Monday, August 23, 2010

Here Craby Craby Craby

As most of you guys determined from my weekend preview post, I was off on a crab catching adventure. Yes, those were crab cakes pictured and yes, the crabbing adventures took place back at the homeland: Cape Cod, MA. Keeping childhood traditions alive is very important to my sister and I. Nothing makes me happier than when Adam embraces such traditions (not included: hiking, skiing, 4-wheel drive beaching. Camping is still TBD.)
Since he discovered such an affection for crabbing, this year we planned a weekend for the 2nd annual trip and have been looking forward to it all summer. Blue crab season in New England is late August. We headed to "the spot" bright and early on Saturday after a filling breakfast spread compliments of my Mom. A fresh fruit platter, English muffins with almond butter and beach plum jelly and egg, cheese and garden fresh herb omlettes.
Over the years we've come to love a specific location. It's a secluded bridge over a marsh down a dirt road through the forest. Sorry for being rather vague. I can't give away the local secrets to just anyone! I can tell you that Cape Cod is full of picturesque locations such as this, where we learned at a young age, tourists could be avoided with ease. Techniques for catching crabs vary. In my family we keep it simple. A piece of driftwood tied with string acts as the line and raw chicken drumsticks serve as bait. A large net (the longer the better) and a tall bucket or two are also necessary equipment. The tide dictates the best time of day to catch them, so we did our research and were after it bright and early, 9am. The basic rule of thumb is that crabs are most active during a moving tide. Since the tides are always changing, I would recommend checking high and low tide times in the area before making a day of it. For example if we showed up here around 12 noon at high slack tide, we most certainly would have had a different experience (caught a lot less than we did). It is really not the end of the world if you have to wait for the changing tide, as long as you are patient and prepared to spend time out in nature with loved ones.
My Mom joined us again this year, as well as her boyfriend John and his son Aaron.

We each had corner of the bridge covered.
"Keepers" have to be at least 5 inches in length. There are a lot of babies out there that are much easier to catch. They will practically walk into your net. Take care to throw them back into their natural habitat. The keepers should be kept in a dry bucket, meaning free of water so they do not suffocate. The goal is to keep them alive until you cook them. Adding seaweed and other debris from the marsh into the bucket keeps them at least somewhat hydrated without suffocating them. If looking in this bucket makes you feel a little sad, I won't disagree with you. The other part of me remembers that catching your own food is a form of local and sustainable eating. From sea to table, this really is the circle of life in its purest form. Bringing childhood traditions back to life in adulthood has its perks. Around 11 am, it was tea time. I pretty much drink Twisted Tea once a year. This year I enjoyed a 24 oz can of the Backyard Batch. After that I dug into the cooler full of Bud Light and Bud Light Lime. My mom packed us lunch and we prepared our own wraps, tailgate style. Grilled marinated chicken, garden tomatoes, lettuce, and tabouli salad on a pita wrap. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, if you couldn't tell from my 801 scenery shots.
Back at home I took a few more glamor shots before John steamed all these bad boys up.
Guesses for how many crabs we caught? I'll give you a hint, last year we caught 24 and we far and away surpassed that number this year.
Up next: Crab cakes, tequila shots and polish horseshoe games.

19 comments:

  1. Drumsticks as bait?? Do you only do that with crabs? Or does it work with fish too?? Brilliant!!

    Happy Monday Dear! xo

    p.s. I think we should both get a pair of those heels ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tray and I were anxiously awaiting this post....and paused the bachelor pad to read it!! Looking forward to the next one too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jen - Pretty sure it only works with crabs. Crabs have a field day with raw poultry for some reason. P.S. I'd walk down the street with you in those pumps any day.

    Leah that is a very sweet comment. I hope you and Tray were pleased with the final product! We did too much to fit it in one post!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've never been crabbing before and I love your detailed instructions and photos. I'm like you and love when Bret gets involved with my family traditions. It looks like you had a wonderful time!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This looks like a fantastically adventurous and tasty weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What beautiful pics! I couldn't catch and eat, but I totally get your reasoning - great explanation! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I will make it to Cape Cod one of these days! It looks gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That looks like a lot of fun and a really cool tradition!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, looks like a lot of fun! beautiful weather too :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. What an adventure to catch them! I love BL Limes :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow! How have I never done this before??? Such an awesome idea! Also, I had no idea Twisted Tea came in cans! Such pretty photos :)

    Sues

    ReplyDelete
  12. you know so much about crabbing! looooooove it! I want to go sometime :) your mom did a great job with food: breakfast omelettes look amazing and such a fresh packed lunch! yes yes coming w/ soon. what is the backyard tea about!?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ok, they look really yummy and I love eating them, as long as I don't have to cook them. I remember watching my grandmother put one in boiling water and the poor thing looked SO hot in there... and I just felt SO sorry for it... that I had to eat all of it, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Forgot to mention that the breakfast looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That looks like so much fun! I'm guessing you caught around 60 crabs?

    I'm going to the Cape this weekend... I might have to pry some fun spots out of you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. If you have extra crabs- I'll take some : )
    My vote is for 48.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Next time we visit my husband's aunt & uncle in Cape Cod we will have to go crabbing, looks like a lot of fun!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Such awesome pictures!! It looks like you had a blast - I'm jealous of all the fresh crab! I don't think I've ever had it before?

    Can I be invited on your trip next year?! :)

    ReplyDelete