Friday, December 4, 2009

Man against crab: A saga.

MARK’S ARTICLE -- December 4, 2009
“Crab Man”

Yesterday evening after supper I ended up cleaning two pair of pliers, two box-cutters and a hammer. We had one serious meal. I don’t care to duplicate the experience any time soon.

It was Kay’s fault. That morning she called me from work to tell me that Kroger had crab legs on sale for a penny short of five dollars a pound. That meant something to her. The news was lost on me, though.

Kay went on to tell me about the time she bought a pound of crab legs and had a feast. I said, “Was I born yet?” That’s what I say when I don’t remember stuff that happened.

Kay told me that she did it when I was out of town the last time. I asked her why she never told me. After all, it’s weird. We’d never done the crab leg thing before. She said that she just likes to do wild things when I’m out of town. That was comforting as all get out.

I told her that I don’t know how to cook crab legs. I don’t. She said you’re supposed to steam ‘em. Suggested I get two pounds of ‘em while they were still on sale.

I ended up getting a few ounces over three pounds. I seriously doubted I’d ever get crab legs again, so wanted to get my fill. Always thinking.

Don’t know if you’ve ever steamed crab legs. They’re a rather unwieldy entree. Gangly is what they are. Takes a massive contraption to steam those buddies. I first thought of boiling ‘em. Everything I read mentioned that they needed to be steamed, not boiled.

Why is that? You can boil a lobster, boil a shrimp and boil and egg, but you steam a crab. One thing I read said to keep ‘em at least two inches above the water. That’s one finicky crustacean, you ask me.

By the time Kay got in I had a small pot of cooked rice and a pan of stir-fried veggies on the stove. A wash tub of steamed crab legs took up most of the table. I used every pot in the house. Glad no one was filming the spectacle.

Kay came to the table with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver. I went to the toolbox and grabbed box cutters, channel locks and a hammer. Mealtime.

Do you peel till you get a whole pile of crab, or just eat as you go? I did some of both. Oh, the horror. I sent crab juice flyin’ all over the place. Kay was daintier, but still worked up a sweat. When the fog of crab settled, the table looked like a herd of otters had been amongst us. Herd of something.

And, like I said, the cleanup was massive. Don’t know if you’re aware, but you have to disassemble box cutters to completely de-crab ‘em. The hammer was no trouble. The pliers, just awkward.

I ended up mopping part of the floor, spot-cleaning the curtains and lighting three scented candles. Heck of a meal. The stuff of legend.

It’ll never happen again. Wouldn’t have happened this time had it not been for Kroger. Can’t believe they did that. Of course, part of the blame is mine for going out of town. She likes to do “wild things” she says. That’s just scary.



  1. Those are some beautiful legs... if you like crabs. Personally, I don't do anything that requires that much effort. I even make my son do the mudbugs for me... or else I won't eat them. (and I can definitely live without them) He makes me a nice little pile, of just the meat. It's the least he could do, if that's the meal option. Thank goodness for sides! Sure glad you had to take care of that clean-up! That's way too much effort, too. It's ok, you can call me lazy. Food just doesn't mean THAT much, to me. Great picture!

  2. Cora Beth is right, that is a good picture, makes me want to like crab. I've tasted it before but don't remember any excitement about it, cause I haven't eaten 'em sense. I remember liking to watch Michael eat weird things, like crab legs and oysters and stuffed mushrooms.