A couple of weeks ago I ventured out on a Saturday afternoon to go to my first real crab boil! I’ve attended many a crawfish boil in my day, with the occasional crab thrown in, but never an exclusively crab event. Let me tell you, de-shelling a crab requires some SERIOUS skill, but I’ll get into what I see as an epic battle with the crustaceans in a bit. I was super excited because this amazing restaurant in Petworth called Alfie’s was doing an all-you-can-eat Maryland crab extravaganza for $35, plus specials on their tasty fruit crushes! So in the spirit of adventure some friends (who have ample crab boil experience) and I headed over for some solidly food and beverage oriented fun, one of my favorite kinds of fun to be honest.
We get there, settle into our table, and the crabs roll out on a huge lunch tray with corn on the cob (my fave). I picked one up and turned it over in my hands trying to figure out where I could possibly begin this process. I quickly realized this would be nothing like peeling a crawfish OR like eating king crab legs and panicked.
After a thorough step-by-step how-to from my skilled crab demolishing friend next to me, I realized the de-shelling is methodical to some extent. A little pop on the bottom of the crab, a boop or two on the top, and huzzah crab meat! And then the legs! Once I started using the crab hammer (gavel? crab destroyer?) on those it was smooth sailing. Despite being told exactly how to do it and enjoying the process overall, I still managed to only eat roughly three crabs to my male counterparts twelve or some other ridiculous number and my hands were cut to pieces. Battle wounds! Who won this test of strength and courage? Most definitely the crabs.
It was a lot of work for what sure seemed like a teensy bit of crab meat, but trying something new is always worth a little discomfort! To break it down, I lost this battle due to my own foolish mistakes:
- Wearing a blindingly brightly colored Lily Pulitzer Dress. No regrets though, Lily is for every occasion and I’ve always got a stain remover pen on me like a goob!
- Acting like a lesser species and not using all the tools available to me for attacking my hard-shelled foe from the beginning.
- Andddd not wearing gloves on my delicate hands (I know that literally no one does this but my experience would have been significantly improved with gloves).
This all being said, I am not a total princess and really enjoy getting into the nitty-gritty, but these little buggers threw me for a loop. Plus, don’t cry for me, my vodka filled grapefruit crushes during this process did a LOT to quiet my ego over being bested by a tray of crabbies!
*Alfie’s is wonderful, go there or else!*