TO PICK HARD CRABS
crabs from a reputable seafood stand, market or restaurant.
The crabs should be 5-6 inches long. Protect your eating
area by covering with several layers of old newspaper.
You should have a knife, crab mallet, and drinks for
all! Pull off all of the claws and legs (eat exposed
meat from the ends), and set them aside. Now the fun
the crab to the underside, inserting your thumb under
the apron (the apron looks like a little pull-tab on
his underbelly), lift up and peel off the shell.
the crab in both hands and stick your thumbs between
the top and bottom shells, at the bottom where the apron
used to be, and pull them apart. Clean out the gooey,
yellow gunk (fat), also called "mustard" (it
can be eaten, if desired).
a knife to scrape off the "devil", "deadman's
fingers" (the cellulose-like gills), spongy lungs.
DO NOT EAT!!!! Yuk!!!! Just dump it on the table and
the cleaned crab and snap in half and then in half again.
He'll pop easily right down the middle. The picture
to the left shows some 'new kid on the block' using
kitchen shears for this, but just use both hands. You'll
see crab meat peeking out of the sides of what looks
like little tubes of membrane. Pick out all of the lump
crab meat and eat as you go, leaving only the shell.
on a 'Pickin' and a grinnin' it doesn't get any better
than this! Don't give up now, this is the best part
of the entire process. Be determined and get all the
meat!! Now you can start on the claws you set aside
earlier. Hold the upper half of the claw flat, place
the knife-edge in the middle and strike with the mallet.
Break open the claw, using the knife to scoop the meat
out! Take the legs and bend them in half until they
pop, then suck the meat out. The legs and claws are
excellent for making soup!!!!
butter (in case you don't care for vinegar)
(put in small individual bowls for ease of use)
Bay Seasoning (it's a must)
eating the crabs outside make sure you have a cooler
full of ice cold beverages on hand.
crabs may be well seasoned, so you want to have plenty
of chilled drinks available.
sure you have a good supply of paper towels. Tear
them off before you start and stack them. A bucket
of water for hand rinsing or a garden hose will come
in very handy if you eating outside.
ease of clean-up: Place buckets or trash cans in strategic
locations around the table.
you've finished eating, roll up the newspaper you
placed on the tables before you started and toss away.
you don't want to 'stink up' the neighborhood, place
your newspaper bundles filled with crab debris in
a plastic garbage bag and close with ties.
crabs are available from May until October.
article was from the Chesapeake Bay Cooking web site
which specialised in shellfish and seafood recipes as
well as the famous Maryland Stuffed Ham recipes. (The
web site no longer exists)