Ode to the Maryland Crab Cake

…a brief literary trifle in which I attempt to express my appreciation for such a welcoming treat. One of life’s true pleasures. I am humbled.

I am a New York Snob. No question about it. I was raised on Long Island, in an upper-middle-class suburban habitat rife with ambitious parents, good public schools and the LIRR, which left the Greatest City In The World just a choo choo ch’boogie away. Incidentally, yes, I *can* recite the entire station list from Penn to Babylon. Culture. Shopping. Food; the Holy Trinity of any respectable city’s offerings were at my fingertips. I’ve been taking full advantage of all three since I was a child — at first accompanied by Mom & Dad, an aunt, uncle, older sister, then the ultimate rite of passage: going alone with friends. Nothing like it. Throughout my life, I’ve visited other ‘cute’ cities that tried hard, bless them. I even lived in another fantastic city for awhile – one known for Baked Beans, one big Tea Party, and the Great David Ortiz, but it’s no NYC…and it knows it.

Suddenly, before I know it, I’m well into my 40s and I feel like I’ve seen it all. I’ve done a lot; flown pretty close to the sun for a long time, and what’s more, I’ve got proof. I have t-shirts, water bottles, signed posters, tote bags, CDs, coffee mugs, suitcases and bumper stickers to prove just how much mileage this calzone-fed gal has covered. I find myself pretty jaded, if we’re being honest here. I need a wake up call. Something unexpected to bring me to my knees and to remember just how much there is left to know and discover. I’m a GenX’er on a molecular level: sometimes I think I need *actual* pain to really teach me a good lesson. I mean, what is WRONG with me?? I am newly lucky in love, and have found myself in a different, lovely ‘city’ (again, bless!) with some real charm, living in a gorgeous house with a cute guy and all I can focus on is the inferiority of the bagels within this area code. The pizza? Don’t get me started.

Enter the Maryland Crab Cake.

What is this sorcery? OMG the huge, jumbo lumps! No stringy back fin or claw! There’s no extra filler! There is only just enough savory crumby garlicky filling to hold them together in a blob of awesomeness, like some kind of subtly spicy, heavenly, gluten-y love cement. A little squeeze of lemon? Yes, please! A little acid to tie together this mouth watering package, the likes of which I have never beheld? Definitely. Excuse me, is there more tartar sauce? You season your tartar with Old Bay? Really? How wonderful! What is this lovely side of saltine crackers and yellow mustard? Ooh! I love it, what a nice idea. I’ve had lobster. Steamer clams, branzino, incredible shrimp scampis, even Alaskan king legs, all cooked to perfection. But the Maryland crab cake? Never. I didn’t know! How did I not know!?!?! OMG. I’m so sorry. I just didn’t know.

Sometimes, learning that you were wrong can be one of life’s true gifts. That surprise treat you didn’t know was waiting for you all along, you just had to get over yourself long enough to see it and give it a try. And said treat is even more wonderful when you wash it down with a Grapefruit Crush. Maybe two. Hello, (410). Thanks for having me.