For those of you who are new to these parts, this project began almost four years ago with my ‘Confessions’ — everything from rants about people wearing pajamas in public, to very personal pieces about my life as I know it. Following is one of those intimate essays, a letter to our youngest son.
April 10, 2015
You won’t remember today. You are seven. Your morning started as a disappointment because we told you that you’d have to buy lunch in the school cafeteria. I came to your rescue at 11:15, but it is you who should get the credit for rescuing someone.
When I ordered your turkey sandwich with lots of extra black olives and a side of oil & vinegar, I never realized that it would be the catalyst for one of my favorite memories. For once, I arrived at your school before your lunch period and made my way to the cafeteria with our lunches in tow. My timing rewarded me, much in the same way that Atlantic Coast beaches reward early risers.
Soon after I settled in and prepped our lunch spread, the first-grade classes began filing in. One by one I caught glimpses of the teachers leading their students into the room, each time feeling anxious and then disappointed. Until I spotted your teacher … and you.
By the time you read this I hope you will have experienced at least of few perfect moments in time, such as looking up at the sky at the exact point that a meteorite shoots across the horizon, or glancing out the car window just in time to see a whooping crane take flight from an obscure patch of grass. When you’ve experienced moments like these, you’ll know how I felt when I looked across that cafeteria today and made eye contact with you.
Your wide grin – with those two missing front teeth – was as cute as a litter of boxer puppies. When I waved to make sure we were actually looking at each other, you pointed then waved in response. When you broke from your line and headed in my direction your smile continued to grow. And so did mine. Most of the time it’s not so good to run out of sandwich bread in the middle of the week. But this week was different.
As a boy, my mom would sing to me ‘You are my sunshine,’ and I think I’ve finally realized why. I pray that you are able to find joy in the little things like I found today. I pray also that I realize more often that these really aren’t little things at all.
You won’t remember this day. But I’ll never forget it, Sunshine.
I love you.
Everybody loves a good crab cake. Even our youngest. What makes a good crab cake? Why, crab of course! The following recipe is more Southern-style than the traditional Maryland version. Still, when you bite into these crunchy beauties you get crab … and more crab.
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- ¼ cup - mayonnaise
- 2 – Green onions, chopped
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1TB – Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp – Fresh lemon juice
- ½ TB – Old Bay Seasoning
- 2 TB – Roasted red pepper, finely chopped
- 1 lb – Crab (lump or claw), picked thoroughly for shell fragments
- 1¼ cups - Panko breadcrumbs, divided
- Couple drops – Louisiana-style hot sauce
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- In a medium to large bowl, combine well the mayonnaise, mustard, egg, lemon juice, Old Bay, hot sauce, roasted pepper and green onions.
- Fold in crab, then gently fold in ¾ cup of the panko crumbs (reserving the other ½ cup).
- Refrigerate mixture for about 30 minutes.
- Shape mixture into 8 'cakes' about 1-inch thick.
- Cover the bottom of a large skillet with vegetable and preheat to medium-high (just below the smoke point).
- Lightly dredge each crab cake in remaining ½ cup of panko crumbs.
- Fry the crab cakes until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side.