Category Archives for "My Kitchen"

1 Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!

Lemon Strawberry Jam

Growing up, strawberry jam was always my very favorite. Mom made it in little batches, several times each season. Though she never canned her jam, she usually put a jar or two in the freezer from each batch. We ate the rest within a day or two! My mom’s strawberry jam was one of my favorite things she made.

The summer before I got married, I realized I wasn’t going to be able to pull a jar of mom’s strawberry jam from her freezer…it was going to have to be MY strawberry jam! So that summer I picked my own berries, and made my own batch of jam. Of course, I didn’t own a freezer yet, so I went ahead and canned my jam and kept it in my bedroom until time to move into my first home of my own.

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!

Since then, I have made jam every summer, using several different methods and multiple recipes. I went through a stage where I tried to cut as much sugar as possible out of our diet. This included the strawberry jam. After several batches of trial and error, some hard earned jars of jam getting tossed in the compost, and a whole lot of phone calls to Mom and hubby’s Mom, I have finally settled on my favorite way to make strawberry jam.

Cleaning the Kitchen

Anytime I’m going to do a project in the kitchen, the first step is to clean everything up. My husband and I joke about this often. As soon as one of us finishes doing the dishes we say “okay, it’s all ready for you to make it messy again!” And believe me, making jam is a take over the house kind of project for me.

It’s important to have clean surfaces to work on since you’re going to be canning the jam. Everything needs to be sanitary. You don’t want any bacteria going into the jars with your delicious fruit. I also work better in a clean space.

Gather Supplies/Equipment

Here is a list of the items you need for this canning project.

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!

Preparing the Berries

 

Cut the stems off your strawberries and toss them in the compost bin for the chickens. (You have chickens, right!?) Then rinse the strawberries well under cold water and place in a colander to drip dry.

There’s no need to slice your berries. I just mash them with a potato masher, just enough to accurately measure 8 cups of smashed berries.

The Ingredients

  • Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!Fresh Strawberries
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Lemon Juice

Tips & Tricks

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!

Why am I putting butter in my Strawberry Jam!? This is something I learned from my mom. The butter keeps the jam from foaming up so much and boiling over!

As I already said above, I really love to cut sugar back as far as I possible in my recipes. Strawberries are already pretty sweet, so I used to think I could really cut the sugar back. I tried and failed two years in a row. The jam still tastes fine, but it doesn’t hold a good texture, it doesn’t keep good color in the jars, and quite frankly, I was afraid to eat it after being stored for just a few months. When you spend precious money on beautiful berries, a few days of your time canning the preserves, and space in your pantry to store it, you really want to be confident that your jam is still going to taste good when you go to use it. I’ve determined that I am only comfortable cutting the sugar back to 5 cups of sugar to 8 cups of berries. That still seems like a lot of sugar to me, but compared to equal parts sugar and berries, that is a huge improvement!

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!One last tip I have for you is the gel test. Take a metal spoon and throw it in the freezer as you start cooking down your jam. When you are getting close to the end of the projected processing time, grab that spoon from the freezer and scoop up a spoonful of your tasty jam. If it pours off the spoon, it is not set yet. If you get one line of drip, it still isn’t set. Two lines of dripping off the spoon and you’re in the acceptable margin. For the best jam, you want it to actually come off the spoon in a sheet…so a bit like a waterfall perhaps.

So many times I have gotten scared and went ahead and took my jam off the burner before it had set. We ended up with strawberry syrup instead of jam. Now I am very patient. I just keep licking that spoon, putting it back in the freezer, and trying the gel test again every few minutes until it is just perfect. My mom is amazing, she just eyeballs it every time. Her jam always turns out. Perhaps after years of experience, I will be able to do the same. But for now, I will stick with the gel test, enjoying little spoonfuls of delightful jam as I clean the spoon to put it back in the freezer to test again.

 

Preparing the Jars

While waiting for your jam to cook and set, gather your canning jars together and sterilize them. You can run them through a rinse cycle in the dish washer, set them in the rack of your already boiling canner, or simply hand wash them in very hot tap water (but only if your tap water is truly VERY hot like mine).

After sterilizing the jars, I set them out on a towel (to catch the drips) on the counter. Next you want to bring your lids to a boil in a small pan. Get your funnel, ladle, jar lifter, and any other items ready to go. Get a small clean wash cloth damp and ready to wipe the rims of the jars.

The Canning Process

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!Ladle your hot jam into the sterilized, and hopefully still hot, jars. Be sure to leave 1/4-1/2 inch of headspace. Next take your damp wash cloth and clean off the rim of each jar. I always think I can’t see that I spilled anything on the rims, but every time as I wipe them off, my cloth shows red strawberries that it cleaned off. If the rims have anything on them, it can mess up the seals of the lids.

Once the rims are clean, use your handy dandy magnetic lid lifter to grab your lids from the pan of hot water. Place on each jar and secure with a clean ring. Screw the rings down firmly, but not too tight.

With your jars ready to go, transfer them carefully to the rack in the canner. If you have empty spaces between jars, fill an empty jar with hot water to fill in the gaps. Don’t leave empty spaces in the canner or your jars of jam may fall over during processing.

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!

Lastly, carefully lower the rack with the jars down into the boiling water. I really take my time with this! When I first started canning, I broke at least one jar per batch of canning. This got old really fast!! I’ve decided it is worth it to just lower VERY slowly, allowing the jars to adjust to the temperature gradually. I would rather take an entire minute to lower my jars, than to constantly risk breaking jars. Since adopting this practice, I can hardly remember breaking a canning jar. Yes, there is already hot jam in your jars, so technically they are hot…but I’ve just broken too many jars and I’m not about to let a jar of delicious strawberry jam spill wastefully into my canner. Better safe than sorry!!!

Final Steps

Once the water reaches a gently rolling boil, process the jars for 15 minutes. When the timer rings, lift the jar rack and rest it on the edges of the canner while you prepare a place to set the jars. I usually throw a towel on the back of the counter or the back of the table, somewhere out of the way as the jars will need to rest there for 24 hours before you should move them.

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!

Carefully use your jar lifter to grab each jar of jam and transfer it to the cooling area. You’ll notice that some of the jars will have already sealed (that’s what that popping sound is!) while they were sitting in the rack cooling. Some people like to count the pops as each jar seals, I usually don’t even notice anymore.

One the jars have fully cooled, you can check the seals. I like to check two ways. I remove all the rings and then push my finger down on the center of each lid. If the lids pushes down at all, that jar is not sealed and should either be eaten right away or re processed. The second way I check the seals is by picking each jar up by the edge of the lids.

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!

If everything is sealed, you’re ready to store your jars away! I leave the rings off for storage and I give them a gentle washing before they go into the cupboard as well. If there is any jam leftovers sitting on the outside of the jars, it will mold and just be gross. I’d rather wipe them down now so I can pull beautiful clean jars out of the cupboard.

Favorite Ways to Enjoy

Canning Lemon Strawberry Jam, all about the process!It doesn’t get much better than homemade white bread fresh out of the oven with homemade strawberry jam slathered all over it!! But, if you’re not in the mood for baking bread, there are several other delicious ways to enjoy your jam. Add a spoonful to plain yogurt, use as a pancake topping, or eat with your favorite biscuits. What’s your favorite way to enjoy strawberry jam? Let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to share this post on social media if you enjoyed.

4 Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from Scratch

Making your own strawberry rhubarb pie from scratch is easy! Everyone is always talking about how much they love Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and I had never had it before. Okay, I take that back…I did attempt to make it a couple years ago with some really mature rhubarb someone gave me and it was a total fail! As long as you have good rhubarb (that is not overly mature) and fresh strawberries (I’m sure you could use canned or frozen too!), this strawberry rhubarb pie will not disappoint.

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

strawberry season

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

The pie set up perfectly! The filling wasn’t runny in the least.

I started noticing strawberry posts in my Instagram feed which made me realize it was Strawberry season! Everything has been 1-2 months late this year so I had assumed strawberries were late as well. Apparently not! Instead we had a rather poor season for strawberries, with hot sunny weather and then rain, both of which are hard on strawberries. But I managed to get some lovely, super sweet strawberries from my local co-op for a great price!

First priority was to make jam, which I will blog about in another post soon. Strawberry jam is my absolute favorite (okay, maybe blackberry or boysenberry…) and I finished up my last jar just days before the co-op opened the strawberry buy. I wanted to make sure to replenish my supply for the coming year! Store bought jam just doesn’t compare. Like, at all!!!

strawberry rhubarb jam anyone?

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

Mature rhubarb doesn’t work well for pie. I selected the thinnest pieces of rhubarb in my bundle.

I purchased a bundle of rhubarb to go along with my strawberries with the intention of making Strawberry Rhubarb Pie and also Strawberry Rhubarb Jam. Have you ever had or made strawberry rhubarb jam? I’d love to hear if you have! I’m very eager to try it out, but I ended up with 18 jars of regular strawberry jam so decided to make a pie, and throw the rest of the rhubarb in the freezer. Oh yummy! Another Strawberry Rhubarb pie later on this summer?

When I picked up my rhubarb from the co-op, I was a bit devastated to see that the stalks were rather large and looked very mature. Nooo!!! Not this again! The first time I tried to make strawberry rhubarb pie, the stalks were much too mature and would not cook down, no matter how long I left it in the oven. We ended up with burnt pie, crunchy red celery, and one embarrassed housewife!!! I even served it to company!

 

picking the recipe

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

Chop the rhubarb into 1/4″ to 1/2″ chuncks.

Carefully picking through the stalks, I selected only the smallest stalks and decided to give it my best shot. With my back already aching from making my batches of strawberry jam, I sat down for a few minutes to select the perfect pie recipe from my favorite online hangout, Pinterest. I found a few that looked interesting, but most called for way more sugar than I was willing to use. After comparing about 5 different recipes, I decided to go with this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

However, I did NOT pour the liquid off the strawberry/rhubarb/sugar mixture before pouring into my pie pan. My thought was, the sugar pulls the sweetness and juices out of the strawberries…why would I throw that away? Seems to me that’s where the flavor is at! I had put tapioca flour in to thicken things up, so I decided to take my chances. Besides, the liquid would probably help soften my chunks of rhubarb as well.

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

My unique way of making a lattice pie crust! I don’t weave, I just criss cross the pieces.

why did this recipe win?

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

If you don’t like the square look, start criss crossing from one edge instead of starting in the middle like I did.

In my baking, I have learned that it is sometimes the tiny ingredients that make all the difference for mouth watering flavor. Sally’s recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of orange juice. Also, she pairs half brown sugar with half white sugar which I have learned makes a big difference in flavor as well. More rhubarb than strawberries?? Less than a cup of sugar!? Yep, you’ve got my attention. SOLD!

I’m not sure I’ll ever have the courage to try a different recipe, this one turned out so well!

the result? mouth watering pie!

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

It is worth the extra step to paint whisked egg over the crust and then sprinkle with sugar.

Oh my goodness gracious!!! As this pie bubbled away in the oven, I could just smell that it was going to be delicious. Pulling it out of the oven, I was kicking myself because it was 11pm by the time it finished baking and I was going to have to wait until morning to even taste it! At least I had something to look forward to for breakfast.

I did a quick photo shoot the next morning before we sat down to breakfast so I would have pictures to share with you guys. My mouth was watering in anticipation just looking at it, as some of you mentioned on social media as well!

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

As I took my first bite of pie, before my hubby had even sat down to breakfast (sorry! I couldn’t wait any longer!!) he asked, “is that the royal bite?” I nodded. It was perfect! No tough rhubarb, the filling set up nicely, the crust was perfectly flaky (brushing the egg on top was an extra step I’ve never done before but totally worth it!), and the flavor was exquisite! I’m not even kidding! I may have found a new favorite pie. It was amazing…and only survived two short days in our pie loving hands.

Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie from scratch. Unique ingredients for superb flavor!

A perfect breakfast. Mouth watering and delicious!!

4

A Week of Food Prep

Meal planning has always been an issue for me. I usually end up making a plan for the month, posting it on the fridge, and then browsing through the list and picking whichever meal I feel like making or eating at the time. This means I don’t always have the ingredients for what I decided to make, and I still don’t usually get started in time to get dinner on the table before I’m starving hungry. When I’m cooking AND hungry, I usually end up breaking into any baked goods I have around, or some other unhealthy snack to hold me over until the meal is ready.

This week I tried something new. Yay! Trying something new is one of my goals for this year. At the recommendation of a friend, I set out with a pre made meal plan for the week from Eating Clean | Cooking Dirty. She had it all organized with Trello Boards, one of my favorite new tools on the web, into grocery list, step by step prep day, steps to getting the food on the table, etc. So organized! I was impressed.

Grocery shopping with a list of ingredients that I knew I was going to use all of felt good! My usual grocery shopping consists of randomly buying whatever items I’m used to having around. This leaves me in a pickle trying to figure out how to combine these ingredients into meals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come home from the grocery store, fully stocked the fridge, pantry, and cupboards, and then said “There’s nothing to eat!” Now part of that is just because I need to cook. You can’t eat healthy and have “grab it and eat it now” types of food around. Unless you want to eat fresh fruit and veggies only, which some people do. That’s okay for me sometimes, but not for all my meals.

I’ve never come home with so much produce! This is a good thing as I’ve been trying to eat more veggies. My grocery bill was about the same as usual, but I could tell I had a lot more “real” food that had potential to create full and satisfying meals.

 

The meal plan was designed for a family of four, but assumed that you wouldn’t be eating all of your meals at home. Well, since we work from home, we do eat almost all of our meals at home so I figured maybe the portions would balance out. In the end it worked out fairly well, but we had enough food for two additional days. So next time I think I will pick and choose instead of making the entire plan for four people.

Prep day was exciting, and turned out to be a little overwhelming by the time I finished! I loved the idea of doing all of my cooking in one day. I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. When I do a project, it’s usually the focus for the entire day. Dirtying the majority of the dishes on the same day, and putting all my cooking behind me for the week was great. Goodbye to “what should we have for dinner this time?” and goodbye to more dishes than I can keep up with!

The first steps of food prep consisted of chopping veggies. Lots of veggies! As I chopped away I kept thinking, I wonder what this is for? I’d set that aside in one bowl, and move on to chop the next set of veggies for a different bowl. I filled my entire kitchen table with bowls of chopped veggies, mixed seasonings, etc. It seemed that the idea was to only be at the cutting board with a knife one time and then move on to a new work station. The recipes were all mixed together with clear directions to utilize your time efficiently. I liked that!

meal prep

At one point I had meat balls baking in the oven, mashed potatoes going on the back burner, soup started on the front burner, a breakfast dish in the toaster oven, and a batch of muffins waiting their turn for the oven while I was mixing together a salad on the counter. With my teeny tiny kitchen, this was incredible! Jonathan came over at one point (always there to taste test!!) and said, “this is like Thanksgiving!” It felt like I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner, that’s for sure!

All finished! Only thing missing is fresh meat to be cooked the day of.

Prep day took me 5 hours from start to finish. Now, I am pretty slow in the kitchen…it’s just one of those things I have to accept about myself. It comes from being a little bit OCD; all my veggies have to be chopped perfectly, I can’t handle sticky fingers making my spoon handles grungy, any spills must be dealt with immediately, etc. But honestly, I’m used to spending close to 2 hours each day in the kitchen to prepare meals. That’s 14 hours a week! To have the vast majority of my cooking behind me in just 5 hours was great! And the new recipes were exciting too! We found two new favorite meals this week.

I had a little trouble finding room for everything in the fridge, but I did!

Throughout the week, I REALLY enjoyed the peace of mind of knowing what was for dinner that night and just how easy it was going to be to get it on the table. Lunch was at my fingertips whenever I had a break and needed to eat. Breakfast was fast, easy, and so simple yet super tasty! Dishes were minimal most days, but I was disappointed to still have quite a few dishes on the days that required some extra meal prep. My dream of not doing dishes wasn’t fulfilled yet. 😉

Breakfast for the week

The stress of wondering what we should eat, wanting to eat healthy but being too tired and hungry to cook a full meal from scratch, wondering if we were going to run out of groceries before then end of the week…..all of that stress was gone. This freed my mind up to focus on other things and helped me feel like I was putting my home and role as a wife first this week.

This meal plan follows the Paleo diet so as an additional bonus, I also cut sugar, bread, and most processed foods out of my diet this week! Great win in my book!

2 Making Dill Pickles with Wife in the Country

Dill Pickle Saturday

I’ve had grape jelly on my canning list for a couple of weeks now. But I can make jelly anytime – the juice is already canned, just waiting for the next step. Pickles on the other hand, they pick the day! I’ve been keeping a close eye on the cucumbers in the garden and Friday night they said “Tomorrow’s the day!”. Kind of them to pick a day when I would be home, with time for such projects.

I’m very glad to see pickle season as we ran out of our favorite pickles a few months ago. Last year I tried a new recipe for spiced pickles and unfortunately, we didn’t like them. So about half of our pickles went to that recipe and are still sitting on the shelf. I’m going to have to give them away.

This is the recipe I came up with for today’s pickles:

We shall see how they turn out. I have heard the vinegar to water ratio should be 1:1, and most of the recipes I looked at called for sugar. Sugar in dill pickles? I don’t want anything to do with a sweet pickle and the Ball Blue Book said I could omit the sugar so I did.

You might notice I put the recipe right at the top of my posts. When I am searching for a recipe, I’m usually in the kitchen trying to cook and just want to compare recipes so I can decide what to do. I get so frustrated having to scroll to the bottom of a blog post to get the recipe. Also, I search for most of my recipes on Pintrest. But I always have to open the pin and click over to the website. It is so much easier if the recipe is just on the pin itself. So this is how I will attempt to present the basic recipe of anything I post.

First step was a trip to the garden to pick the first crop of cucumbers. I didn’t get out there early enough in the year to put up trellises for the cucs so they are a bit messy this year and a lot harder to find the little green treasures. These pickling cucs are prickly littler buggers too! We picked a variety of sizes, anything as big as my thumb or bigger.

My dear husband kindly cleaned up the kitchen for me while I got the canning supplies around, and decided on a recipe. With all the jars lined up, and the water bath getting hot on the stove, it was time to begin.

I chopped up all the cucumbers and set them aside in a big bowl. I like to leave the tiny ones whole for snacking, then I make sandwich slices out of the straighter med/big sizes. I make chips with the twisted ones.

img_3895I try to put variety in each jar so I have all the choices available in each jar as I open them and always keep one in the fridge for snacking, sandwiches, etc.

Someone gave me a jar of “medium spicy dill pickles” last year. I love the extra bite from the spice so I did some reading and concluded to add a pinch of red pepper flakes to a few jars to see if that would do the trick. I also increased my garlic from one clove to two. I was running surprisingly low on garlic though so I only put garlic in about 6 jars. Jonathan said he wanted just plain and simple dill pickles, so we have about 8 jars with just brine and dill.

I almost sent Jonathan to the store for more garlic while I was prepping this batch. He reminded me we would be making several more batches of pickles so we probably didn’t need to go to the store for this batch. He was right and I was so glad he reminded me! I get tired of always running to the store for things. I want to learn more and more to just go without, come up with homemade solutions or substitutes. I am getting better about it, but I was thankful this time for Jonathan coming up with the solution. One day we hope to live far enough from town that going to the store for one ingredient won’t be an option. If that’s going to work, I need to incorporate that mentality now. Besides, it saves a lot of money to restrict yourself to weekly or evenly monthly shopping trips. It takes practice, as well as sacrifice at times.


Pictured above we have all the ingredients used in this batch. We ended up with 14 beautiful pints of pickles. Homegrown cucs, garlic, and red pepper. Normally I would have grown the dill as well but mine didn’t come up this year. So I had to buy the dill, salt, and vinegar.

The finished product:

img_3898

Blackberries in July blog post

Blackberries in July

I’d have to say Blackberries are my favorite berry. I’ll admit, this may be partially due to the fact that they are free, in abundance! Blackberry jam, pie, bread, cobbler….all SO yummy! Not to mention purple, my favorite color. 🙂

When my hubby and I went for a walk last week, I was surpised to see the first of the berries were turning in little patches! Blackberry pie season it is!


Since I avoid “working” on the weekends (Yes, it is a challenge for me to stop working on my business!), I asked Jonathan if he’d pick a few berries with me today. I think we were gone from the house for about 20 minutes max. We walked up Jonathan’s nature trail to the bramble patch, with kitty trailing eagerly along. She loves to go out on walks with us! Jonathan kindly clipped the long vines out of our way and we picked away while kitty Macchiato played in the thick of the patch. In no time at all we had a generous 5 cups of berries and headed back down the hill to the house.

Making the pie crust is always the hardest part. I love baking, much more so than cooking. I have found that a good pie crust has to be made from scratch, fresh every time. I have tried freezing dough, prebaking and then freezing…nothing works even halfway as nicely as just going to the trouble to make it from scratch fresh.

I use a lovely crust recipe that my MIL gave me when Jonathan and I were first married. It is full of flaky, melt in your mouth goodness. However, I have had to greatly alter the recipe over the years as our diet choices have changed. The original recipe calls for crisco but I now make it with coconut oil. I have also successfully used butter. My favorite thing about this crust recipe is that you can add a bit extra water and it doesn’t ruin the crust. Other recipes I have used say things like “add water 1 tablespoon at a time”, or “be careful not to add too much water”. This recipe has never failed me. Now I admit, coconut oil is tricky stuff to work with. I have found the ideal tempertaure for it to work well in crust is about 70 degrees or below. Warmer than that, it turns to liquid and doesn’t mix into the dough the same way. You need to be able to mix it with a pastry blender in order for it to work properly. Fractionated coconut oil does not work the same either!

The filling is pretty simple, and I tend to change it a bit with every pie. The recipe I used this time is posted at the top of this post.

Of course the really fun part of baking is having something beautiful when you’re done. I enjoy decorating my top crust in different ways each time I bake a pie. This little LOVE cookie cutter set won this time around. My mom gave it to me as a gift a while back. She loves cookie cutters! And of course I usually have to include a bear!

Blackberry pie

Trying Crab for the First Time blog post - Wife in the Country

Trying Crab for the First Time

It was after a surprise date Jonathan planned for us last Thanksgiving that I decided it was important for me to try new things more often! Being able to say “I’ve never done that” or “I’ve never tasted that” or “I’ve never been there” used to make me proud. Now it makes me step back and think, “is there a reason I haven’t done that?” If there isn’t anything wrong with doing it, then I’d rather choose a fuller life and experience everything I can in the time I have in this world.

8 pounds of Dungeness Crab

A few weeks back, my co-op did a buy on Dungeness Crab. Having heard Jonathan say he liked crab, I decided it was an opportunity for me to try something new! I went ahead and ordered 8lbs of live crab, thinking that would be plenty. I recently started a new fitness program and diet plan, so I was glad for a little variety in the protein department as well.

When I picked up my order, I was surprised to find out I was going to have to crack the meat out of the shells myself. I still can’t believe Crab is often served in that form; cooked, but whole. The thought of having those pinchers sitting on my plate, and the long jointed legs sprawled across the dish is completely un-appetizing in EVERY way!

A Crabby Job

It took Jonathan and I nearly an hour of working together to tediously crack those crabs apart and pull the delicate meat from the crevices. What a job! Kitty Macchiato was fascinated with the new scent in the house and wanted to jump up on the counter and participate in this new experience. She was thrilled when we occasionally spilled a bite on the floor.


I was a little devastated when we finished our work and only had a small pile of meat ready for cooking/eating. Jonathan pulled out my food scale and we discovered there was only a measly little 3lbs of edible meat from 8 lbs of live crab! This nearly tripled my $ per pound that I had paid for the meat. Now I understand that I did get a good deal, but I don’t think I would have paid that price had I understood just how little food I was actually going to end up with in the end!

Cracking Crab Meat

The Taste Test

The next day, I surfed the internet a bit looking at different crab recipes. I finally settled on a crab salad recipe with raving reviews. We both agreed it sounded better than crab cakes or quiche, so I mixed the ingredients together and we sat down to a lunch of crab salad, crackers, and cheese.

Now, the texture wasn’t unbearable….but I can’t say I liked it! The flavors left much to be desired. While we were eating it, Jonathan mentioned that he thought it should have a bit more punch in the way of spice, perhaps some salsa or something. The next day, I decided to see if salsa would help it out at all. We had crab salad, lettuce, and salsa roll ups for lunch the next day. This was a huge improvement to plain crab salad on crackers and I actually kind of enjoyed the new flavors in that way.

Over all, I think it’s important to note that crab is a side dish, not a main course! It is typically served as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre. Crab is a delicacy, both in how much you want to eat at a time, and in price for sure! I don’t think I’ll be splurging on that again anytime soon!! I should have trusted my instincts that said “I don’t like crab” even though I had never tasted it”. LOL!

Check. I have officially tasted crab.

What’s your favorite shell fish? Tasty way to prepare crab meat? Let me know in the comments. I do still have 2lbs of crab meat in the freezer that I need to use sometime!