Ha! I Laugh At This Weather!
Here in Maryland, one of the greatest pleasures is catching The Maryland Blue Crab. What is even better is eating them! Saying that, yesterday I attended the annual Tidal Fish Crab Forum's Snoodfest. It is a bunch of crabbers who get together this time of the year to eat, drink, and be merry, and of course talk about the upcoming crabbing season here in Maryland. Everyone brings a dish, dessert or appetizer to share. BYOB for what ever you want to drink, beer, soda, or wine etc. One of the most enjoyable things at the fest is eating Oysters and Clams on the half shell. Steamed or Raw they are good. The weather was predicted to be miserable and it was somewhat. It was to be snow changing to sleet, changing to frozen rain. It is the frozen rain that is nasty. The Snoodfest was held at a community center on the water just outside of Baltimore City. My church cancelled services on that weather prediction and was justified in doing so. Our services are 5 p.m. every Sunday. That prediction didn't keep me from going to the Snoodfest! I know many members were coming from out of town and a long way, They made the right choice not to come.It started snowing about 10a.m. and was covering cars, grass and driveways. I picked up my friend Mike on the way at about 12 noon and the snow was coming down hard. No problem getting to the center where it was being held. The forecast changed a little and the freezing rain was expected till later in the evening. As the weather being what it was, we still had a good turn out, about 50 men, women and some children. The snow was coming down hard and was about 2 to 3 inches at this point. We put our food on tables along with all of the other food being brought in. The Oysters and Clams were outside under a tent on tables set up for shucking and eating. A large grill was under the tent with us and gave off plenty of heat if needed. Oysters and Clams were being steamed in a pot set up on a propane burner. Soon hot dogs, hamburgers along with oysters and clams were on top of the grill cooking in their own juices. The raw oysters were outstanding in their taste, salty fresh and cold. I shucked and ate quite a few of the bivalves after putting on a little of the hot sauce, and slurped them down. Who cared about the snow, this was fun! The snow was still coming down hard and accumulating more and more!Filling up on Oysters, I went back inside to see what else was put on the tables. There was homemade Italian sausages, pasta, smoked salmon, shrimp bisque, soups, cold cuts, and cheeses just to name a few things. It was a plethora of food. Wonderful desserts and appetizers abound. Some one was in the kitchen frying up clam fritters. Outstanding! I only drank one beer since it was snowing so hard. I didn't want to drive home being impaired in any way. Getting a chance to meet other people and putting a face with the forum names was a pleasure. We talked boats, crabbing, equipment and where the good spots were in the summer. Some use trot lines, some collapsible traps, and even hand lining to catch crabs. There were displays on what to use for crabbing and also how some of the crabbers steam them . Quite of few of the crabbers using a trot line would use a snood tied onto their trot line. The snood was and extra piece of line that dropped about 6 inches and the crabs eating the bait from one of the snoods would hold on to the bait much longer as the line was being brought up to dip them. I got to see first hand how to tie them on and how they were used. Very informative! Members Polecat and RJ gave us an education! Sitting around and talking shop the snow kept coming down and sometimes it sleeted. It was about 5 o'clock when Mike and I decided to leave. Brushing the snow from the car (about 5 or 6 inches) we headed for home. We got much more snow then was predicted and was glad it was snow and not the freezing rain. Dropping off my friend Mike, I made it home before the snow stopped and the freezing rain began. Some of the roads were slippery and you just had to slow down and take your time, which I did! Being out with a bunch of like minded friends even with the snow coming down made for a good afternoon. I am glad I went! Ha! What's a little snow when you can have this kind of fun!