While “life” has gotten in the way of those regularly scheduled Family Food Fights, we’re still a family that loves to eat together. And, even if we’re not competing, you can bet your bottom dollar we eat well. Welcome to Saturday’s crab boil at my son and Julie’s house.
My sister and brother-in-law had just returned to Florida from a 41-day cross country road trip that included Canada and a week’s cruise in Alaska. They had stories and pictures to share and we were a willing and welcoming audience.
Jim was in charge of the protein and I made the sides. He was leaning in a different direction when we last spoke but, at the last minute, made the choice to go with the crabs. (Yay!) Since the sides were already planned/semi-done, we didn’t go the traditional route with corn and potatoes in the boil mix. Not that we ever do anything traditional.
With such a beautiful setting and such a tasty bath, we didn’t feel (too) badly when they were added to the pot.
It doesn’t take long for that beautiful blue color to turn red.
Meantime, we set the table with newspapers layered over a plastic tablecloth, bowls of water to dip/clean the crabs, shell bowls, various utensils to crack them open and the side dishes I made (peach salad with radicchio, fennel, gorgonzola and a balsamic glaze; fried zucchini; and slow-roasted sweet potatoes in cilantro-lime butter.)
Oh, yes, he threw in a couple of pounds of shrimp too, which were so delicious that I’d consider doing a small shrimp boil stovetop with this recipe.
We had two huge platters and our teenager, who prefers Snow Crabs, got a special plate.
Interestingly, because there is work involved in getting at that juicy sweet crab meat, dinner takes longer than usual and although it wasn’t a ‘heavy’ meal, we all agreed that we were so full by the end. Or maybe we were just tired. This is definitely the kind of dinner where paper towels (lots of them) work better than napkins…and sharing with loved ones makes it all the more special.