The Trouble With Crabs « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowThe Trouble With Crabs

The Trouble With Crabs
Published on Sunday, July 24, 2011 by

The trouble with crabs is you have to kill them.  There is no pretty way about the matter, whether you steam them live or tear off the back for a more instant demise.  The trouble with crabs is you have to kill them.

This past Friday morning began like all other summer mornings.  I got up early and prepared myself for work.  After a long busy day, I came home and fed the animals, packed and loaded the car.  The moment I got in the car my mini vacation began.

My brother, his girls and my mother were a few hours ahead of us.  I only get to see my brother once a year, so these five beach house days have been much anticipated by all.

On the way down, my brother picked up a bushel of live blue crabs.  Saturday’s dinner was sure to be an absolute feast.  But with the 100 degree heat, the crabs would have to be cooked and refrigerated the night before.

Much discussion ensued.  “If we clean them outside then we will have to smell them all week.”  “Steaming them just means a slow death.  We really need to crack them.”  “I KNOW!  LET’S CLEAN THEM IN MOM’S NEWLY DECORATED BATHROOM!  THEN WE CAN SIMPLY CLEAN UP THE BATHROOM ONCE WE ARE DONE!”  (Maybe they didn’t say “newly decorated,” but that is what I heard!)

Oh sure, it sounded like a good idea.  In that sentence though, “Mom” meant ME.  And “my” beautiful newly refurbished bathroom.  If I knew then….

My boys were in charge of what we referred to as “the killin’.”  The bushel of crabs was brought in to the house.  During this process, crab juice trailed across the floor, over the carpet and in to the bathroom.  And no, it wasn’t me who brought in the crabs.

crabs on ice

blue crab
The next hour and a half involved two boys opening up crabs, cleaning out the insides and plopping them in to a tray.  When the tray overflowed, they screamed for me.  I dutifully ran downstairs, collected the tray and brought it up to the kitchen.  Many trips later, I was told the job was complete.

cleaning crabs
cleaned crabs
After “the killin” the boys were instructed to strip down, separate to two bathrooms for showers and hand the clothes to me for immediate washing.  When I peered in to my beautiful bathroom, the murder scene caught me in my tracks.

The lesson I learned in that very brief moment?  There is no physical way to gut crabs neatly in an enclosed space.  While my boys struggled with skin tears, pinches and putrid crabby innards, the inevitable happened.  Raw seafood went flying.  On to the toilet.  The inside and outside of both shower curtains.  On the newly pasted wallpaper.  On the ceiling.

And the icing on the cake?  A literal river of crab juice that flowed across the floor, around the corner and under the sink.

Whose FLIPPING IDEA was it to clean the crabs in my bathroom!?

With five hours of sleep under my belt, a full day at work and a two hour drive, I found myself scrubbing two bathrooms after midnight last night.  I had to scrub every-single-surface on every-single-thing, five times over.   Cleaning the carpets came next, followed by two loads of laundry and hand scrubbing the tile hallway on my hands and knees.

This, my friends, was the beginning of my vacation.

Would I rather have done all this than be home house cleaning?  OH YEA.

Today, the unswimmable 54 degree water filled with thousands of huge red jellyfish did not deter me from enjoying my first vacation day.  Neither did the tourons who tailgated us while honking  because my “learning to drive” 15 year old son was going 40 mph instead of 45 mph on a FOUR BLOCK STRETCH OF ROAD.  And they HAD to get to the Beer-Thru IMMEDIATELY to restock their supplies.  Today, I chose to enjoy every single minute I had with my extended family.

Can you guess what we ate for dinner tonight?

old bay seasoning

mom blog

  • Cleaning when you’re on vacation just isn’t the same as cleaning when you’re at home! Hope you enjoy your mini-vacation and spending time with your family!

  • How were the crabs? I love soft-shell crabs. I would highly recommend no more crab killings while your on vacation. Beside the crabs, it’s going to kill you, too, if you have to keep cleaning up crab crime scenes. Enjoy your vacation!

    • Lauren, I have since heard of an even better way to “take care of” the crabs… put them in the freezer a bit to slow them down, and then cook them… it sounds like the most humane way so far. Not that they have brains, but gosh, I can’t even kill an ant!

  • Poor crabs, but they are so very tasty.  I’ve not done them this way before and after reading this I’ll just get mine from the seafood second of Raley’s.  Just saying.  May not be as good, but I’m not going to do this.  I’d eat them though.

    Have a terrific mini vacation.

  • Ron

    What an excellently told story, Katherine!

    I could SEE all this happening!

    “Raw seafood went flying.  On to the toilet.  The inside and outside of both shower curtains.  On the newly pasted wallpaper.  On the ceiling.”


    OH. MY. GOD.!!!!!!

    Wow…I can’t believe for how hot it’s been, the ocean water was 54 degrees!!? Like you, I would have swam in it anyway!

    Glad to hear to had a great weekend, dear lady!

    • I totally second what Ron said. I could SEE this whole thing happening! Sorry you had to clean so much on your first day of vacation. But, I bet those crabs tasted DELICIOUS! 

      • Oh BOY were those crabs AMAZINGGGGG…… I had a cup of melted butter on one side and then a cup of vinegar and a pile of old bay in the other. Ummmm ok so maybe all that was insensitive considering your allergy status… just pretend it was white rice and bananas?

    • Honestly…. after FIVE DAYS, I found a bit of dead man’s fingers in the corner. (Crab “lungs.”) I am afraid of what I will find on our next trip… maybe a crab head in my bed? 😉

  • Yum. I love me some of them sea spiders.

  • and how to cook crab?

  • I can’t believe the crabs trashed your bathroom.  That’s why I boil lobsters.  Apparently if you put marjoram in the water, it makes it less painful.

    • I hadn’t heard that one! Someone told me today to put them in the freezer so they are VERY slow…. and then steam or boil them…. that way by the time they are waking up it is “done” – I think we will try that next. Not that I would do it….mind you! I’m a chicken!

  • Aww, what a terrible way to start your vacation but at least you had yummy crab for dinner the following night!

  • My mother in law cooked a lobster once.  She put it in a big pan with cold water and turned on the heat under it.  The lobster swam around a bit and she went out of the kitchen.  She came back in and the lobster was not in the pan of boiling water.  It had climbed up her kitchen curtains and clung to the top of the curtain rod.  She got a ladder and pulled it off and put it in a huge tupperwear container with water in it.  For the next year, she fed it brine shrimp and then he finally died of natural causes.  Not a bad life for hm I guess.

    I’ve never been able to kill anything like that and eat it.  But I’ll eat it if somebody else does the dirty work.  I somehow “lost” you and I’m so glad I found you again!  I’ve missed you and your adventures, Katherine!

    • I found you a short while ago… had to go to a few blogs to find you!!!!

      Your lobster story a: made me feel guilty for eating those little crabs and b: made me feel SO BAD for the lobster who crawled up the curtains! Wow what a funny and amazing story!!!! I can’t believe he lived that long… dare I ask… what happened to him after he, ummm passed?

  • prokat

    My mother in law is the worst cook all over the universe….

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