Food truck rodeo

What's on tap Saturday? From 3 to 10 p.m., a big Food Truck Rodeo in the parking lot across King Street from The Post and Courier, 134 Columbus St.

Thursday's Charleston Scene will have the full details about the rodeo and vendors, but the featured beers from Brooklyn Brewery piqued our interest. We heard there was a good story behind the business.

Brooklyn Brewery was co-founded in 1987 by Steve Hindy, a kindred spirit who was a Mideast correspondent for The Associated Press 1979-84.

We caught up with Hindy by phone, curious about his Mideast experiences and why he started a brewery.

Hindy admits he had some harrowing times in the Middle East. He was in Iran during the hostage crisis, for one, and he also was sitting behind Anwar Sadat when the Egyptian president was assassinated in 1981.

Hindy also was abducted in 1980 in Lebanon while with a United Nations peacekeeping patrol from Ireland. Two of the soldiers were tortured and killed. A third was tortured, shot and left behind. "I carried him out, and he survived," Hindy says.

Eventually, Hindy's wife drew the line, and the family moved back to New York. At the same time, Hindy had developed an interest in home brewing after watching American diplomats who had been posted in Saudia Arabia making their beer at home.

He hooked up with his neighbor, a young banker named Tom Potter. Both quit their day jobs to start the brewery, and they sold their first beer 23 years ago. Now the brewery is one of the top 25 in the country.

Does he miss reporting? Hindy, 62, says he still feels the urge sometimes. He also says reporters have "bulldog" skills that can be very useful in business.

Get cracking with crabs

The jimmy (male) and sook (female) crabs have been fattening up all summer in anticipation of Awendaw's 16th Annual Blue Crab Festival.

From noon to 5 p.m. Saturday (rain or shine), get yourself some sweet crab meat at the Sewee Coastal Retreat Center, 7407 Doar Road in Awendaw. Steamed crabs, garlic crabs and more crabs are on the menu, along with fish, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, and french fries.

Besides the food, expect music, entertainment, games for children, arts and crafts such as sweetgrass baskets and jewelry, and other homemade stuff.

How to pick a crab: Snap off the claws and little legs from the body. Turn the crab over and, with your finger or the tip of a knife, slip under the flap (pointy on the males, triangular on the females) and pry it off. With your thumbs, pull the top shell away from the bottom of the crab.

Remove the yellow-green gooey stuff, the coils and all of the spongy gills (aka "dead man"), and the orange roe if it's there. Break the body in half. Get to work extracting the meat from the chambers -- the easiest, biggest piece is the back fin lump near where the legs were attached. You'll know it when you see it.

As for the claws, crack (don't smash) them with a mallet or nutcracker. Peel away as much shell as possible and suck or pull out the meat.