The heaviest crabs are usually considered the best. Have a pot of boiling water; put the crabs in and cook for half an hour; they are usually eaten cold. A very nice way is to open them and take off the spongy part, remove the sand-bag and head—they are near together—empty the shell and pick the meat from the crab and large claws and put it back in the shell; or mix the meat with a very little oil, vinegar, salt, black and cayenne pepper to your taste, and some hard boiled eggs, chopped up; replace it in the large shell and put in the oven to brown.
Take twenty-four crabs, plunge them into boiling water and boil half an hour; break open the crab-shells; reject the poisonous parts and pick carefully from the inner shell, and save the coral colored shells to cook in. Make a dressing; of one tablespoonful of butter and one of Hour; place the flour and butter together in a stew-pan; put over the fire and braid together; then add three eggs, beaten, one teacup of milk, and season with cayenne pepper and salt. Mix this dressing well with the crabs; place it in the shells to bake, first scattering bread-crumbs over the top, and small bits of butter. Bake ten minutes.
These crabs must be cooked directly, as they will not keep till next day. Remove the spongy substance from each side of the crab and also the little sand-bag; put some lard and butter into a pan; when it is boiling hot put the crabs in it; after you take them out throw in a handful of parsley and let it crisp, but withdraw it before it loses its color; strew it over the crabs when you dish them. If you wish gravy, make it by adding cream or milk to the butter, with some chopped parsley, pepper and salt; let them all boil together for a few minutes, and serve in a sauce-boat.