Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Aug 9th

Yesterday we all drove up in the mountains to go crayfish collecting. We pilled in the car and drove east for about an hour and a half up to Strawberry Reservoir at 8000 feet above sea level. The water was cold and filled with the tiny crustaceans crawling around the rocky bottom not far from the shore. We brought two net traps along from Sweden and baited them with raw chicken legs. Within minutes they were crawling inside the cage and had to be emptied. Most were just tying a string around a chicken leg and throwing the thing into the water, within minutes the leg was covered in crawling crayfish. One just had to carefully pull it back to shore and put a net under the leg as you lifted it out of the water. They would then just drop off like ants and could be dumped into a larger holding bucket on shore.

There always has to be somebody in the group to go over the top! Two hours later our Swedish friend from Park City and Wanship showed up. Troy and Anette are avid scuba divers and brought all their equipment along, to add to the hunting competitiveness. Within minutes they were picking the largest ones off the bottom 20 feet down. Our group on the other hand had to go through a quality control selection committee, where the smaller ones were pardoned from execution and thrown back to the lake.

They were executed right there that afternoon. That was my job!

First two large pots of water are brought to boil, along with a bottle of porter beer, salt, sugar and the most important ingredient of all, crown dill. Crown dill is basically dill that is left unattended in the garden and sprouts flowery tops. Karin made sure in the spring to plant plenty of the stuff just for this occasion.

The crustaceans were first placed in a bucket of clean water to be given a bath, after that ten of the luck ones were picked out and placed in a colander. That’s when they handed it to me, my job was to say a few last words and drop them down into their deaths. The water would subside and within a minute boil again for ten minutes. They were then done and could be placed in a cooler with ice.

Here we are finishing off the porter beer that wasn't used !!!

Five hours later we had amassed a good amount for the annual Swedish crayfish party. Yes the party where everyone gathers around the table to slowly gorge themselves on the tasty creatures and wash it all down with song and bottles of Vodka and Aquavit. This has been known to leave some guests unable to walk afterwards.

Unfortunately I won’t be here for the dinner festival this weekend. I’m off doing a river trip with the boy scouts in the heat of southern Utah. : (

Richard Boyer

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