.

The fish market is my crab mecca. I was so excited to see their mounds of live blue crabs that I asked a crab to pinch me to check if I was dreaming. I ordered 2 dozen of the biggest crabs they had, and the fisherman down on the floating barge loaded me up. The crabs started off in a peaceful and serene state, but they came clicking alive when the fisherman reached his gloved hand into their pile. Across the parking lot, the crabs were steamed with Old Bay while I waited. Joy!

We perused the other offerings. Tons of fish. The biggest shrimp I’d ever seen.

And more fish.

At long last, the crabs were done. The ride home was an exercise in self control, and getting to dig into the warm crabs was heavenly. Unfortunately, Rocki and Joe weren’t around to clean the crabs for me, so I had to deal with that mess on my own. But it was worth it.

Cleaned crabs freeze pretty well, and any leftovers are absolutely meant for spaghetti and crabs. Just warm the crab legs in some pasta sauce, cook linguini, and combine. It’s a messy meal, but someone’s got to eat it. And that someone is me!

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Blue Crab from the Barge — 2 Comments

  1. When I was a kid, we used to tie a piece if chicken to twine and lower it into the water, then wait for the crabs to come. We caught bucketsfull of them. Yum.

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