Monday, May 21, 2012

A Maryland Rite of Passage

When I was a kid, our state's slogan was "Maryland is for crabs."

For those of us Marylanders in close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay, it's a rite of passage to learn to pick your own crabs. It was not, however, a skill I expected my boys to be interested in. Both are picky eaters and as toddlers, their food rules included the following:
  • food must not under any circumstances be mixed together
  • one type of food must not touch another
  • food with odd or interesting consistency is forbidden
  • food under no circumstances should be the color of poo
Fortunately, most of these rules have relaxed over the years and Gabe is verging on adventurous.  After an early childhood menu limited to chicken nuggets and carrot sticks, he now likes cheeseburgers and lasagne and even tried a California roll. This weekend, at a family picnic, he expressed an interest in our state's finest: steamed blue crabs.

EXHIBIT A: the boy

EXHIBIT B: the crab

EXHIBIT C: rather dramatic claw crushing
Beating the shell to smithereens is not how I recommend picking crabs, but it seems to be the method kids prefer.  I can remember doing the same.

I wonder if it was as entertaining for my parents as it is for me.

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