This weekend we went to Xstine's boss' house for a crab feast. They are incredibly hospitable people, and I'm ecstatic Xstine has made good friends at work. So, what kind of maudlin revelry did we engage? Why… shellfishgasm!
Let me tell you people a secret.
Take the freeway 1 north from the beautiful town of Half Moon Bay, get off on Capistrano Rd. and, ya can't miss it, there is a harbor filled with boats from which you can buy cheap, fresh, juicy crabs straight out of the traps. I swear I saw a turkey neck starboard side. So, $3.50/lb and a camo fishing bucket later, we were hauling ass to the party, stopping only for sweet meyer lemons and golden yukons.
Now bear with me. A fresh crab, one that was scavenging a hearty meal of detritus just an hour earlier, needs ample cleaning. You have to scrub it and squeeze black filth out of its long hypodermic anus. When they get boiled, they do eject some seaweed vomit everywhere. Once you're past that, the reward is worth it. I'm going to attempt to wax eloquent about it, but there is no way you will get it until you put that silky sea-salted crab flesh, quivering in clarified cholesterol, into your mouth, and the fibers burst and give you a throat length broth of coast. The chinese believe the yin of crab must be balanced by the yang of ginseng, so imagine if you will this delicious crustacean dipped in a rice vinegar and ginger sauce. I walked sideways the rest of the night.
The town, to recap, is called Princeton-by-the-sea. I love that name. Its streets are named after famous colleges, but are the homes of humble and worldly fishermen. I think what this town says is that only when the life of Princeton curiously leads you to appreciate the life of Princeton-by-the-sea do you become a fully educated person.