Camping and crabbing

Growing up around saltwater meant dinner was usually not too far away. In my high school days, my old rusty Chevy Nova always had a crab net in the trunk with several other culinary necessities like a Coleman stove and various pots and pans. There were also a few cotton strings that found a patient hand on one end and a fish head at the other. Obtaining crab bait was simple. Just hit the fish-cleaning table at the local pier. There were crabs everywhere back then! The sounds, inlets and tidal marshes held endless possibilities. My personal limit was to quit when the first crab climbed out of a five-gallon bucket.

I remember camping with my surfing buddies at the Cape Point campground at Cape Hatteras back in my teens. We would camp for months and were really good at adventures. One day we hit the crab jackpot. We picked crabs for hours after I agreed to make my famous crab cakes.

When all the crabs were picked, we headed out through the campground to search for the ingredient each of us was assigned to get. Most were easy to find since everyone felt a little sorry for us young, starving school boys.

Just before sunset my dinner was served: crab cakes sautéed in wild onion and Hatteras Island bay leaf-infused butter, with fresh fried bluefish on the side. About then, our kind neighbors walked over to share some grilled hotdogs. I wish you could have seen their faces when they saw what we were getting ready to dine on!

Kevin McCabe, Buxton, Cape Hatteras Electric

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