Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I haven't gone to the Hollywood Farmer's Market for about a month & I needed my fix!

While on our trip to Oregon I tried to collect as many family recipes as possible.  My step mom Betty, gave me all kinds from my Grandma Loretta's recipe files. There was one called "Vermouth Crab" that intrigued me. It was not one of her recipes. She wrote, A friend made it when they went to Coos Bay. She said it was different but good. I just had a bug u up my......, to try it. (Along with a few other recipes on Sunday).

Sunday was a  gloomy morning & a  great morning for sleeping in (something I'm not too good at, but felt like doing).  My need to satisfy my urge & not wanting to deal with crowds later in the day, over ruled my want for sleep. So I got my butt up, fed the girls, drank a few cups of coffee while I stared at my computer & woke up a bit. (I think I also did a bit of bitching to myself over guys working on the property next door making noise on a Sunday morning before 8AM! Again one of the reasons we wanted to buy the property). By the time  I trucked down to the Market it was a little after 8AM,  a bit later than I like to get out for the market. I like being there at or before 8AM when they open, again the crowds. I was hoping it would not be too busy, due to the gloom, so I could get into visit The Creepy Crab Man & out in no time. He always has crabs along with an array of other beautiful fresh caught fish from the coast of  Santa Barbara, so it was a good bet he would have crabs on this gloomy LA morning.

Before I go any further, let me "explain" how we named him "The Creepy Crab Man". The first time Lauren & I went to his booth was about a year or so ago. At that time he was not near as busy as he is now. There is another fish vendor right in the middle of the Market (prime area) that everyone lines up for. They don't catch their fish so I've never gone there. "Creepy Crab Man" is at the very end of one side of the market and I don't think a lot of people knew he was there, so he didn't use to be that busy. Now you have to get there early or wait in a long line. Anyway,  the first time we found his booth he was not too busy and was with what looked like his son (Now I think he just works for him) and he had a tub of crab and maybe some fish but mainly crab. Over time he has added more and more fish. Not being too busy he had more time to check things out. He could not get enough of Lauren! (It wouldn't have anything to do with the way she dresses, ha, ha. I always ask her aren't you going to be cold in that?) He just leered at her & he's old enough to be her father, I think. He looks like he could be, that's for sure! It was bad though, please Crab Man, contain yourself!

As I was researching  Rock Crabs he came up on the internet a few times and he he does have a name (I also have his card, but can't find it). I think it's Gary or something. Another LA blogger has even gone out on his boat. Yes, she is... young & pretty. Spicy Salty Sweet (link to her story). He will ALWAYS be the Creepy Crab Man to Lauren and I. (Lauren I miss you & going to FM together. Get home soon!) Even Sunday he had two guys working with him to handle the demand and there he was as soon as he had a chance right next to some young girl, asking if she needed help. I guess all those hours on a boat with other guys and just those fish, you get a little... you know.
But again, really? What is it with so many men? We'll leave that topic for another time as I have much to say on this subject.

I never really looked at the crab that CC Man sold, but I knew it was local and that is what I am trying to buy. Am I glad I did. Now that I have. I don't know why they aren't more popular. They are very similar to Dungeness Crab, or so I thought, by looking at them. After I boiled them and started to crack & clean them I realized they really are a different crustaceans. Their shells are much harder. While trying to crack the inner abdomen I actually sliced my thumb open on a piece of shell, so bad I had to stop and get a bandage so I didn't bleed all over into the crab meat. The claws remind me of Stone Crab. They are large and very hard and red with the black line outlining the claw. The meat is supper sweet and I think a bit firmer in texture than Dungeness. I actually liked it better. The little legs don't have as much meat and are a bit hard to get meat out of. They are good for stocks etc. though if you don't want the hassle of trying to get the meat out.

I did make my take on the Vermouth Crab (it still needs some tweak's though)  but next time I buy it, I'm just going boil and eat. No sauce, no recipe, just fresh tender sweet Rock Crab.

Goodies from the Farmer's Market. It was a very light day of shopping for me. Fresh Baked French Bread to go with Mussels, Oysters & Crab.  Also,  fresh tomatoes, onions, beets.

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