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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pass the hot butter, raise a glass...



This year's crab season has already netted over 12,000 pounds of the crustaceans so far.  Last year's entire catch was 13,000 pounds. The meat is excellent, and the animals are good sized. Even with a couple of big storms that destroy traps, this harvest appears to be outstanding. Though the season lasts until June, most of the catch occurrs in December and January.

 The local economy will pick up, and it will have a domino effect.  Tourists will eat at the local eateries, sleep at the local motels, and frequent gas stations and  art galleries.  Fresh crab is one reason for driving to the coast and spend a weekend at the beach, regardless of the weather.

Crab is quickly boiled in salted water spiced with peppercorns, bay leaves, cayenne pepper and other seasonings. It is served on newspapers or paper towels, where it is cracked open and pried with special tools. Side dishes include hot melted butter, potato salad, cole slaw, and beer.  It takes patience to crack and remove the meat from the legs and body of the crustaceans.  Cartilage must be cracked and peeled off, carefully separating the chambers that contain the succulent meat. Many people are worried about making a mess. No need. You'll have fun getting your hands messy, and feeding all of your senses.

Any left-overs can be used in chowders, crab cakes, salad toppings, even tacoes and baked pasta.  My family enjoys chioppino, a fish stew with tomatoes and a variety of shell fish, including crab, enjoyed with a generous amount of crusty bread to soak up the juices. Our favorite beer for this occasion is Fat Tire. Sometimes, we'll  have a King Estate Pinot Grigio, a Willamette Valley Oregon wine as good as the best of California's Napa Valley.  Just not as expensive.

When you visit coastal towns, do partake of the local catch. You'll never have fresher fare, and you'll help the local economy, encouraging artisans and small producers to continue living in small towns.


Out of the way places teach us about the interconnectivity of all human endeavors.

62 comments:

potsoc said...

The early bird gets the early worm goes the saying. What does the early blogger get?
Fish and sea food eaten fresh are particularly tasty whatever they are eaten or seasoned with.
Unfortunately Longueuil is far from the coast.

becky at abbeystyle said...

I SO love the glimpses of your waterside life! Beauty and the Rustic. Well rooted in this wondrous world...wonderful writing too. :)

Snowbrush said...

If it comes from the sea, and it's edible, then it's got my name on it. I haven't eaten meat or fowl since 1983, but I went back to seafood in '87.

sheila said...

My first time here at your blog! Now I'm hungry. I love crab and haven't been able to enjoy any for a year or so. One of our goals this summer is to take a road trip to the east coast. There I will visit the local eateries and get me some crab!

IF our budget allows us to even go. *sigh* This is a wonderfully written post. Sounds like you know how to manifest also with the the way you describe the economy, etc. Very nice!

Brian Miller said...

yum...i love crab...and visiting local when we go to the coast...man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

hope your holidays were amazing!

the walking man said...

Now there lay a reason to get up and go to lunch. fresh crab...oh Yes.

ellen abbott said...

I love living in my new small home town. There is a seafood shop here and they have their own boat so the fish and shrimp is very fresh. We're not too far from the coast, about an hour.

When we were kids we would go crabbing with a piece of string, a chicken neck and a net. I spent most weekends and all my summers on the coast from about 12 on when my parents bought a summer home on the end of Galveston Island.

Eva Gallant said...

It all sounds yummy to me!

Beth said...

You just made me crave crab. I wonder if the crab on the east coast is as good as it sounds on the west coast. One day, I hope to find out.

jinksy said...

I'd love to be able to get fresh crab - you've made my taste buds envious!

Lyn said...

What you say is so true! Eating local, supporting the local farmers, fishermen, and businesses will help preserve a way of life and breathe precious life into the quaint, unique little towns that really define the Americas. Now that you have stimulated my appetite for crab, pass the wine and butter (in that order) - please!

Renee said...

That is so true that we should try things that are from the places we visit.

Love Renee xoxo

Enchanted Oak said...

Here I am this morning, looking for a crab cake breakfast....
Oh, my.

Eleonora said...

OK now I want crab.
Delightful read, as always Maestra.

Hope your holidays were relaxing and fun
Lola xx

Gran said...

Sounds very yummy! And Fat Tire is an excellent beer.

Helen said...

Dear Rosaria,
You have highlighted my favorites crab ~ and Fat Tire beer. My son in Georgia sends me a case of Amity (from the Willamette Valley) wine every year for Christmas. I highly recommend both reds and whites.
We had a fresh crab dip prior to our Christmas dinner that was beyond delicious. Cheers and bottoms up to you!

Monkey Man said...

With your description, I can smell the crab cooking. Part of being at the Oregon coasst.

Matawheeze said...

I suppose it is just me but the signs on the wall, grouping seashells along with smoked fish, crab, snapper, and salmon, somehow makes the shells seem as if they are considered edibles. I prefer my seafood a bit less crunchy!

King Estate Winery said...

Thanks for including us in your blog post. It was a good read. I love to pair our Oregon Pinot Gris with fresh crab and butter sauce. Definitely one of my favorite combinations.

Take care,

Sasha
King Estate Winery

marc aurel said...

You make me want to come out there so much

Z said...

I was on holiday in Portugal last month, on the south coast, and I ate delicious local fish every day. I grew up in a fishing port - local speciality kippers (split and smoked herrings) - sadly, the Lowestoft fishing fleet is almost all gone now because of strict quotas.

Lori ann said...

Oh, I'm with you. That place looks delicious even without going in. I love the handpainted signs. Enjoy!

janis said...

Oh Yummy! I want some East Coast Crab! Yes, please pass the butter! My glass is raised :)
Hope you have had a lovely holiday so far! Sorry I haven't been commenting. I do try to read up & stay current with your wonderful writings. Love to you with the coming new year!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, what a fabulously informative post!!! Wish I could help your local economy...I'm allergic to shellfish, unfortunately...But I loved your post...and enjoy it all vicariously through your extraordinary writing!! Happy New Year, dear friend!!! Janine XO

Pat said...

That sounds delicious. We do support our local economy by eating out as often as we can afford - one of our favourite occupations.

Sarah Lulu said...

Those old signs are lovely.

I have had crab this season ..but it's not as readily available where I live.

Janna Qualman said...

It sounds absolutely delicious, and so inviting, too. Your post makes me wish I were a local.

Cormac Brown said...

"Crab?" Now you're talking!

Say, I've been meaning to ask you for the longest time, just how do you get so many photos with the sun out. I mean, the pictures look like they are in Oregon, but somehow, you miss the rain.
; )

ds said...

Oh, the little joys of "crab pounding" are without number! This post has me all a-drool!
Mr. L-S would also second your opinion of Oregon's pinot noirs. Luscious!

lakeviewer said...

I want to answer Cormac's question here: how do I get so many pictures in sunny settings. Isn't Oregon always cloudy and rainy?

Answer: We get lots of rain, and lots of sun too, six months of each. I tend to be outside with a camera when it's sunny.

I'll try to catch our rain too.

lakeviewer said...

Thanks for visiting.
See you on New Year's Day, rain or shine.

Our Christmas weather: sunny, high fifty, no wind. People spilled outdoors during our holiday open house. Lucky us.

Eternally Distracted said...

I am not even a fan of crab but your descriptions are mouth-watering!

The Things We Carried said...

I have not cooked it. But you have made it sound sooo easy!

Carol@ Writers Porch/ Book House said...

We LOVE our Gulf Crabs too! It's a good life isn't it? xoxo

Dave King said...

You have brought back the sight, taste and smell of the little seaside towns and villages. Great. A good antidote to the season's over-indulgence. Happy New Year.

Bogey said...

It sounds positively messy but fun. The only thing that threw me was the word, "leftovers". Never heard of them! That scene though, reminded of the many scenes we used to see while vacationing in Maine and watching the tourists wolfing down tons of Lobster. The Seagulls enjoyed it too!

Nancy said...

We took your excellent advice last week for our anniversary at Cannon Beach. We had crab for every meal - and it was wonderful. We'll also have a crab feed on Wednesday with in-laws. We're happy to help the fishermen out with their catch!

Renee said...

I love you dear friend.

xoxox

Hilary said...

Oh how that evoked a drool. Yum!

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I would make some crab cakes with those leftovers--always a crowd favorite.

Dimple said...

I have driven along Oregon's coast a few times, it is beautiful. And the seafood is definitely fresh!
Thanks for visiting and the kind comment!

willow said...

That's super news! Hope you and yours are enjoying the holidays, Rosaria. ~xx

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Have a wonderful 2010, Rosaria, and may we all stay connected in the best way possible! xx

Marguerite said...

The crab sounds fabulous! And the sides and beer sound great, too. Have a few for me! Happy New Year!

cheshire wife said...

You are so right. Fresh food is the best!

Cloudia said...

Aloha, Friend!


Comfort Spiral

Yolanda said...

Oddly enough I dropped by your blog yesterday. I love Port Orford. I live in McMinnville where we got 6 inches of snow today.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Suddenly starved. I love crab and I have infinite patience to pick out the best pieces. How lucky you are to be so near to such a delicacy. Fresh fish. Nothing like it. Dip a piece in a lot of butter and eat it for me.

Lisa said...

I'm hungry too, and this makes me want to by the ocean. Nice post.

Berowne said...

Thanks for having me on your blog list. Happy new year!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I love me some crab meat. I am so good at getting that meat out, I should have my on show...lol I have never undersood people that can't do it, or think it is too much trouble. They don't know what they are missing.

Renee said...

Sweet Rosaria your words are a balm for my soul and I appreciate them.

Love Renee xoxo

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

I visited relatives in Maryland, USA years ago on a vacation. They took me along the coast for crab. You are right about it being messy! But I loved it. The dish came with little wooden hammers ... at first I thought I was meant to kill the damn things, but no, these were tools to get into the flesh.

Your post, along with the photo brought back memories. Thank you :)x

Journaling Woman said...

I love this photo and my mouth is watering.

Sarah Laurence said...

That’s a lot of crab! It sounds like your crabs are like our lobsters, only different seasons (and seasonings!) I agree that locally caught seafood is the best.

Terri Tiffany said...

I didn't even realize they caught crabs out there?? We were invited tomorrow for dinner and crab legs--I have never eaten one but my husband can't wait!

The Things We Carried said...

Checking in :)

NitWit1 said...

I do love crab, especially crab legs. If I am ever there I most certainly will partake of the local cuisine!

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Oy, now I want crab for breakfast. I would love to visit the Northwest and partake of the seafood bounty. I have not been up there in 30 years...

Woman in a Window said...

I look forward to going to the coast one day and partaking. You make it seem a sensual thing. I can't wait.

Rosaria, all the best in the New Year to you and your family.

much love,
erin

Ribbon said...

unfortunately for me I'm allergic to shellfish... but fortunate for others as they get to eat more :)

best wishes for the year ahead...
love Ribbon x

Reya Mellicker said...

I remember many holiday season crab feasts when I lived in San Francisco and before that when I lived in Portland. YUM!!

Happiest 2010 to you, Rosaria!!