Crabs may taste best at the beach, but we’ll take them however they come

Every year when we go to the beach we pick one night and get steamed crabs.

This year, though, the week got away from us and—as so often seems to happen on vacation—we ran out of times to eat. So we decided not to buy crabs.

Our sons were disappointed.

“But Mama,” I heard, “crabs taste best at the beach!”

Maybe so. They are also more expensive than a week of arcade games on the boardwalk. And we had spent a lot trying to win a Minion and a robot claw that is longer than a yardstick.

“We will get them one night when we get home,” I said.

It was an easy promise. Once we were away from the sand and the waves, no one would be thinking about crabs. And we could have them later in the summer when they are bigger and sweeter. Or we might just wait until next summer.

Back at home, I invited Daniel to come with me to the grocery store. And, wouldn’t you know, as we were walking past the seafood counter, he spotted steamed crabs for sale.

Since when do they sell steamed crabs in the grocery store? I hesitated. Then I realized that at $1.99 a crab, I could buy six crabs, not go bankrupt, and no one could complain that we hadn’t eaten crabs.

So we brought them home, took out the mallets and knives, and enjoyed our crabs.

Were they the best crabs ever? No.

Were they hot? No.

Were they crabs? Yes. And they were from our very own Chesapeake Bay.

This morning Daniel and I were leaving the house when he spotted a rolled-up newspaper in our driveway. It’s not a real newspaper, just a bunch of ads, and we usually don’t read it.

“Mama!” said our little boy. “Don’t throw that away! I want to eat crabs again!”

So I guess I’m not completely off the hook. And maybe we need to talk about other uses for newspapers.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.