Blue crabs were always a joy in our house. My parents would get a bunch of live ones home from the Asian market and leave them in the sink long enough for us to spy on them. Sometimes we would put chopsticks near them, jumping when they would snap at them. Giggles escaped. It was as much fun as eating them, mastering ways to pick them to get the most meat out of them. We always had little dipping bowls of fresh lime juice mixed with salt and pepper. Just catching a whiff of those scents now brings me back to those young summer days.
My favorite part is the innards -- what we call gat. The last time I got crabs there was so much gat that I marked it on the lunar calendar so I know when I should get crabs again. I love it so. So it was very sad when my sister called yesterday to tell me that she can't eat crabs while she's pregnant. She read that the gat can be toxic and can be dangerous to pregnant women and their oven-buns. And the gat can be so pervasive that she can't eat any at all. So sad!
It made me a little bit nervous about eating the gat that I do. Last summer I got crabs, enough to last all weekend, maybe 20-30 times. Moderation has always been just past my grasp. But I think I'm going to have to learn some. Damn!