Happy Birthday – sorta

20 Jul

My actual birthday is this coming Wednesday, when I will be umpty-dump years old. A good friend treated The Squire and me to a very generous meal of hard crabs and steamed corn – absolute heaven, as far as we are concerned! It was a real treat; not only did I not have to cook, but this is one of my favorite things. Add a bottle of beer and we are good to go!

Hard crabs are strictly a summertime meal, and defy all of Miss Manners edicts. You use a mallet and knife in lieu of more conventional cutlery, spread the table with brown paper or newsprint, and set out rolls of paper towels rather than proper napkins. Somebody will be sure to ask you what you paid for the crabs; this is not rude, but expected. It’s OK to put your elbows on the table, so the juice runs down your arms. It’s not as classy as eating lobster, but it’s also not as stuffy.

Stock photo

When we were going together, The Squire and I ran into some friends while we were at the mall. Bill and Mary offered to get two dozen crabs and meet us back at my apartment. The Squire had grown up in the mountains of North Carolina, and was totally unfamiliar with seafood – he didn’t even know what mountain oysters were! His only encounter with Maryland crabs had been when some coworkers had given him a soft-crab sandwich. This is definitely an acquired taste, but considered a delicacy; I guess they thought they were doing him a favor. At any rate, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be involved with this adventure, but I showed him how to clean his first crab, and promised I’d make him a sandwich. The four of us got to chatting, and it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn’t followed through on his sandwich.

I glanced down and saw a HUGE pill of shells in front of him. “How many of those things did you eat?”

“Six. And you’re no more surprised than I am.”

One Response to “Happy Birthday – sorta”

  1. Garfield Hug at 3:26 am #

    Happy Birthday! Cheers to good health and happiness always!

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