Canning and Preserving · Crab



Callinectes sapidus.

Isn’t it gorgeous?

Bill (the Hunter, the Great Provider, Farmer of the Bay and Gardener of the Back Yard) has been doing a bunch of crabbing lately.  We’re eating our fill and then packing the remaining meat in crab stock and freezing it. 


I’m looking forward to winter, when we’ll thaw one of those packages and make something yummy with locally caught crab meat…stuffed mushrooms, maybe.  Stuffed flounder.  Cheese and Crabmeat Fondue.  Crab Rangoon.  Who knows what else.

The crab in the first picture was one of five Bill caught one day last week.  The next day he went back and brought the kids along to earn their keep.  While they crab, they fish for skipjacks, or baby bluefish, one of our favorite late summer treats.  The skipjacks double as bait when necessary, otherwise they’ve been using raw chicken legs.

Here are some pictures I took when they got home:


Alex has become quite the fillet-er of fish.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures from the side so you could actually see what he’s doing.  Sorry.  Next time.  Or the time after that.


Action shot!

It’s Bill rushing a crab into the pot on the stove. 

Blue crabs do not go gently into that good night. 

Actually, once you’ve met a blue crab, you can see why the term “crabby” was coined.  They’re pretty violent.  They pinch (Bill keeps saying they bite and I keep correcting him.  It’s one of those little differences of opinion that will accompany us into a nursing home one day.), and they pinch to keep.  They will lose a claw rather than let go.  Really.  Kind of like holiday shoppers at big name toy stores…


I think Julia is pointing out the MOST crabby, claw-clacking crab in the sink.

Here he is:


He’s lost one claw already, and he was waving the other around menacingly any time Bill came near him with the tongs.




And then there was this guy:


So helpful.  “Here, humans, here’s the drain thingy for your sink.  All this seaweed could really clog up your drain!”


Helpful or not, into the pot with that one, too.

And here they are, fresh from the pot:




And then we feasted.  Couldn’t take pictures – too messy.

Oh, and lest you think I was just sitting around watching soaps and eating bon-bons…


I was canning clams and clam stock! 

I’ve never done it before, but I’ve been wanting to give it a shot, just to see how the clams survive the long pressure canning process (70 minutes for pint jars!).  We’re planning to open one soon and check it out, and I’ll let you know when we do. 

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