This post is dedicated to my wonderful sisters whom I recently acquired though law (thanks, hubby!), but who have treated me like family for years. I could not be more thankful for my relationship with each of them, and for finally knowing the joys of picking on a younger sibling.
Over the last few months, Sister 2 (the one who was born second) has developed a newfound love for cooking and baking. How fortunate for her that she can turn to me with questions! Last week I received quite possibly the funniest phone call ever from her.
It was her mom’s birthday and she wanted to prepare a special dinner. When consulting with me during the previous days, I suggested that she make clams, one of her mother’s favorites. (This is only important because I don’t think she would have made clams without my strong urging.) Sister 2 was worried because the clams were still alive and moving (a good thing!) when she began to prepare dinner. I joked with her that they were staring her down and angry that their lives were about to end at her hand. To say that this unnerved her is quite the understatement.
We had a good laugh, and then she teased that I would probably go tell my friends about this.
“No, no, I’m only going to tell John.”
Sorry, sis! (P.S. I hear she did a fantastic job!)
When making a recent purchase at Fairway, I couldn’t help but think of her and smile. On the menu? Soft shell crab BLT’s. I had already mentally prepared myself to kill these delightful little creatures. When cooking something like clams, mussels, or soft shell crabs, the fresher, the better (which essentially means they need to be alive right up until they’re cooked).
Fortunately for me, the fish monger selling me the crabs offered to clean them. Since I was cooking them for dinner later that evening, I knew they’d be fine.
Cleaning a soft shell crab entails first cutting off their eyes and face. I am 100% serious. You use a pair of kitchen shears and just chop it off. Then, you have to squeeze out a liquid-filled sack behind the eyes. I found out later that this substance was a light green color (just adding to the “gross” factor). After this, the rest is easy. Peel off a few gills, throw away one or two parts that are unpleasantly chewy, and you’re good to go.
The part that was most disheartening was when the little crabs’ legs continued to flail after their faces had been chopped off. C’est la vie.
Thank you, Fairway seafood department, for taking the lives of these crabs for me!