When I was a kid, I spent my summers at the beach. My parents had a houseboat that I lived on. The dock where their boat was kept, was full of other boat owner, who just happen to be friends and relatives. Every weekend was a party. It was the dock that rocked. There was always tons of food, drink and endless echoes of laughter that bounced off the bay.
As you could imagine, there was plenty of fishing going on. I’m not a big fisher, but I did love to crab. We would throw crab baskets over the dock and the sides of the boats. Once we collected enough, my mother would cook them. Sometimes she would steam them in garlic and oil with plenty of red seed pepper or beer with Old Bay seasoning. We would sit all night just cracking those babies open and digging in for every little piece of their sweet meat. I could sit there for hours eating those things. I never seemed to get enough.
Another way my Mom would cook crabs, is by putting them in tomato sauce that she would put over linguine. After slurping up every delicious crab flavored noodle, we would start on the crabs themselves. This was a messy affair. The sauce gets into every crevice of the crabs shell, so when you eat them, the juices drip all over your hands to make a delicious, yummy mess. This was all part of the eating experience.
My husband and I rented a little cottage at the beach for a few weeks. It’s the same beach were we both spent our childhood summer. Some of our friends were there too, so we invited them over to watch the sun set and have some dinner. Being at the beach where I spent my summers; the sound of the seagulls and the waves crashing on the shore; gave me the urge to step into my mothers shoes and try my hand at her recipe. After watching the remarkable sunset, we sat down to eat. The smell coming up from the plate brought me right back to those happy summers of my youth. When I took the first bite, I smiled. It was as though my mother had prepared dinner. I felt her presents in a place where she too, spent some of the happiest summers of her life.