Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer Makes Me Crabby Week: Soft Shelled Crabs

But first - I'm getting faster y'all!

Saturday I had another race, a 10k. I don't do 10ks very often for a number of reasons, first because they just don't occur as often. While we have a 5k almost every weekend here in Southern California, 10ks are a little less frequent. The second reason is that sometimes when I go to sign up for a 10k, Thatmom decides she wants to race with me, and since she's not up to a 10k yet, we drop down to 5ks so we can run together.

However, this weekend, I signed up for a 10k which was part of the Coronado Sports Fiesta. I was very excited about it because I imagined this beautiful course run on Coronado (my favorite beach in San Diego). I was so wrong.

The race was really small. Thatboy thinks it was the smallest race I've run, but I disagree. In any rate, because branny LOVES my goofball faces I make when Thatboy tries to take my picture before the race I thought I'd include this.

It also gives you a better idea of the size of the field.

As I stated earlier, the course was not what I was expecting. Instead of running along the beach, we were facing the wrong direction! A quick glance of the course map showed that we were actually running on the naval base. Which could be cool, right? But there was really nothing there to distract - just flat barren land which is I guess used for artillery or bombs or something? I dunno, all I know is that there was a sign saying "no stopping, standing, or taking pictures" which is motivation of a different kind I guess.

The route itself was a repeater, which isn't my favorite. We ran out for 2 miles, then back along the same 2 miles, then back for 1.1 miles, and back again for another 1.1. miles. So I actually ran parts of the course 4 times.

As far as a breakdown, I'm SUCH a backwards runner. The way it works is, with longer distances, you usually run a slower per/mile rate. Because you have to keep something in the tank, right? NOT ME! I don't know what's wrong with me, but I run faster during longer distances. I had a new PR for the first5k of the race. And frankly, at that time I was really wishing this was just a 5k. And I started questioning whether I was going to be able to handle my upcoming half. And then mile 4 came in and all of a sudden everything just kind of fell into place.

The last quarter mile I could swear I smelled popsicles. Thatboy thinks I'm crazy, but I know what I know. To emphasize what a small race this was, check out the finish line!

I was actually a little disappointed in my time, because the OCD in me really wanted to finish in 1 hour, but when I got home I started reviewing my past 10k scores. The last 10k I ran was in March and I came in 3 minutes slower. 3 minutes in 4 months? I'll take it. And I keep going back to the fact that the 5k portion of the run was 2 minutes faster than the 5k I ran last month. So it didn't take long for that disappointment to turn into a little "yay me!"

Okay, back to crab week! Tonight we feature soft shelled crab. Softshelled crabs are truly a summer delicacy. There's no specific soft shelled crab breed, but during the late spring and summer crabs of all breeds outgrow their hard shells and shed them. Before their new soft shells have a chance to harden, you can enjoy these delicacies. Soft shelled crabs are easier to eat because you don't have to crack them, you can just eat them shells and all. Which Thatboy thinks makes them a little weird to eat. I've opened up whole worlds to Thatboy.

I love them sauteed in some butter and served in a sandwich, po-boy style, but even if you're not a southerner, you'll probably still love the buttery sweet taste of sauteed soft shells. I allow 2 crabs per person, but if you really love them I could see 3 being very easy to put away.

Soft-shelled crabs (from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 4 soft shelled crabs
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  1. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dust the crabs with it and shake off excess.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil. Toss the crabs and cook over medium high 3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the crabs to a warm platter and squeeze the lemon juice into the pan, scraping up the brown bits.
  4. Pour the pan juices over the crabs and serve.
I served my soft shelled crabs with some more barley - told you about that barley kick.

Barley Casserole
  • 1/5 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cups boiling chicken broth
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the barley and onion and cook until the onion is soft and the barley is coated in butter.
  2. Add green pepper and cook and additional 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cashews, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.
  4. Cover and simmer 25 minutes, or until all broth is evaporated.


  1. Congratulations That Girl!!!!! Stronger, fitter and more inspired in the kitchen!!

  2. It is like playing "Where's Waldo" to find your goofball grin in the crowd. What a lonely finish line but congrats on the PR!

  3. I'm impressed! One day I will run 1 full mile