THE GREAT ESCAPE
Another festival that is taking place over our 4th of July weekend takes place at the other side of our Gulf community, The Crab Festival. Again, it is a celebration of the season. This is also an event where food, fun, and festive happenings take place.
The Gulf of Mexico blue crab. Now, I
The Great Escape
have had crabmeat from other parts of the country, but I relate to Jack Nicholson's character in the movie As Good As It Gets when he enters the restaurant and yells to the waiter "you got blue crabs?". I grew up here on the Gulf Coast and I'm just a little prejudice about our local seafood.
I started crabbing as a very little girl. My aunt would take us out to the Gulf, we would wade out about waist deep, bury a stick in the water's bottom, tie a string to a chicken neck and then to the stick in the water. Then we would wait. Every so often we would wade out and see if a crab was eating on the piece of chicken. If so, we would slowly pull it up to scoop it with a net. It wasn't until years later that I learned they had nets for this and you could hang them from the pier post, the crabs would come and sit in the net and you could pull them up. A lot easier!
Now, don't get me wrong when I say this, I love crabmeat and any dish that has it in it, but I NEVER liked watching the live crabs being put in the boiling water. I know it had to be done to get the delicious dishes, but I just couldn't do it. My grandmother taught me to clean a crab and leave no meat left behind. No problem. They were already cooked. But watching them be put in the boiling pot....ugh!! So secretly, I sometimes was quietly happy when one escaped the net and made it back into the water. This painting, The Great Escape, illustrates one of those times where the crab wins. Back to the water to live and see another day! It makes me smile!
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