I love, love, love Dungeness crab. When I was a child, my brother would go down to Fisherman’s Wharf – this was when it still was a fisherman’s wharf – and buy a bucket load of live crabs for a couple of dollars. Sometimes he would have them steamed and sometimes my mom would boil them at home. This was usually done on a Friday night – newspapers were spread out on the floor and sliced lemons and a big green salad were placed in the center. Sour dough bread was warmed, sliced, and wrapped in a towel. Each of us – we usually had a crowd – got their own crab, crackers, and pick. The feasting began. This is probably my most memorable childhood meal.
To replicate it, on our last trip to San Francisco, we took a trip to the Ferry Plaza and bought fresh crabs at the San Francisco Fish Company (www.sanfranfish.com) – and not for a couple of bucks – along with sour dough bread from Acme Bakery (415-288-2978). We took it all back to our son’s apartment where Chris boiled up the crabs in a big vat of beer-flavored water and I tossed a great green salad. What a feast we had. I wish that I could share the video with you – we all look like participants in a Jane Goodall documentary as Chris didn’t have the proper tools so we were cracking the shells with a mallet and picking out the crab meat with bamboo skewers – the intensity and focus were not too far removed from Ms. Goodall’s apes.