New Traditions | Crab Boils

I have a young Family and we are just getting going on what our traditions are. My wife and I are not the type to plan out every little detail of how we are going to spend our time, in fact we are just the opposite. We both hate false pretense or situations that feel contrived. Unofficially, a tradition must fit certain criteria.

First off, whatever is going to be a potential tradition can not be planned as such. The event, meal, or celebration must just happen on it’s own or be something we actually want to try.

Second, everybody involved must be totally stoked about it and want to do a repeat. We won’t settle for, “Well I suppose that was fun, so sure let’s do that again.” 

Basically I think that is our criteria, like I said we are purists and not big on procedure. We just don’t want to experience the moments that should be memorable going though motions that we don’t particularly enjoy.

Traditions for us are few and rare, or in other words valuable.

 One tradition that we do have is Crab Boils. This tradition came about from the pickiest eater in our family, think standard kids menu options as a firm boundary. A little girl who wants to be a veterinarian, so she doesn’t want to eat animals. She cries for worms on the sidewalk after the rain. 

My wife took our daughter out on a girl’s night when she was about eight and told her she could pick any restaurant she wanted. Being eight, Riley thought the Red Lobster had to be the nicest place in town. Riley choose to order crab legs and proceeded to tear though them. My wife sent me pictures of this and I was shocked.

A few weeks later was a big day, Riley’s ninth birthday. She got to choose her birthday meal and she wanted crab legs. At first she was skeptical as to whether I could make them. It was suggested that maybe we leave it to the pros over at Red Lobster. It took a review of my professional resume, my CIA degree and Four Seasons experience were apparently not enough. After some convincing and stories about cooking for the Packers. I was given the go ahead to see if I could hang.

Good News, I did hang.

Since then, we have celebrated a number of birthday and holidays with Crab Boils. It’s a blast. We arm ourselves each with a pair of kitchen shears and it is a frenzy. I’ll get what I think is more than enough, but every time it is a race to see how much we can scarf down. The only words spoken typically is when someone gloats over a particularly impressive morsel of crab meat being unsheathed.  

Below I have the recipe that I use when cooking crab legs for my family. If you give it a try I would be interested in hearing about your experience.

***One thing I have started doing is using an induction burner on our deck to cook the crab. As delicious as crab is, the essence of crab shack is better left outdoors in my opinion. 

Published by Chef Ben Mogren

I am a professional Chef with over 20 years of Culinary Experience. I trained at the Culinary Institute of America. I spent my career working throughout the Napa Valley, The Four Seasons Resorts, The American Club, Lambeau Field, The Mayo Clinic, and as a Corporate Chef in Manufacturing Sauces and Sous Vide Items. My recipes focus on creating absolutely delicious food from easily sourced ingredients. They focus on proper technique and extracting as much flavor as possible out of common ingredients.

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