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Crabby? Nah.

11 June 2009
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Originally uploaded by ellaislost
For her The Deadliest Crab pattern

I grew up in Maryland. Do you know what this means? Among other things…I know how to dismantle a steamed blue crab in a hurry.

When I was in elementary school, one of our last classes of the year was a science class, held outside on the blacktop playground. We were each given a steamed crab, warm and covered in Old Bay Seasoning, and taught how to take it apart and eat it. It absolutely didn’t occur to me that this was a particularly Maryland-centric thing to do until much later.

Even before that, my family spent summers on the Delmarva shore, and had lots of steamed crab feasts on picnic tables in the backyard. Occasionally, my father took us out to set crab traps for dinner. I remember my older cousins telling me that I had to ride home in the car with my feet in the bucket of live crabs. [Did this contribute to my high school vegetarianism? Only my shrink knows the truth.]

Angry Crab, Crossing the Road
Originally uploaded by Ryan Harvey

Much later, when I was in college, I found out that not everyone ate their crab with their fingers at a newspaper-covered table. [It’s a sad, funny tale of going to a Maryland crab house, digging in, and looking up to see my boyfriend of the time with a crab in one hand, a mallet in the other, and an utterly horrified expression on his face, as if to say, Am I Dating A Barbarian?]

All of which is to say – I am delighted to point you to The Deadliest Crab as an option for summertime knitting adventures. We’re told this guy is a Red King Crab, but to me he looks a lot like childhood. Check it out on Knitty…and learn how to eat a crab in preparation for summertime feasts.

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