When it comes to traditional holiday cooking, most people would opt for the obvious: ham, turkey or a roast (beef). But, as you may already know, we are neither traditional nor like most people. So, it should come to no surprise to you that for Easter this year, we chose to cook crab and plenty of it.
If there is one thing that I love about J.O being a lineman with the IBEW, it is the incredible bond that these linemen and their families have for each other. I often refer to them as our line-family. A group of people that no matter where we are in the world, we can call our family. We celebrate birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and life in general together whenever we are on the road and it makes being away from our blood-lined family easier to bare. With that being said, it was a given that we celebrated Easter together.
With the men having a three day weekend, we all chose to do our big Easter dinner on Saturday as opposed to Sunday. But, what to do for food was the initial thought. My dad lived in New Orleans, LA for 4 years, so growing up every summer we would have a big shrimp boil at our house. Missing those parities, J.O and I decided to use that as the idea behind the crab boil. We could have purchased shrimp for the festivity (major white shrimp farms are right down the road from us), but hey, if you have the option to buy a butt load of crab, why not? So, with everyone game, we decided to make it happen and on a beach for a day of fun and food in the sun.
J.O had his co-worker put in an order for 20 pounds of king crab legs and I went to the store to gather the other necessities: 2 dozen ears of sweet corn, 20 pounds of baby red potatoes (we ended up only using 10 pounds, so if you need some potatoes, we have extra!), 6 large white onions, a bunch of garlic cloves, a bag of lemons, bay leaves, sea salt, crab boil and a loaf of french bread.
On Saturday morning I made a big pan of lemon bars (the recipe I used is found HERE but I added in a cup of shaved coconut), our friend Emily brought chips and guacamole and other tasty treats and J.O also picked up some cold deli salads. We had beer and even a cordless Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville Blender (if you have never seen one of these blenders, check them out, they are amaze-balls) to make some margaritas and other tasty drinks. We did discover that the containers need to be, well, hidden when on the beach. So, bring your cozies and keep your bottles of tequila in the cooler unless you want to have an encounter with the rent-a-cops. This made us change beach locations, but that was fine. It wouldn’t be an amazing day without a little drama! In the end we had it all set up for a great day! The sun was shinning, the waves were crashing, the guys played a little football and there was music playing all day long.
Using our friends big boiling set up (really large pot and elevated burner) made boiling the crab and everything really easy. Just like at home, we used coolers to keep the potatoes, onions, corn and garlic hot while the crab finished cooking. Then, we dumped all the crab on the newspaper covered picnic table and dug in. With 10 people eating, believe it or not, we only had about 2 pounds of crab left over! With that I made a mean spicy crab tomato bisque later in the week.
It was a great Easter celebration, and even though there is always a small sense of melancholy in the air around holidays, I know that none of us would be so devoted to this lifestyle without each other. On Easter Sunday, J.O and I spent the morning FaceTiming our blood-family back in MN. We were able to be at the celebrations back home and watch our nephew open his birthday gifts.
We are so blessed that we are able to always be with family, blood related or line-related, no matter where we are.