A Tale from the Shrewsbury River - Crabbing Anyone?🦀
Themes - Gracious and Good, Level Up
Food/Tech Tie In – Cake/Fritter Making, Dredge, Sautéing
Homage – The Shrewsbury River
Back in February of 2022, as I wrote about the journey to the shrimp cake, the crab cake got a little air time as well. It was all linked to good friends, first jobs and doing it up big time. This time...its all about the crab. Crabbing to be exact.
Yes I said it my friends, crabbing. Your gurl, who you know is not the out doors-ie type, shuns extreme heat, or cold for that matter, would prefer to be at a spa than roughing it anywhere, grew up...crabbing. In this BLOG, Imma share when I started, when I stopped and why I stopped albeit it didnt stop me from creating the recipe for “A NICE CRAB CAKE", HereInMyKitchen😉
In the summertime on the jersey shore, along with the ocean, there were ample banks and rivers with bridges over them, where it was an everyday occurence to see folks set up with lines and coolers in search of the next catch, some peace if they were alone, or hang time if they were with others.
In our family, it was not unusual on a Saturday to pack up nets, a few wire hangers, twine of some sort, throw them in the back of the pickup (yes I said pickup) and head to the Shrewsbury River. A stop at a small hut, shed really, to buy a small container of kellys used for bait, was the beginning of a day spent in peddle pushes, PF flyers and a string tied around my eight year old finger. The adults were in lawn chairs, some dropped traps in the water, others might have a rod for ancillary fishing while waiting for the crabs to take the bait, and through it all they kept one eye on us, the kids, and the other on everyone’s line looking for that bob or taught-ness which meant, there was a hungry river critter on it, aka dinner.
The start and end time were driven by the tide chart, hence it could be a few hours out there in the jersey sun, which was fine, cause there were sandwiches, sodas, dixie cup ice creams and regional beer for the adults. Might even be a radio playing (nothing hip cause the adults were in charge of the dial) but it was all good as it was a day out of a non air conditioned house, on the river with family, crabbing.
This went for years. My peddle pushers, evolved into shorts, then hot pants...sort of, and my hair went from pony tails, to a bun, to wearing it out after setting it on rollers the night before. All was well...until my early teens. That’s when Curtis...last name shall remain withheld cause y’all are some googling folks...walk down by the river, shouted hello to my parents, cousins and all that were around, and then to me. Hot, sweaty, hair jacked, with the funk of the river on me as I was pulling my crab out of the water and into the net...this was not the look that I wanted attached to being noticed by Curtis!. Nope, this was not the time or space to be seen by the boy I had a crush on for...forever. I mean, he was tall, fine, played sports...profound embarrassment was all that going on in that moment.
And that is the when and the why, of my crabbing days being a wrap. NEVAH again, was I going to be spotted at the river, hanging with the fam, in the murk of the water, dragging a string with my dinner on it. Now I still enjoyed the feast that followed when others returned to the house with the crabs. We could get the boil going, made sure all the sides were on point (read my BLOG about Potato Salad🤣) , but to this day, I have yet to throw a line with kellys on a bent hanger, a cage, a rod, or anything else into a body of water other than myself, and even that is a rarity.
That said, I will through some crabmeat, sauteed diced veggies and aromatics, into a bowl and make A Nice Crab Cake, cause don’t get it twisted, while the memory of my crabbing days may have ended my personal efforts at garnering the main ingredient fresh from the water, it did not impact my love for the taste of the crustacean goodness of crabs.
From HereInMyKitchen to yours...your welcome🦀
I hope as you are learning a little about me and being mildly entertained with the stories from my life, you'll check out the recipe for A NICE CRAB CAKE as well as others👩🏽🍳