|Boiling water||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
Plunge the live crabs into a pot of boiling salted water to which you have added the vinegar.
Boil for 25 to 30 minutes, according to size.
Remove from the water and allow to get quite cold before attempting to dress them.
By the way, the best crabs to' buy are those of medium size.
Small crabs are not worth the trouble and excessively large ones are often hollow and useless.
A good crab should feel heavy when you pick it up in your hand.
The female is more delicate in flavor than the male.
If you have never sundered a crab, it is difficult to explain how it is done.
A crab is made up of two parts.
There is the flat, outside shell with the fluting around the edges, and there is the functional part of the body, to which the legs and claws are attached.
This we will call the undercarriage, and it fits, as snugly into the shell as only God (and the Rolls royce Company) can arrange these things.
But you can wrench the body from the shell in the same way as you would pull a reluctant electric plug from a tight fitting socket.
If it won't pull apart, stand the crab on its head and press the other end firmly with your hand.
This will break the connection and the two parts will come apart more easily.
When the crab is disjointed, discard the pointed gray ruffle that goes around the edge (this is called "dead man's fingers") and the little sac up at the head (that is the stomach).
All the meat in the shell can be eaten, and anything you can poke out of the body with the back of a spoon.
Also all the meat in the claws.