So, I never really know what the day has in store for me and today was no exception!
While my mom and I were having some quality ‘peaceful’ (the girls were still asleep) time this morning, the phone rung and it was my third sister giving us morning greetings. We had no clue that while we were chatting away on the phone she was walking up to our door.
What a terrific surprise!
My sister, Cherae, lives about 2 hours south of us and drove early this morning to pick up a shipment of live crabs and crawfish to sell at her seafood market, 7 Cs Seafood, in Petersburg, Virginia.
Crab season is over in the Virginia and Maryland area but is still active in Louisiana (which is where the seafood came from). Not only were we shocked and thrilled to get an unexpected visit from my big sis (Auntie Rae-Rae), we were equally thrilled when she brought in a live crab to share.
The girls (and also our dog Binky) watched Auntie Rae as she carefully picked up the crab and set it on the floor. Then we all jumped back when the crab stretched out its claws and moved forward. Who knew they were so fast? The girls had so many questions and great observations and Auntie Rae enjoyed answering every last one.
After about ten minutes, she went back to her truck and came inside with…you guessed it, more crabs and CRAWFISH. Anyone thinking seafood fest?
Crawfish are a big hit at her store in VA as many stores don’t carry them. My sister and her husband are huge crawfish fans (and now Princess Jubilee can be added to the list!).
Auntie Rae (who quickly became our guest science teacher for the morning) carefully taught the girls all about the crabs and crawfish—I learned so much myself including their different body parts, how they move,and how to properly clean and prepare them. Crawfish spend most of their time in the mud, she explained. “So you must purge them before eating them.” Of course we had no idea what ‘purging’ them meant. She quickly showed us how to do it by putting cold water in a bowl and adding salt. “The crawfish will drink the salty water and throw it up. The water will turn a muddy dark color because when they throw up (or purge themselves) they are throwing up the mud that is inside of them.”
Sure enough, that is what happened.
During the second time we put the crawfish in their salt water ‘bath’ as Princess Petals called it, the water stayed nice and clear—a good sign that the fish were ready for the cooking pot.
Needless to say, we all had such a great time today poking the crabs and watching them turn gray/blue to bright orange after they were cooked.
The girls couldn’t wait to enjoy their seafood fest (Mee-Maw couldn’t wait either). I brought out leftover cheesy-grits, kale greens and mac-and-cheese and covered the table with paper bags. Of course the main attraction was the steaming plate of crabs and crawfish.
After Mee-Maw gave the girls instructions on how to open the shells and find the ‘good meat’ the girls went full steam ahead.
Princess Bella discovered she doesn’t enjoy opening the crabs but sure loves eating them.
Princess Petals doesn’t like the smell or taste (she is so like her momma) but had a ball playing with the shells.
And Princess Jubilee, well, she was the best little crawfish eater around…Auntie Rae and Uncle Chris would be so proud.
If you are ever visiting Petersburg, Virginia then you must stop at my sister’s seafood market, 7 Cs Seafood. You will find a large variety of quality fresh seafood to choose from. You can bring it home or they will prepare it right there for you.
Princess Bella wants to let you know that you MUST try their fried shrimp!
Want to make your own steamed crabs and crawfish, follow these simple directions and enjoy!
Start with fresh crabs and crawfish. When you get them be careful how you handle them because, while they will snap at you. I recommend using rubber gloves. Inspect them to make sure they are alive. You will know if they are alive by movement. Movement is good…but again, be careful!
For the crawfish:
Bring a large pot with water, vinegar (about 2 tablespoons) and Old Bay Seasoning (3 tablespoons) to boil.
In a separate bowl (one large enough for your crawfish) add cold water and salt (like a ½ cup). Gently place the bowl in the sink and add the crawfish one at a time. My sister reallys recommends putting the bowl in a sink because crawfish can and will jump out of the bowl. Let the fish stand in the water for about four minutes. You will see the color of the water change to a dark muddy color. This is a good thing! Drain the water and repeat the process until the water stays clear.
Once the water is boiling, add the crabs and let them boil for 7 minutes. You will notice the crabs will change colors—from gray/blue to orange.
After 7 minutes, add your crawfish and continue to cook for 3 more minutes (10 minutes total).
Using prongs, carefully take the seafood out and place on a platter and enjoy.
Yummy Side Ideas (other than my refrigerator left-overs)?
And of course, ice cold beer!
Hope you enjoy, be encouraged!