crab cakes



stephanie calls me crabcake. not always, just when i’m particularly ornery. which happens. not often.
lately there has been a lot of blogging done on the subject. i mean the real thing. not me, but cakes made of crab. so, here i am with my blog on the deal. i have some notions on the subject, dating back to sailing the chesapeake bay, that water where the best crabs are from. which to some people is debatable, at the very least. chit-chat over lunch with friends from texas got things going. ‘t’ for texas has brought my new york attitude to the fore many times, before and after bush. so when i was spurred about blue crabs from the galveston bay and the ‘fraigrant’ crab patties they’d make, the very words ‘fragrant patties’ pronounced that houston way, well, it did set me off and i put up the ante at once. i called monterey fish and asked if they could get me crab from the chesapeake. i could order it, lump is what i wanted, and that’s what i got a couple of days later.
there is a crab house (‘s not what you think) down st.michaels, toward tilghman on the eastern shore, where folk pick over steamed crab for the meat and the money. you finger it straight from their paper cup, and one cup needs another and it is heaven that way. a cold lager on a boat in the bay brought heaven that much closer.
the story from galveston was in a like way.
so, what we needed was a taste fest. a cook off. a crab off, so to speak. there would be both, fresh meat and cakes. done their way and mine. there was no boat, but a lovely house up from richardson’s bay on belvedere overlooking the golden gate. we invited innocent friends. they were hungry and gave the prize to texas, though some came around my way, saying sotto voce: ‘you was robbed’. the texans bought crab galore from galveston. i made only six cakes and a few bites from ‘my’ shore. i didn’t mind, really, my cakes were straight up picked over sweet crab, bound with an egg and a mere fluff of flower. no bread, no chopped bell pepper, no shakes of the bayou. i also made pockets, plain lump meat wrapped in a blanched lettuce leaf to their crab louie of sorts, done up with mayo and pico de gallo on romaine. blue crab of course, instead of the more commonly used dungeness. no one cared in the end which crab was the finest. the delight of crab, the wine, the company, the breeze off the bay, there hasn’t been a summer afternoon like that in a while.