When we got them home safe and sound, mother would then get the big pots of water boiling, and in would go the crabs. A few would escape onto the kitchen floor valiantly putting up a last fight before mother caught them in her large tongs and put them into the pot and closed the lid tight.
While they were cooking, the stove would also be full of pots boiling water for the dozens of eggs to be dyed. On another burner was a large pot of okra gumbo just waiting for some of those crabs.
When the eggs were done mother would put them into a strainer on the table outside, while my grandmother and aunt were mixing up cups of vinegar and dye. My job was to lay out the towels to dry the eggs on and find the white crayons to write and draw on the eggs before dyeing.
We all would sit outside laughing and telling stories while dyeing eggs. It was one of my grandmother's favorite things about Easter, those eggs. Soon the table was full of eggs, and my aunt would shine them up with a stick of butter. We would oohh and ahhh over the bright colors.
The eggs then went into the refrigerator until Easter morning when they would be hidden outside; with some to never be found, or to be found by the poodle and eaten by her before we could get to it. She did love eggs!
Then came the business of eating the crabs! Boy, my PaPaw sure could clean a crab faster than anything! Of course we children would be reminded not to eat the lady fingers, as they were called.
Later we would be ready for Mass and then back home for a supper of okra gumbo.
For as long as I can remember we dyed our eggs on Good Friday, my grandmother did it as a child growing up in New Orleans, and passed it on to her children, and me unto mine. Somehow it is just not Easter without dying even a few eggs on Good Friday.
As for catching my own crabs for Good Friday, that I leave up to others to do for me. However, every now and then I can be found chasing a random crab across my kitchen floor with a pair of long tongs on Good Friday.