a fine feast

crab feast

We gathered over crab.

“We’ve been out crabbing every weekend and we’re tired of shelling crab. You want to help us eat some?”

Now these are good neighbors.

We brought a big bag of greens, some fresh goat cheese, a jar of the tahini dressing that is continually emptying and being refilled. And a raspberry tart with mascarpone cheese, peach preserves and a pistachio crust.

(Lauren is visiting us for a couple of days, so yesterday we baked. We collaborated on that tart together. Walking down the gravel path to the neighbors’ house, we both giggled. “I can’t wait to eat it!” she kept saying.)

We sat outside in the finally warm air. Lu and her little buddy Blake ran through the yard, playing with the hula hoop, then fighting over the hula hoop. Going down the slide together then one crying because the other wouldn’t give a turn. These were two overtired kids. We probably should have started dinner earlier. But then again, there was crab.

We gathered at the table, each of us with plates and food in our hands. Crab and tin foil containers for the shells. A jug of warm melted butter. Homemade cocktail sauce. Slices of lemon. Bread for one half of the table. Salads with goat cheese. Salt and pepper. Mason jars full of ice water.

Happy silence, save for the cracking of crab legs, the sprinkle of salt, and happy chewing. The kids were happy. Danny didn’t talk for 30 minutes. He just reached for another crab leg.

After dinner, the kids burst into tantrums and tears. The husbands corralled them inside, to play with toys. Later, they stood giggling with parakeets perched on their shoulders.

Sara, Lauren, and I sat outside, in the gloaming. Sara sat, for the first time all day, their newborn asleep in her seat beside her. When we offered her a piece of the tart, I could see the relief in her roll down from her lips to her legs. “Oh, this is so good,” she said, and went for another bite. We sat talking about parenting and how exhausting it is, how much we love the little buggers, how tiring it is to be patient and explain instead of yelling. We make the choice to be patient and explain. We are tired.

The light was leaving the sky. It was time to go home.


14 comments on “a fine feast

  1. Nina

    Oh, to have dry weather and be able to eat outside! My fingers are crossed for a rainless day next week when it’s my sister’s birthday – can’t imagine her birthday meal indoors! As you enjoy eating seafood, this video might interest you: http://vimeo.com/8177268

  2. Coco

    Crab is the best, isn’t it? I can’t imagine ever getting sick of it, though I guess the constant shelling could become tiresome . . . still! Good neighbors, indeed. Your feast looks wonderful 🙂

  3. Marianne

    Don’t you love the Pacific Northwest? I grew up outside of Portland…….and summers at Cannon Beach…sigh…. The picture of the tart is beautiful, is there a recipe or did you just “throw” it together??????

  4. Karen Holm

    I’m so homesick!! A Pacific-Northwester living in southern Germany, yearning for crab, clam chowder, corn-on-the-cob, grilled salmon, teriyaki flavors, etc. Maybe the tart recipe will help….I’ll be watching for it!

  5. Sabrina

    I love this. Felt like I was there with you and Lauren (except for the lack of crab and excellent hugs).
    Love to you, my friend.

  6. Jennifer

    Oh how I miss the Pacific Northwest. I am a Georgia girl who had the privalege of spending a year in Washington. I traveled every weekend discovering new things about that great region. I also got to go crabbing. LOVE IT!!!! And so delicious. I miss the fresh fish and clean air. I am just starting my gluten free journey. So glad I found your blog right from the beginning.


  7. rachel

    The tart is beautiful! I made a raspberry tart last week and thought of you as it’s gluten free (well, I think so…since I don’t need to be I don’t really keep track, sorry). Similar but different…hazelnuts instead of pistachios, chocolate instead of marscapone (though I’ve done it that way and it’s delicious!), no preserves on top. There’s nothing prettier than a raspberry tart – and they look so phenomenal even though they’re quite easy, eh?! 🙂

  8. Sunny

    You always seem to do the impossible: you gently pin down a special moment in time long enough to find the words and then release it back to its own memory. Lovely.

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