Only in Maryland is it socially acceptable to throw some rolled brown paper or newspaper on a table, tape a plastic bag to the side of the table, and throw down a whole mess of shellfish and call it a party. At least that's how the crab feasts I've been to have played out. Monday night was another Maryland tradition: get a bunch of people together, line up some tables, throw down crabs, have a few beers, and have a fire pit going. Okay, the fire pit part is the cooler weather fall add on. Substitute sunblock and/or bug spray for summer crab feasts.
I am usually able to convince people that I'm "from the area" because I don't have a strong NY accent, but every summer and fall I fear deportation at any moment.
Why, you may ask?
I don't do crab feasts. I really hate eating anything off the bone and picking crab meat has got to be one of my least favorite food activities. There are too many rules: don't eat the green goo, stay away from the yellow mustard, don't waste any time, etc.
Honestly, the first time I went to a crab feast with the hubs I was scared out of my mind. I'd never picked a crab before and had no idea what I was doing. The hubs eats like a military person and I was slowing him down because he kept having to show me how to pick the crab. Finally, we came to a plan where he picked the crab and I stuck to the legs.
It also didn't help matters that I had a massive paper cut at the time and holy crap did that burn when I got Old Bay in the cut. I think my hands smelled like Old Bay for days afterwards even though I went all doctor mode and washed my hands every thirty seconds to get the smell off of them.
Come on! Who in their right mind sees that thing above and says, "let's eat it?!?!?"
Now, if someone picks the crab meat and puts it into a crab cake format then I'm totally game. I love me some crab cakes.
Anyone else intimidated by crab picking? Anyone have any tips for me?