Yummy Crabs, Happy Family

One of our favorite traditions (and gifts from my Gram & Papa) are New Year’s Dungeness Crab being flown in from Pikes (www.pikeplacefish.com).  This year, our lovely friends arrived early on Monday morning.  I got them cleaned and ready to go.

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Tonight was spectacular.  Bodies and legs eaten until we were all full.  More for tomorrow lunch.  Then I’ll sit down and crack the rest.

Thanks for a lovely dinner!!!  We loved every morsel and minute of it!!!!!

In case you haven’t cracked crab before . . .

  1. Turn crab to it’s tummy and lift the apron.
  2. Once the apron is off,  use both thumbs and remove the top shell.
  3. Remove the gills and rinse out the mustard “guts”.
  4. If you have it, put the rinsed crab legs in a roasting pan up on a “cooling” rack or similar to allow the “juice” to not pool in the crab meat.
  5. Cover with a damp dish cloth and put in the coldest part of your freezer until ready to eat.
  6. Crabs will keep 2-3 days in the fridge.

FC-82-Crack-a-Dungeness-Crab

Eating Crab???

That is entirely up to personal preference.  The best tools are simple ones.  I small nut cracker or mallet if you’d rather. A knife and little picking stick.  Get ready to get dirty.

Rob works his way cracking and slurping one part after the other.  Jeremy only eats the legs.  Sean tries a body for the first time and loved it.  Me??  I crack the legs and body and make a small little pile.  Then I eat my treasure in a couple of yummy bites.  A couple glasses of white wine and homemade sauce.  MMMMMMMMMMM.

Tonight’s dinner, we toasted Uncle Chris.  So many great memories around kitchen tables, eating, joking, ribbing and having fun.  As a little kid, Uncle Chris would work tirelessly to help get me a pile of crab meat.  I would gobble it up and then he’d help me make more.  Chris help “initiate” Rob with the proper rituals of family get togethers.  Help lay the newspaper out on the table.  put out beer, bowls, knives and sauce. They would sit Rob closest to the kitchen.  My poor fiancee would barely sit down when one of the Dernetz brothers would ask if Rob could “get” them another beer.  A good laugh was had once Rob figured out that getting them beers was preventing him from eating more crab and shrimp.  “Welcome to the family”, the Dernetz’s howled!!!!

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Here’s to you Uncle Chris!!  We are greater to have had you in our lives.  We miss you terribly.

IMG_3401 IMG_3402 - Version 2And thank you my little Friend!!!!  You were a tasty tasty treat.

 

Hanging on by a Toe

Today I went out of my comfort zone and went on to a ledge (of sorts), or at least a toe hold.  I went rock climbing for the first time.  It’s been on my bucket list for a while, but last night I agreed to try it for real.  My friend Sandy asked me to go climbing with another newbie, Kathleen.

So instead of doing a nice safe lunch of sushi, we trekked out to IBEX http://climbibex.com    learned to “belay” and went for broke.  For only knowing 1 person “fairly well” having the other unknown belay for me truly was a test of trust.  CRAZY.  But i did it!!  We DID it!!!!!!

I got to two top’s.  A 5.6, the green trail below in the corner by the door entry and a 5.7 with a nice incline on the other side of the wall.  My hands and thighs finally gave out after  2.5 hours of crazy fun!!  I can’t wait to go again!!!!!!

1441223_779774808706576_303327723_nThank you Sandy and Kathleen for a terrific day avoiding “people” and shopping centers!!

 

Life Under the Snow

To many, winter looks bleak and flat.  Nature has rolled back the welcome matt and only waits patiently for spring to return.

To me, I see the layers of winter.  The snow & ice not just blanket the ground, but also covers the very food that will keep nature healthy through the long winter.

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Seeds left on grasses.IMG_3264

Water still flows beneath the snow.IMG_3280

Burroughs of logs and mulch cover safe hiding places.IMG_3299

Deer and rabbit tracks criss cross the pathways.  Turtles blow bubbles to protect their freezing air hole.IMG_3327

 

 

Pet Therapy

This brings Pet therapy to a whole new level.  I’ve got Scout trained to lay on me in the evening.  I am not sure he would make a good “out of the house” therapy dog yet.

I love this picture!!!!  Probably because going to the dentist is one of the worst things I have to do in my life.

Tell me that’s not just a good dog but a fantastic dog.

Manners & Tiered Pricing

Well, if you have watched the news this week, “manners” and “decorum” have been all the topic.  Since I don’t talk politics here, I’ll leave further research to you.

My girlfriend posted this article on her Facebook.  It was too good not to share with the rest of my friends.

Tres Bien!

Tres Bien!

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/12/12/charge-rude-customers-5x-more-coffee-one-cafes-stand-civility?cmpid=foodinc-fb

Tiered Pricing at its Best!!!!

But what does this say, except that each of us have catastrophes & wished “we would do this in a heart beat!”.  The cranky customer, the ill tempered boss, the overbearing coworker.  And yet we each have our own price.

Think about it.  We each change the price in our own way.  Slower service.  Snarky Comments, out right pushback.  Every time we have succumbed to letting that petty little individual get our goat, we changed the price.  It may have been internal, but the price of interaction changed.

Just a little mental food fodder on a very cold Friday morning.  Now, go get a cup of coffee and go conquer your day.

Have a super weekend everyone!!!!!

That Kind of Day

That Kind of Day

 

Under the Hood

When was the last time you looked under the hood of your car?

For most people, I’d gather a full 80% would say never past the day they bought it.  After all, what reason is there for you to do so.  That’s not where you put the gas. The auto shop people take care of everything else.  Oil changes by your self? Yeah, beyond having the dealership or Jiffy Lube sticker to remind you to swing by, those are a an endangered species too.

Saturday was spent exploring the world of “old” cars.  I got to go to the Mecum Muscle Car auction at Bartle Hall in Kansas City.  With more than 388,800 square feet of column-less exhibit area, you could put several football fields full of cars, chrome, and horsepower and still not cover the entire space.  When you walk in and smell the Black Magic tire treatment and fuel, you can’t think of anything else that “la Daaaaaaaa”  I have reached car mecca.

Rows upon rows of cars ranging from 1918 Cadillac, complete with the crystal flower holder to “The Real McCoy”, the 1956 Chevrolet SR prototype, line the floor.  Each car’s hood is up and open for display.  The owners hoping to entice you in closer with the pristine clean engines replete with chrome polish and air hoses without an ounce of soot.

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These engines are things of beauty.  Simple.  Clear.  You can see everything from the air filter down to the spark plugs.  Carburetors gleam waiting patiently for their master to turn the key, step on the accelerator pedal and push fuel into their combustion chambers.

IMG_3246Minus a large ring or watch, a person can actually reach each and every part in the engine.  The levers, lines and hoses are all visible and identifiable.  They scream, shut the hood and let’s ride!!!

Old men were giddy to take pictures of “their first car”.  Sons and daughters tagged along behind their dad watching in awe and asking how many “ponies” were under that hood.  Me?  I felt like a kid in the candy story.  At lunch, Rob asked which one was my favorite.  I honestly couldn’t tell him.  1) there were just too many.  It honestly was overwhelming how many trucks and muscle cars there were, but like your kids 2) how do you pick your favorite one?    You Can’t!

Instead, I found myself marveling at the ingenuity of the designers.  Wanting to put the spare tire dead center, but making it lever to side and get it out of the way.

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Fans on the front of the radiator to push more air in to cool the engine.

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The simple poetic lines of a Corvette.  Elegant, yet nimble and oh so fast.

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Even the station wagons look more fun than the 1969 Ford Fairlane that our family drove. A Woody and a Chevy Nomad were just two of many “cool” family vans.

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Such fun.  I must go wipe the drool from my lip.

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Can’t wait for next year!!!!