Time again for annual crab crack


  There are still tickets left for the annual crab crack and auction hosted each February by the Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce with help from the Greenville High School culinary arts and band classes and other volunteers.

  The event is so popular it’s usually sold out early, according to office manager Lillian Basham.

  The crab will be flown fresh via Alaskan Airlines from the southern Oregon coast to Reno, Nev., where Robert Meacher, and Armando DiGiacomo usually pick it up and deliver it to the town hall in time for the feast.

  The event will be Saturday, Feb. 27, this year, with doors and bar opening at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and the auction by about 7 p.m.

  To go with the crab there will be drawn butter and cocktail sauce, as well as a potato casserole, green salad, the special bean dish culinary students are renowned for preparing, and dessert.

  Some people bring their own condiments and tea lights to set their tables. A walk around the hall is a study in different ways to eat crab, most of which involve a peculiarly gleeful revelry in getting oneself messy.

  Naturally, bibs and crab crackers will be provided.

  Besides the crab feed, there will be music, beer and wine, a 50/50 giveaway prize and a live auction by local resident Chris Meyers.

  Some auction items that have already been donated include work of local artisans and crafters, and services from local businesses.

   There will also be the return of two popular auction items, a personal chef’s six-course Italian meal for up to eight people and a gift basket full of dining certificates from Plumas and Lassen restaurants, complete with a bottle of wine and some glasses.

  Lisa Balbiani and her eldest daughter, Hannah, donated the personal chef experience. The whole extended family is well known on the local cook-off scene.

  Courses usually include hot and cold appetizers, soup, salad, pasta, the entrée, dessert—and a trio of wines, if desired.

  “The amount of prep time in the home depends on the menu choices and the size of the host kitchen,” Balbiani said. “It’s a good way for people to get together and not stress about what to make or who needs to bring what. I enjoy cooking, and Hannah is great at serving.”

  In the past, they’ve served wine selections like a prosecco, pinot grigio and a Chianti, and courses have included a chopped salad, Caesar salad, an Italian wedding soup, traditional minestrone and a green minestrone.

  Pastas have been manicotti, lasagna and cannelloni, and the main dishes have been chicken piccata, veal saltimbocca and others.

  Dessert has been a decadent tiramisu, rich cannoli, and light and fluffy zabaglione with berries.

  Tickets are available in Greenville at Evergreen Market, Sierra Sunrise Coffee House and Deli, Village Drug Co., Anna’s Cafe and Sterling Sage.

  To-go tickets orders will be available, through the chamber office, for those who can’t get a regular ticket, or those who would like to avoid the crowd.

  For more information, those interested may call 284-6633 or visit

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