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The weather has been incredible here in Northern California.  It was so beautiful last weekend that I gathered up the grandchildren, the dog and my sister and we went to Pillar Point for a walk on the beach and then to Half Moon Bay where we had a late lunch. Before leaving Pillar Point Harbor we decided to check out the fishing boats. The fishermen are currently bringing in lots of dungeness crab.

The friendly fisherman on the Cricket, told us that they go out to empty their crab cages a few times a week. They then bate them and drop them back into the ocean.  When pulled back up they are full of crabs. By law they only bring in the male crabs.
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The pots are dropped in water that is 20–150 feet deep and marked by a line buoy. This is often a plastic jug or styrofoam block, which is identified with the crabber’s name and address.Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 11.44.28 AM
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This wasn’t the only person who walked away from the boats with a bag full of crabs.

If you have ever been to San Francisco, you will see not only tourists at Fisherman’s wharf.  All kinds of people go to Fisherman’s Wharf to dine on these crabs and to buy fresh crab in front of the restaurants.Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 11.40.42 AMten things you need to know about crab

But it can be quite an adventure to buy live crabs at Pillar Point Harbor and cook them at home.

You drop the live crabs in a pot of boiling water and steam or boil for 6-7 minutes a pound. Then rinse them off and let cool. Then remove the carapace, clean out the nasty looking stuff  (though some people eat this- not me).Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 11.53.57 AM

Continue to remove anything that looks like it can’t be eaten.

Finally – break off the legs and split the body into 2 pieces. If you smack the joints with a hammer, it is easier to get pass the shell and get to the meat.Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 11.58.34 AM
learn more about cooking and cleaning live crabs

There is nothing better than eating fresh cold crab dipped in home made mayonnaise. Yum!