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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Oh Beautiful Swimmer

I must admit, I wasn’t thrilled about celebrating Crabmeat Day today. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against crabmeat. On the contrary, I have very fond memories of crabbing off the docks and bridges of my youth. For many years it was a Saturday night ritual during the Summer months. Each of us had are very own designated flashlights. My Father was in charge of the long net for scooping up the catch. We would head out to our favorite spot at the Fire Island Inlet, shine our lights in the dark water and wait for the crabs to surface like moths to a light. Easy peasy and oh so delectable:) It was fun too. My sister and I would keep track of how many we each caught. She usually won, lol…I sometimes went adrift watching the moon and the stars and everyone else:)

Oh the gleeful screeches you could hear from children and adults alike when one was spotted. The prize, the Atlantic Blue [claw] Crab!

Those were the days as they say. Although, I’m sure the tradition still exists for many families on Long Island, little did I know at the time that the Blue Crab’s scientific name, Callinectes sapidus, translates to “savory beautiful swimmer.” (Greek: Calli = beautiful, Nectes = swimmer) (Latin: sapidus = savory) It makes sense now because if you have ever been crabbing, boy oh boy, did they glide away at record speeds at the first swish of the net. We did learn the difference between the males and the females in the blue crab family because there were restrictions on what you were allowed to harvest. You see that picture up there, that’s a female blue crab. You can tell because the tips of her claws are bright red. (almost as red as they all will be once cooked:)

Oh Beautiful Swimmer! If you’ve never enjoyed linguini and crab sauce, I’m sorry to tell you, you’re missing one of the Atlantic’s best delicacies. Kiss up the sky, it’s that good!!! The crabs enliven the sauce with a succulent, pleasantly sweet taste of the salty ocean. Digging out those claws for the prize, nothing beats it! Have a napkin or two handy:) As a reward, linguini in crab sauce was our feast on Sundays. (I suppose you could try making it with canned crabmeat) And, my Father’s sauce, spectacular!!! Ah…

The King of Crabs

There couldn’t be more of a difference between harvesting the crabs of the Atlantic Ocean and the crabs of the Bering Sea. King Crab that is. I’ve never had King Crab linguini sauce but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t taste near as sweet as blue crab. However, just look at those claws!!!

The Red King Crab is one of the larger living crabs in the world. It can have a claw span of nearly 5 feet. Yes, those are the same crabs featured on The Discovery Channel’s program The Deadliest Catch. Marion is a huge, huge fan of The Deadliest Catch (she tells me this season’s premiere is March 29th) I kid you not. Don’t be too surprised, you’ll also find her perched in front of the TV on Monday nights. She wouldn’t dream of missing professional wrestling’s WWE Monday night wrestling. Don’t ask:)

Any way you crack it, crabs are so versatile. They can be steamed, boiled or made into crab cakes. They’re also great in soups (She-Crab comes to mind) and chowders. And, what would Crab Louie be minus its namesake. Naked, I tell ya! I know, I know, the Louis Dressing has something to do with it too:)

Isn’t that a cool Wakefield seafood booklet. It may be a bit outdated but you have to admit, just look at those pictures, lol…According to my blogging pal Kathy over at The Food Company Cookbooks, “Wakefield Seafood was founded in 1945 by Lowell Wakefield, a pioneer in the marketing of frozen Alaskan King Crab. The Wakefield's brand was very successful during the 1950s up until the early 1960s. In 1968 the company was sold to Hunt-Wesson.” Kathy is on hiatus from the blogging world but I have to tell you, you think I have cookbooks, Lordy, that girl has me beat!!! She shares many of them on her blog which is still online.

Now for some recipes, King Crab Meat Snug Harbor and King Crab Meat Newburg!

It seems to me we couldn’t dream of speaking of King Crabs without a share from an Alaskan Cookbook.

How ‘bout a Crab Boil.

Here’s the recipe.

Oh before I forget. The reason why I hesitated celebrating National Crabmeat Day is because I was thinking about all those yummy meatballs we had on this day last year for National Meatball Day! (the link is in the sidebar)

Resources
1. King Crab 101 - The Different Types
2. Crab Notes & Crab Q&A
3. A Guide to Crabs, Crabmeat, and Crab Legs

Note: First two images courtesy of wikipedia.

64 Nibbles:

sonia de macedo said...

Blah, I hate crabs and their meat lol. I'll get on that a little later because I just want to say when I think of Americana I imagine those 80's and 90's movies I grew up watching where families hung together by the lake fishing etc. I think that is amazing that y'all did that. Why it's amazing must sound so silly to you bahahaha! I guess I just got a glimpse into your childhood and loved the picture my brain painted. Back to crabs, I hate those buggers. I'm a little afraid of them too. In grade 3 we had a school excursion/outing (I don't know what you guys call them hehehe) to some rock pools at the beach. It was an awesome day and right at the end we had a competition, girls vs boys on who could catch the most crabs. The first one I found and reached for sliced through my middle finger. No bueno. Hate them ever since. I also don't eat seafood, so... ;o)

Sxx
www.daringcoco.com

Mae Travels said...

All those kinds of crab from so many seas sound delicious. I grew up in the dead center of the country, so I never tasted anything fresh from the ocean until I was an adult. Consequently your childhood memories are really enjoyable to share!
best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Nellie said...

All this sounds so good, Louise. Crabmeat was never part of my experiences when I was growing up, and it isn't commonly found - other than crab cakes - in restaurants around here. I've not cultivated the crab leg liking. - xo Nellie

Kitchen Riffs said...

I'm with you -- a bit too early in the year to celebrate crabs. But they're so good, I'll celebrate them any chance I get. I actually knew their translated to "beautiful swimmers" -- years ago I read a book of the same name, all about crabs (this is back in the early 80s, probably). Good read -- I should see if we still have that and reread it. Anyway, good stuff -- thanks.

Poppy Crocker said...

My only experience with blue or king crabs is seeing them at the aquarium. I am the odd adult who likes waving at the sea creatures as they swim by.

Margaret Ullrich said...

Hi, Louise!
This post brought back memories of growing up on Long Island. But my family went to Oyster Bay to gather clams. What fun we had!

Linda A. Thompson-Ditch said...

Fun post, Louise! Tell Marion that I love Deadliest Catch, too. (Does she know Captain Sig from the Northwestern is recovering from a heat attack? Saw it on Facebook.) I really enjoy all the fun celebration posts you create.

Lynn said...

Louise, I am so glad you are celebrating National Crabmeat Day, because who could pass up crabmeat for meatballs? Not I. I love all your old-timey pictures and recipes. I popped over to Kathy's site, too, because I just had to see for myself that there was someone out there with a bigger collection of recipe pamphlets and books than you :)

Jasline N. said...

I love eating crabs - they are best steamed but I also love them in gravies. Such a great read on your site about crabs!

Marjie said...

My father was a fly fisherman, so I learned to cast at about 7. But I have to say that I refused to fish with anything except corn kernels. Not for me to drown worms, and tied flies were to pretty to drown. Silly girl! We love crab hereabouts, and steamed is just fine for us, but we eat it sparingly because of that evil cholesterol *sigh* which ruins so many fun traditions. Great post, Louise; I enjoyed your crabbing memories (and I'd have been the dreamer with you, watching the sky instead of the water).

Karen Luvswesavory said...

Hi Louise,
I like crabs, ever steamed or stir-fry with chilli gravy but seldom cook this 'beautiful swimmer'at home cos kinda "troublesome" to handle them ...hee ..hee! Thanks for sharing the alaskan king crab boil recipe. Looks yummy!
Have a wonderful weekend :)

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

How did I not know it was Crabmeat Day? And I have so many delicious recipes for crabmeat too! Honestly, it is exhausting trying to keep up with these holidays. I nearly missed Meatball Day and am now gearing up for National Sauce Month. I think it's time I get a bit sauced myself. Great post, as always, Louise, and I marvel at your vintage recipe booklet collection.

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Louise, salmon and crabmeat are my all-time favorites, though I've never tasted a bluecrab before. Sounds like your childhood was magical crabbing with your sister.

Love vintage cookbooks, it's amazing how many you share here. Great recipes!!!!!

Dawn Yucuis said...

Hi Louise, I love this post. I have to tell you I have never eaten crab. Living in Minnesota, fresh sea food is so expensive. I love reading about when you were a kid and catching crabs with your family, so much fun.

Shirley Tay said...

Oh yes, Deadliest Catch is certainly one of my favourite TV series! I'm a huge fan of crabs, any kind, done anyway. I just had Sri Lankan Crab fried with Salted Egg-Yolk last night, a very popular dish in restaurants here in Singapore. Have you tried? Well, I've just posted a beauty soup. Can you guess what dish is it? xoxo

Kathy said...

Who knew there was a day dedicated to Crabmeat? You did, of course! Love this post. Growing up in NJ and living on LI for many years, we have spent many a summers evening crabbing. My grandkids live on the Shinnecock bay and love to go clamming. Love all your memories of growing up on Long Island.
Crab meat is always a hit in our house, whether it be in a bisque or a crab boil, or a dip. We are heading out to Long Island this week to visit our grandkids…maybe crab should be on the menu.
Truly enjoyed your post….have a great week, Louise!

~ Nee ~ said...

Hi Louise , how we love crabs here . You brought back memories of when I was growing up in New Orleans , what fun we had crabbing the fun part was when we dumped the in a hot pot of water ... live... they tried to crawl out and he hit them on the head with a wooded spoon . I think your Mach calendar is keen , nicely done .
Be back soon , miss you a bunch , thanks for the memories :) Nee

Barbara said...

Love your crab stories and photos, Louise! Lovely memories! And we love crabs...all kinds. Stone crabs, although really expensive, we splurge once in a while. My personal favorite though are soft shell crabs. I adore them!
Have a wonderful weekend, Louise!

Debbie said...

Ohhh Meatball Day was so much fun! I grew up in Washington State and we always vacationed on the coast and fresh crab was a tradition. I love it. But right now it's so sad as there is a ban on crabbing off the CA coast....I'm not sure of all the details, but the water is too warm and the crabs have a parasite or something? I think it's only a certain type of crab tho. I should have had all my facts straight before talking about it. sorry. ANYWAY, yay for crab day! Now I want a crab louie. Thanks Louise

Caroline Taylor said...

Interesting to read about the different crabs, I'm not a fan of crab though so I'll need to wait for another food day!

Tina said...

Crab cakes are a wonderful thing. I use a recipe from the Cheesecake Factory and they come out light and delicious. Love crab! Thanks for your nice comment on my site, Louise, I really appreciate you visiting :-)

Alida said...

I buy fresh crab from time to time from my fishmonger, it is a delicacy really. I love it with salad and crunchy bread. That red crab must be fab!! We have spider crabs over here sooo gorgeous with linguine.. gosh I might head to the fishmonger today...I really fancy it now!

Kari said...

I don't think I have ever had crab meat! I know it is a big thing in America though. Your top photo is beautiful :)

Debra Eliotseats said...

Crab is kind of a joke in our house because of the "all you can eat" crab night buffets at all the casinos! I just think it looks like a lot of work to eat crab legs. :)

Elisabeth Foodandthrift said...

Hi Louise, I just love each and every post of yours, and this one is another interesting and awesome post about the King Crabs. I have to agree with Debra that it's a lot of work to eat the crab legs, which I never buy, or order in a restaurant. As for the soft shell crabs that we have plenty of here in S. Florida, the reason I won't eat them because I see them running around on our beach in the sand...they creep me out running sideways! I also don't eat lobster either because they 'scream'...literally, when you throw them in boiling water, and when you cut them open, they have the nasty green messy guts that you have to clean out...yuccch! I am, otherwise a seafood lover...lover shrimp, clams, mussels, and of course fresh fish of any kind! Have a wonderful week, my dear friend! Hugs,

Catherine said...

Dear Louise, That first picture is such a familiar site!! I spent many an afternoon with my kids there. I also spent my summer evenings as a child much like you!with a flashlight crabbing with my dad. It really was good simple fun and great memories. My mom used the make the crab sauce and there really is nothing like it. As Bob Hope used to say, "thanks for the memories". xoxo Catherine

Liz Berg said...

We made crab dip last week---it was soooo good! Bill won't eat clams, but he likes crab, so I need to try crab linguine.

grace said...

i think crabs are so creepy to look at, but i won't say no to a crab cake! :)

I Wilkerson said...

What a great story about crabbing in your youth! I can't think of anything I'd much rather "forage" for than seafood! The blue crab is beautiful but I think I could eat it anyway (at least the males). Your recipes look delicious and I'd be happy to try any of them!

Pam Greer said...

I have never seen a blue crab! Those are gorgeous!!

Juliana Levine said...

I love crab, especially the very plump legs...there is a place not too far from us that has the best crab legs...as a matter of fact, every time we go there I bring home so much leftover...
I yet have to try to make the Alaskan King Crab Boil, one of these days...such a tasty looking dish!
Have a wonderful week Louise :)

~~louise~~ said...

You are so funny, Sonia, lol...Family fishing is still a very important fabric of the American landscape Sonia...Where I live in Pennsylvania, the first day of fishing is like a holiday. No school for the kids, stores put up signs that say "Gone Fishing" and many people take the day off from work!

I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience with crabs. They really do add an amazing flavor to sauce. You could always try the sauce after the crabs are removed, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

It's only since I've moved to PA that I can really appreciate the difference between buying fish right off the dock and the lack of fresh fish in the middle of the country Mae. I'm sure it has gotten better but, everyone should experience fresh fish at least once! I'm so glad you enjoyed my "story."

Pam said...

What a sweet memory to share and fun times those must have been. I've never eaten a blue crab... sad but true. King crab is my VERY favorite and I serve it to my family for special occasions. YUM!

~~louise~~ said...

Well made Crabcakes are awesome, Nellie!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Pennsylvania is NOT the crab capital of the world John so I'll be celebrating them in full when I get down to New York. I'm so glad you mentioned that book. I just may look into it. It sounds intriguing. Thanks for dropping by, John...

~~louise~~ said...

You are not alone, Poppy:)

~~louise~~ said...

Oh my Margaret, we went to the Oyster Bay Festival many times through the years. I'd love to go again!!!

~~louise~~ said...

I'm guessing Marion knows about Captain Sig, Linda. She keeps up on all the latest news about Deadliest Catch. No, she isn't on FB so perhaps I should mention it to her just in case.

I'm delighted you enjoyed your visit, Linda...Pop by any time:)

~~louise~~ said...

Not I either, Lynn, lol...And believe me I LOVE meatballs!!! Kathy sure does have a whole lotta cookbooks doesn't she. I miss her posts:)

~~louise~~ said...

So glad you enjoyed it, Jasline:)

~~louise~~ said...

Corn kernels, Marjie!!! That's a new one on me, lol...Yes, the cholesterol thing is very worrisome when it comes to so many Crustaceans. I kinda wish I would have enjoyed them more often in my youth:(

~~louise~~ said...

Chili Gravy? Now that sounds intriguing, Karen. Yes, crabs can go a bit wild sometimes. A good Crab Boil is amazing especially at the beach!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Pattie,
I've been trying to post the food days for the month on the calendar at the beginning of each month, Pattie. If you ever miss it, it's up there in the left hand corner. If you click it it will be larger and easier to read:)

I haven't posted for National Sauce Month in a while. I look forward to your post:) Now, go ahead and get sauced for both of us:)

~~louise~~ said...

I'm all aboard with Salmon too, Cheri...IMO blue crabs may be a tad sweeter but all of them are welcome in my book!!!

~~louise~~ said...

So glad you enjoyed it Dawn. It's too bad they haven't figured out how to get fresh fish to the middle of the country safely and inexpensively considering so many fish counters have fish from all over the world!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Lol, for some reason I didn't "see" you as a Deadliest Catch type of "gal" Shirley but Marion is a huge fan and that comes as quite a surprise to many, lol...Not only is that Beauty Soup of yours a keeper Shirley so is that Foie Gras Stuffed Chicken! I haven't tried either but that doesn't mean I wouldn't LOVE too:)

~~louise~~ said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, Kathy:) It was fun remembering the memories:) Shinnecock Bay is gorgeous this time of year, Kathy. I do hope you get to go clamming, albeit, it's a bir early but, it is an unusual weather cycle. I hope you get to enjoy as much seafood as you can while you're there, Kathy. It's one of the things I miss the most about Long Island...

~~louise~~ said...

You are too funny Nee. I'm glad you like the calendar. Can't wait for you to return!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Barbara...You know, I don't remember the last time I had Stone Crabs. I must make it my business to get down to Long Island, no matter what this Summer. Soft Shells are my very best favorite too Barbara. Heck, I might need to go to Maryland!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Meatball Day was FUN, Debbie. Too bad about that water mess over there. We had that on Long Island a while back. It was Brown Tide. It did soooo much damage. It has since recuperated thank goodness.

~~louise~~ said...

Not to worry, Caroline, almost everyday is a food day!!!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh my Tina, you must share that recipe one day!!!

~~louise~~ said...

If only I had a fishmonger to run to Alida, go for it!!!

~~louise~~ said...

If you ever have the opportunity, Kari, give it a try! (make sure you aren't allergic though:)

~~louise~~ said...

Oh Debbie, do I miss those all you can eat crab legs at the casino. It's been tooooooo loooooong!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Elisabeth:)
Well, I must say, you've made some pretty good points about the consumption of crabs and lobsters. For some reason the whole process doesn't make me squeamish but I understand why others may be:)

Thanks for popping by, Elisabeth...

~~louise~~ said...

Weren't they wonderful times, Catherine:)

~~louise~~ said...

Crab dip sounds good Liz! Bill will be pleasantly surprised, Liz. It's really yummy:)

~~louise~~ said...

Sounds good to me, Grace:)

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Inger. It was fun reminiscing:) Blue crabs are super duper special. I hope you get to try them...

~~louise~~ said...

They really are Pam:) Thanks for popping by...

~~louise~~ said...

You're so fortunate to be able to have crab readily available, Juliana. That's not the case where I am but thankfully, I have fond memories of delicious crab which holds me over a little, lol...The Alaskan King Crab Boil is bot only yummy, it's a wonderful experience to enjoy also...I hope you get to it one day:)

Dottie said...

Dear Louise,
I was just visiting Nee and she mentioned that it is Marion's Birthday...Please tell her "Happy Birthday" for me. I hope that she has a wonderful day..Great post by the way...
Hugs and love Dottie :) <3