Northern Neck Crabs

“C’mon over on Friday,” said the neighbor. “We should have enough in the traps by then.”

It hadn’t been a brilliant year for the crabs running on the Neck, but we’d have a couple dozen by the time the weekend rolled around to create a good crab-fest for the four of us. So we strolled over next door around happy hour, 5 pm, to grab a beer and pull the traps up from the dock.

We live on a tributary creek–one of hundreds that flow into the lower Potomac on the Northern Neck of Virginia. Our neighbor’s dock fetches crabs as well as anyone’s, and this particular feast has been a feature of late July/early August for as long as anyone can recall.

I pulled a hard seltzer out of the fridge first–hadn’t tried one before. And, it being hot out, I figured now was the time. I’ll pass in the future. I drink a lot of seltzer, but an alcoholic one was just weird.

As the crabs steamed, we set the table with mats and mallets. The platter of crabs arrived, along with sides of potato salad and pickled beets. The crabs went first, along with a Yuengling–the proper beer for picking crab. I’d end up the next morning with a couple of stray cuts on my fingers, but it would be worth it.

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