Greene’s Seafood in Bristol
is advertising live blue crabs for sale, $35 a dozen. Many years ago, I bought a half-bushel of crabs in Norfolk and drove them back to Wise County for a crab feast in the mountains. It was a fun event and memorable for everyone – many folks had never eaten blue crabs or seen the process to cook and pick them.
The Greene’s Seafood offer is intriguing enough that I will stop in soon, at least to check out the crabs. The thought of a crab cookin’ for Labor Day makes me happy.
I have had local friends ask me how my dad cooks crabs. He is as much of an expert as you will find, with about 45 years of experience. For about 15 years, he and my mother have lived on the Lafayette River in Norfolk, where they can put about a dozen pots off their dock.
My dad always puts the caught crabs in a large bucket, then covers them with fresh water. Crabs are muddy scavengers and it helps to get them as clean as possible before cooking.
He steams them with cider vinegar, salt, black pepper, a tiny bit of red pepper and a liberal sprinkling of Old Bay. Taste it once, love it forever is the Old Bay slogan -- and anyone who has tried this delicious spice blends knows that is true!
When I was a child, my dad would cook the crabs on the stovetop indoors. Today he cooks them outdoors, using a gas-powered trivet. Less mess and less heat indoors.
The more I write and think on this, the more eager I am to get down to Greene’s and take a look. Happy cooking, friends!