Getting Crabby

Doesn't Get Much Fresher

Hope everyone enjoyed their one day of summer on Monday. For our family it could not have gotten any better because we had bought a day-long boat ride with friends at a charity auction last fall, and the Fated Day just happened to coincide with the sunshine. Yes, the golden, glowing orb, calm waters, wine, tasty food which magically appeared, and the isolated beauty of Sucia Island.

Some of the magical food resulted from crab pots set out the night before. There you are, a crab, scuttling along at a depth of thirty feet, minding your own business, when the irresistible scent of chicken bones wafts over. All you have to do is go through the door of that cage. It strikes you as odd that there's already a heap of your fellow crabs inside the cage when ordinarily you hate to be together, but the chicken bones cannot be denied. In you go and there you stay until some strange biped hauls you up into the wind and sunlight the next day. If you're female or an undersized male you're sent flying back to your home waters, but if you're like the giant fellow pictured above, this is the end.

I would love to know who first figured out that something that looks like a crab--like nature's equivalent of an armored tank--could be so delicious! But the secret is definitely out. The beaches at Sucia were strewn with crab carapaces and stray legs, flung down by seagulls in (successful) attempts to break them open. We enjoyed ours on the deck, accompanied by Chardonnay and dipped in Captain Eric's signature cocktail sauce of ketchup swirled with horseradish. Yum.

While there's no crab at our Bellevue Farmers Market, there is plenty of other equally fresh food. And, really, what made the day so special was the scenery and the company. Grab your meal at this week's Market--salmon, steaks, soup and a loaf of bread, whatever--and meet some dear friends or family at one of our many beach parks. (If it's raining, make up to that person you know with the glassed-in porch or the outdoor living room.) See if an evening spent enjoying each other's conversation and our local bounty doesn't go a long way toward redeeming this summer! Bon appetit.