My husband and I once had a summer home on Chesapeake Bay. An old drawbridge led from the mainland to a little piece of Americana called Gwynn Island, a farming community of tiny homes, farms and wonderful beaches created by hand built rock jetties. This is where I first saw Ospreys nesting atop channel markers and horseshoe crabs who left their ancient carapaces on the shore. We had a family of sea otters living in the cove next to us. They were playful, adorable and unafraid. We had a beautiful spot, at one end of the island, with beachfront and day lilies and hydrangeas surrounding the house. Our place was nestled in a grove of tall pine trees, off a dirt road. It was secluded and serene. Sunday mornings I would jog down the road toward open fields of Spring daffodils. The house wasn't much but the view was to die for. We spent our weekends water skiing, knee boarding, taking long walks, relaxing in the hammock and eating. One of the highlights of the place each summer was the fresh caught crab we would get from the water men.
I love crab. I love steamed crab, soft shell crab, cracked crab, crab salad, crab cocktail and crab cakes. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs are a great delicacy. They are the mainstay of the Bay's fishing industry. Summers on the Bay are spent sailing, motor boating and swimming, at least until the stinging nettles show up, usually around July 4th. The water is warm thanks to the Gulf Stream.
- 1 pound lump crab meat (picked clean of shells)
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 1 tablespoon sweet onion (very finely minced)
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- pinch of black pepper
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 2 slices white bread (crusts removed, ripped up)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
- canola oil, if frying
Preparation:In a large bowl mix milk and bread together with a fork until it becomes like a paste. Add all ingredients (except cooking oil)and mix well. Form into six patties. (If it doesn't hold together well add a little more mayo.)
Pour oil in a cast iron skillet until it is about 1/4 inch deep. Heat on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Gently add patties and fry on each side 2-3 minutes until nicely browned. Drain on paper towel.
To broil, refrigerate patties for at least one hour, then place on a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches from broiler. Broil approximately 5 minutes on each side.Makes 6 crab cakes
This watercolor is by a Richmond artist named Laura Trevey. It inspired me to write this. Check out her work on her Etsy site or her blog.