Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Photo tour of my birthday crab shack

There are no recipes in this blog post.  All I have are these wonderful photos that take me back to the moment and I'm sharing them with you.

A little background.  Although I have had many excellent meals with many excellent friends in Denver, I had become a little bit nostalgic for my friends and the celebrations we'd had together in Washington D.C., including the evenings at Maryland crab shacks, in Bethesda and Annapolis.  Luckily for me, my Denver friends were open-minded enough to want to celebrate D.C. style with me.
The morning of my birthday, Mr. Rose and I went for a quick bike ride out to Golden, and when we got home, we saw that a package had arrived at our house.  A whole bushel of Maryland blue crabs, plucked straight out of the Chesapeake Bay just the day before!
Mr. Rose rented a giant propane powered boiler with a basket in it.  I got out the biggest tin of Old Bay ever.  We rolled out some butcher paper over the tables.  I shucked some corn and made some biscuits.
A dozen birthday revelers showed up with flowers and gifts and more side dishes, and quickly busied themselves with setting up the party (a big part of which included drinking pilsners and white wine).
Once the boiler got going, we got started.
In went the crabs with a couple of generous shakes of Old Bay.  We had a few drinks and nibbled on sides while saving room for the main course.
Twenty minutes later, the crabs were done!  We poured them all out over the butcher paper.

And then I gave a brief demonstration on how to get that sweet, succulent meat out of the shell.
Then everyone was on their own.  And they did wonderfully.
Even Margo Frances may have gotten a little taste.  And although we hadn't anticipated it, everyone managed to make just a smidgeon of space for the key lime pie and apple-pear tart afterward.
Not too shabby for a Rocky Mountain birthday celebration, eh?


  1. What a fabulous party! Happy birthday, friend, happy birthday :)

  2. Happy Birthday! I want crab so bad right now! Have a great day!

  3. Great photos, happy birthday!

  4. That is a lot of crab! Happy birthday :)

  5. Thanks, all. I was fortunate to have a foodtographer standing by to capture the feast, and friends to share it with.

  6. I WILL definitely fly over from Seattle if you do this again next year, Charmaine! Happy birthday, baby- you Leo you. Looks like so much fun. On another note- miss you. Get a little bit nostalgic when MC rolls around every week.

  7. Happy Birthday! And what a party! I need to throw a party like this.

  8. Wow. I grew up on the east coast, where blue crabs were king, and boy do I miss it. I love the dungeness crabs we can get in SF, but once in a while, I crave those flavorful blue crabs! What fun!

  9. All my foodie friends are invited next year! The more, the merrier!

  10. What great photos of a wonderful party! Happy belated birthday!! Kate

  11. Hey charmaine, Happy Belated Birthday to you! Wishing many more happy returns. What a great party you're having there! Have a wonderful day.
    Best wishes, Kristy

  12. Just gave me a awesome idea for coming Birthday!!!
    we LOVE crab especially Blue crabs, so sweet!
    Where did you find the Crab boiler, it's great!
    Happy belated Birthday Charmine!

  13. @Kate and Kristy: Parties are what I do best!
    @Lisa: We got the boiler from a general equipment rental place. The same place where we've rented giant belt sanders for refinishing floors and 20 foot extendable ladders to access the roof. A smaller turkey fryer from Home Depot would probably also do the trick.


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