The Detective’s Daughter – Crab Town



Kim in Baltimore packing for the beach.


Summer is officially here. I know many people believe that once Independence Day rolls around, summer is half over. That’s not true, its only just begun. Summer officially comes at the solstice which this year was June 21st. We still have over sixty days left in this season.

And what do we do here in Baltimore when the humidity is high and the blacktop is scorching? Well, hon, we sit in our air conditioned kitchens with an ice-cold can of Natty Boh listening to the O’s game and picking crabs. 0713191411

We roll out the brown paper or news paper, bring out the crab mallets and knives and get to work. It takes a good hour or so to pick through the steamed crabs and I’m not ashamed to say I can eat nearly a dozen on my own.  A good steamed crab dinner is not complete without ears of Silver Queen corn and slices of red-ripe Maryland tomatoes. And, of course, beer.  You need something to wash down all that Old Bay seasoning.0713191551a

When I was a child, Nana would get up early and steam the crabs in a big black pot on the stove. I would hide upstairs because I couldn’t stand to hear the clicking of their claws against the metal. To this day I cannot be around when crabs are steamed. I’m like Clarice in Silence of the Lambs.  My sister was so upset about the poor crabs [which were kept iced down in our bathtub] she would “rescue” a few and hide them in our sandbox in the yard. This was probably a worse fate for them. They were definitely easy to find after a day or two in the sun!

FullSizeRender (23)When the crabs were done, Nana would take  bed sheets and clip them from the clothesline to the fence to create a tent. There we would sit for our early dinner of crabs, corn and tomatoes. It was the only time I ever saw my parents drink beer. Pop-Pop would have the Oriole game on and, despite the heat, it was an enjoyable afternoon.  Nana always made crab soup with the left-overs. “Never cook crab soup during a storm, it will spoil,” she always said. I’m not sure if this is true or not because I wouldn’t dare disobey her, even now.

crab salad.

This past week we were lucky enough to have steamed crabs three times. My husband and a friend went crabbing on the Eastern Shore and, fortunately for me, the crabs were steamed there as well. I’ve spent most of my time making crab salad, crab cakes, crab soup, crab dip and crab omelettes. Everything taste better with crab.

Here’s to a happy, crabby summer!


Dear reader, Do you enjoy seafood? What is your favorite summer meal?

27 Thoughts

  1. I love seafood! I don’t think I have a favorite summer meal but from my childhood it would have been fried chicken and corn on the cob. And why do I have a sudden craving for crab?

  2. I am not a big seafood eater but I do love crab! And my favorite summer meal is anything grilled with fresh corn on the cob and tomatoes.

  3. I do like seafood, although I have not yet mastered crab. And I’m not a huge lobster fan either. Anything that takes so much work to eat better taste amazing.

    For me, when the temps climb and the humidity is high, nothing is better than a cold slice of watermelon. In fact, I have a whole bowl of slices in the fridge right now. If I have to make dinner, I prefer a grilled chicken salad, but with both kids out of the house for dinner so often, we’ve been finding new and exciting places to dine out.

  4. Mmm, I love fresh seafood, almost any kind, including oysters. If I lived on the coast I’d eat it every day, especially crabs. One of the best family meals we ever had was at the Delaware shore when our kids were young, with a table full of crabs and coleslaw.

    But here in Ohio, BLT’s are our favorite summer meal, when the local tomatoes are ripe and freely available. With fresh local corn, of course!

  5. I love seafood. I like lobster but don’t have it very often because of the price.

  6. I am mostly a pescatarian, preferring fish to all other animal proteins. My all time favorite thing to eat is salmon!

  7. I’m not a fan of seafood. In fact, the only one in my family who is is my sister in law.

    While I eat it year round, I especially crave ice cream in the summer. It has become my summer food.

  8. I love fresh seafood. If I wasn’t in landlocked Minnesota I would eat it everyday.
    My favorite summer dish is BLT sandwich made with my FIL’s fresh tomatoes of the vine and of course have to have his fresh corn on the cob with it.

  9. Hello! I am reading all of your wonderful responses, but it is not letting me respond to them. Ugh! I’m at the beach and will respond to you each individually as soon as I’m able. Sorry!

  10. I love seafood but don’t have the patience to pick the crab meat. I just harvested my first tomato. I have bacon, spinach, and tomato sandwiches since baby spinach keeps longer than lettuce. Open faced sandwiches with tomato, bacon, and Velveeta cheese is delicious.

  11. I love just about all seafood. I miss being able to get lobster rolls in Pennsylvania, but we live close enough to Maryland that crab is plentiful. I’ve gotten lazy with age so I’m not much into whole lobsters or crabs anymore. Now, salmon I can eat several times a week. And, yes, corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes are a must.

  12. I love crab but not the shore so do t have them often Have a few great memories with the brown paper and picking crab meat. We try for fresh lobster at least once a summer had it for 4th of July. Love fresh corn and tomatoes. Grew up eating them from our garden.BLT a must.

  13. Kim, as a New Englander who moved to Maryland, crabs and I have a challenging relationship. Love the ceremony of it. Love Old Bay, and use it up here. But picking crabs is tough! It’s a skill I never got good at. Friends would have to double their efforts and five me meat so I wouldn’t starve.
    Now give me a lobster, and I can pick that clean.

Comments are closed.