I’ve traveled a good many places, but nowhere beats a summer evening on the tidal marshes of Savannah. It’s just so beautiful, y’all. A wonderful, salty breeze comes in off the water, and with the fish jumping, birds singing, and boats slowly drifting by, it feels like the most peaceful place on earth.
It’s not a gift to be wasted. Michael and I make a point of getting out on our dock as much as we can during these summer months. Sure, you can count on the Fourth of July as being a big blow-out dock party, but the truth is we’ll come up with any ol’ excuse to get out there and celebrate.
With June being National Seafood Month, I decided to throw an impromptu dock party with our friends. Nothing too fussy—just a group of fun-loving people enjoying a big spread of fresh seafood hauled in from our own backyard. That morning my friend Patrick and I walked to the end of my dock, dropped my crab traps, and pulled in the most beautiful blue crabs you can imagine.
If y’all know anything about the South, you know that a cookout without a low country boil is like an engagement without a ring. But this time I changed my recipe up a bit, replacin’ the shrimp with those blue crabs. Then I garnished it all with some melted butter and fresh-squeezed lemon. It was a stunning dish and we had a mess of a time digging into it.
See, I take great pride in my ability to “pick” a crab, but it is a learned art. I had to school my friends who were struggling with the little buggers, letting that delicious meat go to waste. I showed them how to pick off the legs, remove the lungs and crack the shell to get at the meat. It’s not pretty, but being pretty won’t fill you up.
But the real showstopper was a baked fresh red snapper (grouper, bass or catfish works just as well). When that beauty came out of the oven, the delicate white meat easily flaked apart with our forks. In between bites and crab pickin’ lessons, we laughed and shared stories as people tend to do when they gather around food. But every now and again we’d fall quiet and take in the beauty around us.
This was especially true at sunset. After our friends said “g’night,” Michael and I stood looking out over the marsh and watched the sun steal away, taking our breath with it. And I counted another summer blessing.