|Don't mess with The Crab Brothers|
Crab though is quite possibly the zenith of fiddly-fartnackery in the kitchen. Early on Saturday morning I visited Billingsgate fish market with a bloke in the know *taps nose* and returned with a whole host of deceased marine life, bundled into black rubbish sacks. Including three rather stern looking boiled crabs. Crabs always look cross to me. Except when you pop their claws and legs off. Then they look like over-baked empanadas with beady eyes.
So, after returning home and having a nice cup of tea, I set to the task of cracking them apart and hammering to pieces with the back of a cleaver to extract their sweet juicy white flesh and dubious looking but still tasty brown gunk. Crab sandwiches for lunch were on the agenda and I am glad that I started at 10AM because by the time the young food urchins of the household came wandering in, rubbing their tummies at noon; well, I had just about finished.
Two hours is a long time to commit to any activity, yet when it comes to crab, I do become a bit of a stickler. Every little morsel should be accounted for. Eyeballs focus sharply down the empty channel of a hairy leg. Skewers probe nooks and crannies, picking gently, forensically. Slivers and flakes of meat drop into a metal bowl. A heaped, briny, pilaf mountain begins to form. And the tongue, as always when I am concentrating really hard, lolls out from the side of my mouth, like a wet pink sock.
This last inclination is quite interesting actually. Ever since I was a little boy, I have always used my tongue to get me through difficult tasks. Writing, drawing, doing my shoelaces up, right up to this day. According to one noodling friend, it's quite natural. Your tongue is in fact a conduit for brain-power. Stick it out like an aerial and marvel as it absorbs the throbbing alpha waves emitting from your skull.
The one thing that gets me though is this. When I finish prepping crab and dress it with mayo, a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper and slather some of the fine, grainy pate on some heavily buttered brown bread and finally take a bite, why do I always find a piece of shell?
There must be something wrong with my tongue.
|Crab intact/Crab destroyed|
|Crab pilaf and young boy with crab remnants|