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12.28.2011

December 24

Whenever we spend the holidays with my relatives in northern California, we eat Dungeness crab on Christmas Eve. I can’t remember when the tradition was started, but when Brandon and I got together, I introduced him to it. He was still mostly a vegetarian then, and he’d never tasted crab, but he was curious about it - enough to grab a couple of crab legs and, however awkwardly, get himself around them. He took to it fast. This year, we spent Christmas in Seattle, on our own, and we decided to continue the Christmas Eve crab tradition, since Washington is the state that gave Dungeness crab its name. It felt fitting. Plus, Brandon announced, he had a plan: he would catch our crabs himself.

I told my mother about this plan a few weeks ago, when she came to visit for a long weekend. Molly, she breathed, that’s SO romaaaaaantic. I agreed. But I also knew that, because neither Brandon nor I had crabbed before, there was a decent chance that we would come home with nothing. Or that we would fall out of the boat while trying to lower down the traps, die of hypothermia, sink to the bottom of the ocean, be eaten by vengeful crabs, and never come home at all.

That was when I suggested that Brandon drop a line to our friend Renee, who’s a seasoned crabber, to see if she might be up for a Christmas Eve outing.





Renee checked the tide tables, and last Saturday, around noon, we met her and her dad Jim at the boat launch at Port Susan. We pushed off. The water was rough, and Jim bobbed and weaved, putting bait in the traps.




Renee ate a faceful of water.




But one at a time, they got the traps in, feeding the ropes down down down, until they felt them settle on the bottom.




Once the traps were down, there was nothing to do but wait.




We tied up on a strip of beach where Alice could run, and while Brandon and I arranged some life preservers-slash-seat cushions along a wet log, Renee produced a Thermos of delicata squash-and-leek soup, a bottle of prosecco, paper cups, and a dozen salted chocolate cookies.




(For the record, I will never again leave home without Renee.)




When the soup was gone and the prosecco was gone and Alice had run approximately four dozen laps of our log, it was time to check the traps.




Sunset was due to come at 4:22 that day. We hurried.




When you bring in a crab, the first thing to do is to check its sex, and then return any females to the water. Then you check the size of your remaining haul: to be kept legally, a Dungeness crab must be at least 6 ¼ inches across. This one was a runt.





If you want to geek out about the nuts and bolts of recreational crabbing, or go crabbing someday in Washington State, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website is the place for you. Also, note: there will be a lot of seagulls, and if you have any uneaten bait left when you haul in the traps and head back to shore, THEY WILL WANT TO EAT IT.




Unless a bald eagle makes a sudden, swooping appearance on the horizon, and then the gulls will unanimously decide, Oh, ha ha! Silly us! She can have it! And flee.




I’ve never had a better Christmas Eve.




We caught only two crabs that met the legal size limits, and Renee and Jim insisted that we take them. After we left, they went to a grocery store to get some for themselves. Another year, I hope, we can make it up to them. Maybe in 2012.




Happy New Year, friends.


P.S. Our friend Becky Selengut made a fantastic video about how to cook and clean a Dungeness crab. It’s a great resource.

113 Comments:

Blogger First said...

you can't beat fresh crab. Caught and cooked right on the boat. YUMMM

4:40 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous betsy said...

oh, wow. this post is pure magic. happy new year, molly!

4:45 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Megancake said...

We have the same tradition in our family, fresh crab and garlic bread on christmas eve, of course we don't catch ours, we buy them at Sunset Super the Chinese market in SF.

4:49 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger firedancer41 said...

salted chocolate cookies? yum!! any chance renee would share her recipe??

4:55 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Sarah said...

yay yay yay :) 2 is not shabby at all! and an eagle!

4:56 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Thanks for the tip about the video - I'm going to try doing my own this New Year's Eve. And I love that Brandon wanted to catch his own. So cool.

5:02 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Oana said...

Super cool Christmas adventure, love it.

5:04 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Dramatic Pancake said...

Sounds like a fantastic Christmas Eve tradition -- and I have to agree with your mom, it is also very romantic :) Happy new year!

5:16 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Mel said...

Love this post. That is fabulous that you went home with two crabs! A very happy new year Molly and Brandon.

5:39 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Brit said...

i love your stories. :)

5:43 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Amanda at the red table said...

Very cool experience! Thanks for sharing.

5:50 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Michele said...

Oh my, what fun! We "hunt" blue crabs here in Florida, but often end up buying them several times a year. The hunted crabs always taste better, but I'll take crab anyway I can get it. Happy New Year!

6:09 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Roberta said...

That sounds like the perfect Christmas Eve. Your photos are wonderful, too (as usual!)

6:10 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Margaret said...

Sooooo wo-maaaaan-tic! Sounds lovely, and great to carve out your own version of traditions. Tally ho!

6:49 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger jenmolin said...

what a lovely idea... your story brought a smile to my overwhelmed-by-Christmas-with-the-family weekend.... love the idea of such a relaxing adventure with chocolate salted cookies and prosecco.....

6:57 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Sara M said...

I love the idea behind your outing, and am happy you were able to get two crabs. I agree, it sounds like pure magic.

Best wishes for the new year!

7:04 PM, December 28, 2011  
OpenID lizlemonnights said...

How were the crabs? They must have been ah-mazing, especially since you caught them yourselves.

The closest I can come to that is picking my own fruit. I'm obviously not much of a hunter/catcher. As in, I'd probably stick myself with a hook or shoot myself in the face. Like Dick Cheney but more liberal and obviously cuter. :)

7:13 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Sophia Katt said...

Oy! This post makes me sad that I turned allergic to crustaceans in 2001. So sad. It was a family tradition to go crabbing in the Sound, like--since 1947.

But FYI champers is nice but not as perfect as good Sancerre with fresh crab!

7:21 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Megan said...

1. Amazing.
2. Jealous.
3. Renee is a keeper.

7:26 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger karan said...

This is our tradition too, except we don't face the cold December water, instead hit the local fish market. YUM!

7:47 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Jen said...

What a lovely Christmas eve! Sometimes I feel we are missing out on the wonderful favors of fresh seafood in gold ol' land locked Ohio. We roasted a duck and it was okay--I think I would have preferred crab!

7:58 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger melissa said...

i would love to do this someday! also, i too would love renee's salted chocolate cookie recipe. they sound amazing.

8:04 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger dbs said...

*serious jealous face*

8:18 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Squash and leek soup! Renee, be mine.

8:18 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger A Day That is Dessert said...

I love crabbing, shrimping, fishing... all of it. Did some of each, growing up on Prince William Sound. This summer we took the kids crabbing for the first time on San Juan Island - they loved it. Sounds like a perfect Christmas Eve tradition. Happy New Year. xo

8:24 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Hello and welcome... said...

Marvelous and delicious...perfectly west coast. Thank you for sharing your lovely experience...wunderbar...really!

8:54 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Caroline @ Our Daily Plate said...

I love that you chose friends and crabbing and dogs over sitting in front of a fire on Christmas Eve. Different is good. And I hope you loved every last bite of those delicious crabs!

9:11 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger patricia said...

I am a decades-long vegetarian who makes sole exception, for inexplicable reasons, for crab. We eat it every Christmas Eve as well. And my kids never fail to give me hell for it.

9:16 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Elissa said...

Keep Renee around. Forever. And Brandon and Alice. And Jack. Have a happy, wonderful peaceful New Year, Molly. May it be delicious!

9:32 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger yola said...

My family used to go crabbing all the time when I was a kid--boring! But man I miss eating those crabs! Happy Christmas!

10:07 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger SreeBindu said...

Oh! I really didn't know we have to check the sex of a crab. Thanx for the Info..

Followed ur blog :)hope you don’t mind. And who knows, maybe you’ll visit me someday too.

sreebindu.blogspot.com

10:12 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Marie M. said...

Happy New Year! Dungeness crab, one of the great perks of living on the West Coast. Your chocolate cookies look like "World Peace" cookies with a sprinkling of salt? Or? Recipe, please!

10:28 PM, December 28, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how I LOVE your blog...what a wonderful, magical Christmas Eve! It made me feel as if I were there with you! Happy New Year Molly!

10:41 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Molly said...

Going to crab on New Years day. pier near the Golden Gate bridge, no fishing licsence needed. A great way to start the new year. Loved the video.

11:13 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Ariana said...

That sounds like the most amazing way to spend Christmas Eve! Way to find something really different and interesting to do. I love the soup-on-the-beach part... We are in England and love watching all of the River Cottage shows. This totally reminded me of that.

11:48 PM, December 28, 2011  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Molly, this is such a great story. I was so captivated the entire time, both by your writing and the photography. I love stopping by here. Sounds like an amazing Christmas Eve. Happy New Year!

4:13 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Ilke said...

A great outing.I always found fishing and sorts of activities which involve a long waiting period very boring.But as I get older,I find myself doing those more,waiting for a while and relaxing became more enjoyable for mid thirties:)

4:43 AM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger Thinking of the days said...

Crabs?Oh no I thought - I can't read this, but then I did.....

You see I'm allergic to shellfish....always have been and get quite ill.. ...which was a bit of a bugger when I lived for a while on the shores of the Indian Ocean...and all those crayfish and other seafoods used to haunt me and taunt me..


But i'm so glad I did read this post - what a magical way of spending Christmas Eve away from all the rampant commercialism of Christmas.

And what lovely friends to share the day with - prosecco adn chocolate salty biscuits? My kind of friends!

4:46 AM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger What's Cookin Stacey?? said...

Love your blog and loved this post!!!

4:47 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Rosie said...

This post is BEAUTIFUL! It makes me feel as if I weren't landlocked, for a moment.

6:23 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Erin MacG said...

This is the best blog I have come across in oh so long. Your words, photos (film!!! love!) and recipes have given me a great big lift this morn. Thank you Molly.

6:45 AM, December 29, 2011  
OpenID drinkeatplayrepeat said...

yum! I've never had dungeness crab before, but down here in southern Maryland blue crab is king- you can beat fresh caught.
ps- your dog is too cute in the life vest.

7:49 AM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger la ninja said...

oh, hooray for fab xmas eves. I spent mine alone trying (and repeatedly failing*) to make thumbprint biccies and rummaging around.

then put a first dish and dessert quickly together; took them to the boy's place, had dinner with him (he cooked the main course) and fell asleep like the old bint I am. ha.

*should you ever think about starting an "ask auntie molly -disasters in the kitchen" column, let me know ;)

8:00 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Crab doesn't excite me, but...delicata squash and leek soup???!!! That does!!! If the amazing Renee is willing to part with her recipe, let me know. But I think I will try making it anyhow.

8:42 AM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger Carrie said...

wonderful post. happy 2012...

8:45 AM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger atout said...

What a lovely day! After reading another one of your post about crabs, my husband and I decided it would be our go to meal for holidays where we don't actually want to slave in the kitchen (new years, valentines, etc.). We love it and should really send you a box of cookies as a thank you!

We're picking up crab in Morro Bay tomorrow for our new years feast and I cannot wait.

8:46 AM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger Unknown said...

Such a tease, Molly! To talk about and photograph salted chocolate cookies and not post a recipe?!

8:54 AM, December 29, 2011  
OpenID girlseeksplace said...

I don't like shellfish, but this seems like it would be a fun adventure anyway.

9:30 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous sarina said...

I have done the east coast blue crab thing (hubby's a waterman).. you really have to let the pots "soak" here for a day or two to "maximize" your catch! Next time.. go out one morning to set pots.. go back next day to check pots.. you will most likely end up with more than two:)

We used to run to over 100 pots.. I was the baiter and culler.. lol.

9:32 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous LINDSAY said...

thank you for this. I grew up crabbing on Vashon Island and the story brought so much happiness to me (I live in Montana now). You lucked out on weather and tides! I am so glad that you are enjoying Seattle this holiday season. happy new year!

10:03 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. Your mom is right, that is so romantic. I have such a crush on you and Brandon as a couple. Thank you for sharing with all of us!

10:29 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live at Warm Beach, on Port Susan.
For December, this late in the season, you did well. The season generally opens in Port Susan right around July 4th.

You can also buy live crab at Taylor, up Chuckanut Drive. Also a fantastic selection of oysters in the shell, clams, etc.

Ross Kane

11:38 AM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Deanna said...

Dungeness crab is hands down my favorite food. I would love to make crab eating my holiday tradition, but unfortunately my cousin and his wife are allergic to shellfish and my grandfather is extremely picky. Someday though.

12:33 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger Hanna said...

How fun! We eat crab every NYE, too.

1:27 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger Deb G said...

Delurking to toss out another option. :) You can try killing the crab before cooking (use a hammer and hit it right on the triangle that shows the sex of the crab), break it into two pieces and then cook the crab. It makes for a sweeter tasting meat-I guess that's the best way to describe it.

1:51 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger alanachernila said...

Now I'm smelling the ocean, landlocked though I may be. Lovely.

2:35 PM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Lomohn said...

Awesome experience to witness nature in action. Sounds like a great time and delicious tradition! Lori

3:16 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger Rose said...

that sounds like the perfect outing! Actually the squash/leek soup and the chocolate cookies sound really awesome - would there be recipes perchance (please????) :)

4:18 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger susan in seattle said...

Hmmmm....my guess is that you were out at our beach as we have neighbors there named Jim E. and his daughter named Renee who would certainly be a friend of yours! Small world! Hope you enjoyed the crab as we've been doing all summer/fall out at Spee.

6:05 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger kale @ tastes good to me! said...

I have never tried Dungeness crab, but I have always wanted to. (Especially now seeing you fish them out of the water yourself!)

6:37 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger jen said...

so romantic! and a wonderful tradition.

7:18 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger kale @ tastes good to me! said...

I also just watched your friend's video and it is fantastic, as you said! She has such a great, approachable way of explaining things, ie. "salty like the ocean" or "fold it like a book". Really cool; thanks for the link!

7:48 PM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Merrymom said...

Molly, great photos (as usual)! I love when I see that you have a new post....it's like getting a favorite magazine in the mailbox!
Florida stone crabs are a favorite......had them a few years ago, and look forward to them every time I go to Florida. I don't think I have tried the dungeness crab....but I have been looking forward to trying a stew made with crab....maybe this weekend.....
Also.....I made your fruit- nut balls for Christmas Eve dinner (dessert) along with other cookies that I make, and yours were a hit!
Happy New Year!

9:19 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger tawc said...

i worked in a fish shop on Christmas Eve; there were live crabs in the tank that i fished them out with a shabby net each time a customer with the same tradition as you came in...hmmmm...not quite the same.

what a feeling; like growing your own tomatoes, i suppose...times a hundred...

happy holidays

9:22 PM, December 29, 2011  
Blogger sam + arla + kate said...

loved reading this and all that it represents--thanks for sharing and happy new year Molly!

9:51 PM, December 29, 2011  
Anonymous Dave Cornford said...

We've got some great traditions like our [url=http://davecornford.dquill.com/2011/12/27/christmas-cooking-5/]Gingerbread House[/url], but I think we need to do some crab next year - and try the salted choc cookies!

11:04 AM, December 30, 2011  
OpenID See Wendy Craft. said...

It sounds like you had a beautiful Christmas Eve. Hope the rest of your holiday was just as lovely. Happy New Year!

11:27 AM, December 30, 2011  
Anonymous Bette Hanauer said...

Such beautiful photos with this blog! Happy New Year!
Bette Hanauer

12:55 PM, December 30, 2011  
Anonymous Jessica @ Hungrygems said...

To see such a masculine setting with wire, underwater hunting, boots and boats be accented with a dainty and feminine cardboard box filled with a delicate sweet and salty delight inside brings a justified smile to my face when I look at your pictures. Warming.

1:58 PM, December 30, 2011  
Anonymous Kartik @ Bakeology 101 said...

That looks like an amazing Christmas Eve adventure! I spent my birthday (also on Christmas Eve) making lemon raspberry rolls that I promptly gave away to my favorite people at my local Trader Joe's. But someday, I would love to fish for crabs.

Happy New Year Molly!

8:02 PM, December 30, 2011  
OpenID bferry said...

That last photo?!

Get out of town.

There's so much good stuff in this post, my friend.

8:10 PM, December 30, 2011  
Blogger Jody said...

That is so romantic and so much better that it turned out well. We have unintentionally started a tradition of eating crab at Christmas, too, and I think more people should do it!

10:32 PM, December 30, 2011  
Blogger caroline said...

that's so awesome. around november is when we start eating dungeness crab since they are cheap and oh so fat. I have such great memories of eating dungeness crab when I was a child that the chance I get, I jump on it. mm, such buttery crab meat. mm.

3:26 AM, December 31, 2011  
OpenID lovingsimplemoments said...

What an experience!! :)

6:46 AM, December 31, 2011  
Blogger elainepill said...

now that i'm in vermont, there are just a few things i still miss about living in the bay area and one of them is crab on christmas eve...not that living near the lobstah state is so bad!

9:20 AM, December 31, 2011  
Anonymous Rachel said...

I logged on to get the Daily Granola recipe and saw this new post. We moved to Salt Lake City from Anacortes 4 years ago now. Although I enjoy the sunshine and dry quite a bit, the water scenes made me feel just a wee bit nostalgic... could be augmented by the 80's tunes currently playing on Pandora!

10:00 AM, December 31, 2011  
Blogger Joy said...

good job! The crabs are impressive.

1:44 PM, December 31, 2011  
Blogger Claudia said...

I spent a few days in Seattle and I ate nothing but crab and salty caramel ice cream. Most civilized. When I go back I want to go crabbing with Renee. Happy New Year - may 2012 bring delicious days and joys.

1:52 PM, December 31, 2011  
Anonymous Annie said...

delurking to say that this is your best post ever.

Also, crab rocks.

7:07 AM, January 01, 2012  
Blogger Chris Johnson said...

What a wonderful tradition! Dungeness is "da bomb", it doesn't get any better than that!

11:58 AM, January 01, 2012  
Anonymous Paige said...

What a great adventure. I couldn't imagine a better day!

1:23 PM, January 01, 2012  
Blogger CAROLA said...

My first thought is, "Yes! Why don't WE do this??"
The only time I've had more crab than I could possibly eat was while visiting my uncle, aunt and cousins in Edmonds, WA. Uncle Dean was a tug boat captain and took us out in a dingy to drop traps and, then, to haul them up again. I was fifteen. Now, I'm almost sixty and I'm so glad to have this memory back again. Next Christmas Eve...... Crab!

3:30 PM, January 01, 2012  
Blogger jln 156 said...

I agree with the others who would LOVE to have Renee's salted chocolate cookie recipe.

4:08 PM, January 01, 2012  
Blogger Molls @ O hushed October morning mild said...

What a magical Christmas Eve!

7:31 PM, January 01, 2012  
Anonymous Beth said...

I just discovered your blog today and I was totally impressed! What a fun and unique adventure-especially for Christmas Eve!

Keep on writing because I can't wait to read more!

7:50 PM, January 01, 2012  
Anonymous Lomohn said...

Hi Molly:
When I read your crab story it made me think of a family tradition I grew up with. Our family would celebrate Fourth of July by enjoying a delicious Crab Chilau made by my grandfather from the tasty Blue Crab of Tampa Bay. If you like seafood with tomato sauce you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this combo. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like a take on my family’s personal touches. If you ever have the opportunity to research this local favorite, do so. I’ve included a link for you: http://cltampa.com/dailyloaf/archives/2010/05/06/tampa-bay-foodways-crab-and-community-simmered-by-the-beach-with-a-recipe-for-crab-chilau/
Lori

1:24 AM, January 02, 2012  
Blogger Angelina said...

I second all the comments. Now all I want to do is go on a boat!

Happy New Year!

12:50 PM, January 02, 2012  
Blogger Charis said...

What an incredible thing to do! Happy New year.

5:19 PM, January 02, 2012  
Anonymous Barb @ Profiteroles and Ponytails said...

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to make cheese fondue with my mom and two girls. Perhaps I'll need to find a way to work a little crab into it...as there is zero chance we will ever catch our own crabs here in Toronto!

6:38 PM, January 02, 2012  
Anonymous Kimby said...

Molly, it felt like a vacation reading this post... relaxed, happy, GREAT picnic food, and the company of friends. I like it here. Best wishes to you on honing your drafts in the upcoming months, too -- if the angst gets to be too much, re-read this post! This is what it's all about.

3:24 AM, January 03, 2012  
Anonymous Katia / Crazyfortrying said...

how awesome. how fun!

10:47 AM, January 03, 2012  
Anonymous Abby said...

yum and what a fun day

2:56 PM, January 03, 2012  
Blogger Kelly Kooken-Nehls said...

Hello, I wanted to tell you that I just finished reading your book for my bookclub. I honestly hate reading and do the club for my sister but I flew through your book! It was truthful and makes me feel like I can one day be an amazing cook. I read your blog about your worries for your next book and as long as you are as honest as you were in this book, it will be another outstanding story!

Thank you.

4:42 PM, January 03, 2012  
Anonymous kickpleat said...

Happy new year, Molly! Sounds like your Christmas eve was amazing - even with the seagulls. Love your photos and your words here.

10:22 PM, January 03, 2012  
Anonymous Adriana & Lola said...

I love your post. Here In Spain we also have the tradition of eat fresh crab in christmas eve. :) But I never go to caught them!!!

My mom and I have a blog that is called El Secreto de Lola (Lola's Secret). It is in Spanish for the moment but in a very short period it would be in english too.

It is about travels, special places, good eating...

We invite you to go a visit us in our blog!! :D

http://elsecretodelola.wordpress.com

Greetings from Spain!!!! :)

1:49 AM, January 04, 2012  
Blogger milgwimper said...

I am so incredibly jealous. I haven't had Dungeness crab in over 4 years...*sigh*

7:30 AM, January 04, 2012  
Blogger susan in seattle said...

An addendem to my earlier post about you being at our beach...On 12/31, the last day of crab season, a few friends caught 18 big fat crabs right at the very same beach. Lucky guys. They didn't share however.

12:23 PM, January 04, 2012  
Anonymous Kacie @ A Collection of Passions said...

So fun. I've only been crabbing once. I'm a Seattle girl and should go more!

Kacie
http://www.acollectionofpassions.com/

6:46 PM, January 04, 2012  
Blogger red ticking said...

what a fun story... and i love that our friend renee and her darling father are always up for an adventure!
happy new year sweet molly.... xx

7:34 PM, January 04, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - you were right in my 'hood! :-) My dad crabs all summer, but I don't think he ever goes out in winter. You are brave!

12:58 PM, January 05, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is funny. I live on Camano Island, right on Port Susan Bay. I don't eat crab, but have been crabbing plenty of times and never realized people were crabbing well into the winter. After September, we forget about the boats! So, kudos to you for this brave adventure!

2:21 PM, January 05, 2012  
Blogger Emily said...

My fiance's family has a Christmas Eve crab tradition... last year I was skeptical. This year I became obsessed. Loved this post.

5:40 PM, January 05, 2012  
Anonymous Jill Mant (Saucy Cooks) said...

As an ex Northern Californian, I miss Dungeness Crab....ah, let's be totally honest: I miss the ocean! Joining you vicariously to go crabbing was an absolute delight; thank you!
I noticed some other people asked for Rene's recipe. While I would like that too, I would also like her phone number! I want to be her friend (-;
Cheers & Happy New Year~Jill

10:29 AM, January 07, 2012  
Blogger Janice said...

Please, please, please ask Rene for the salted chocolate cookie recipe!

4:13 PM, January 09, 2012  
Blogger sianwu said...

Seafood on Christmas Eve has become a tradition we've adopted too! Made a great shrimp remoulade this year. I've tried to go out shellfish harvesting in the Puget Sound area and have found it really challenging to navigate all the water advisories. Here's a great online map to check how clean your water is, from Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
http://www.imrivers.org/pugetsound/

11:47 AM, January 10, 2012  
Blogger the starving student said...

We keep to the seafood tradition but do fried oysters instead. Honestly though, I think the crab sounds more appealing!

2:56 PM, January 10, 2012  
Anonymous Breezy said...

My family has made crab legs, crusty garlic bread, garlic mashed potatoes with skins on them (to die for), cranberry, walnut, gorgonzola salad w cranberry vinaigrette every year. Nice to reminisce through your photos :)

9:06 AM, January 15, 2012  
Anonymous Cadi said...

The picture of the back of Alice's head when she's wearing her life vest in the boat was almost too much for me. Such a lucky dog! And speaking of lucky, this is an amazing post. Haven't caught my own in some time (we live near Bodega Bay) but man, if this isn't making me want to go...

7:38 PM, January 16, 2012  
Anonymous Tasha @Tashasdish said...

We live in Oregon and I have been wanting to try crabbing for quite some time - ironically, crab is a Christmas Eve tradition in our home too. Maybe next year I can bring home the bacon (or crab).

7:05 PM, January 22, 2012  
Anonymous Carrie Oliver said...

My father served Dungeness crab for Christmas Eve when we were just kids. My cousin was furious. Today, she serves Dungeness crab for Christmas Eve. I think I'll invite her to go crabbing with me. Thanks for writing about your adventure!

10:17 AM, January 23, 2012  
Anonymous EL said...

I really enjoyed your Christmas eve story. So nice to get a chance to go crabbing when you live in an actual city!

My older sister runs a printing studio on Guemes Island, which is one of the San Juans (it is a 5 minute ferry ride from Anacortes). People go crabbing there a lot, so much that she made a print/painting of crab pots. You should check it out, and the other sea-inspired stuff she makes too! Here is a link to that print: http://slowshirts.com/product/crab-pots-print

As far as "cleaning" crab goes, it can be pretty brutal to "put them down" in a humane (not possible!) way. My dad has a crab guillotine we use when we're out in the San Juans. Puts an axe straight through the middle of the crab. It's horrifying - but he claims it's the "nicest" way to do it.

I just read your most recent post and now I need to find the granola ingredients here in Norway so I can make some of it myself! I am not lured in by store-made stuff since there really isn't any sold here!


Thanks again for the great post!

11:06 AM, February 06, 2012  
Anonymous Molly said...

I just wanted to say how adorable it is to see your dog wearing a lifejacket.

1:18 AM, February 07, 2012  
Anonymous Pedro Álvarez said...

I love your histories :-)

10:14 AM, March 04, 2012  

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