Friday, March 3, 2017

Crab is the New Zucchini

At the end of summer here in Oregon, zucchini is incredibly abundant. No self-respecting farmers market vendor or store can sell it for any price because this prolific squash is growing like crazy in everyone’s garden. In fact, my brother-in-law tells the story of how in Joseph, Oregon, during late August, if you leave your car window open and unattended, there is a very good chance you will find zucchini in your car upon your return.

As a child, my father grew zucchini (and all types of squash) and my mother dutifully cooked it up in every conceivable way. It didn’t take this sharp, 5-year-old long to figure out that squash smothered in butter and brown sugar was still squash. Having only recently rediscovered my love for the vegetable some 50 years later, as it makes a delicious low carb alternative to pasta.

Long story short…enter the Winter of 2016 when Dungeness crab have been extremely plentiful on the Oregon Coast. An item that usually costs $20.99 per pound, if even available, is now selling for $3.00 per pound in Tillamook. Although the tourists are buying it up like crazy, there is still plenty to go around.

My son, living in the beautiful fishing village of Garibaldi, has been harvesting crab from the dock and giving me 12 to 16 every week. As much as I love crab, and have been cooking, freezing and otherwise preserving it for future meals, there is still a plentifully supply. 

Giving it away here is difficult as the locals are wise and have had enough themselves. My attempt to foist it on local contractors, friends and even business associates has met with a firm, “No, thanks.”

So let this serve as a warning to coastal residents and visitors…roll up your car windows, do not leave your bags unattended, and the children’s backpacks. As the warning signs read, “We cannot be held responsible for your belongings.”