[Dedicated to my two friends Kathleen & Lil Peanut, who swore vengence on me if I didn't share this recipe with them. I did, and now you ALL can have a taste. Ha!]
Okay girls, let's ride! Gabriel's Georgia Lowlander Crab Dressing. Like I've pointed out, I've never measured anything, so this whole process might seem a little vague until you get the hang of it. The first time I made this stuffing, it was totally from scratch, in the sense that I used plain bagged breadcrumbs and croutons because that's what I had in stock at the time. But since that first time, I have always used StoveTop Stuffing. Savory Herbs variety, but cornbread or pork would work as well.
So let's get started on an ordinary sized batch using TWO PINTS of crab meat...
Let's talk crab meat. Of course, Lump white is the best, very expensive, but it does render the best flavor and is chunkier and cleaner than the rest of the crab. Backfin is good, but claw meat will also do nicely enough. These two varieties are more often on sale, a better fit for most of us on tight budgets when the lump white prices are kissing the sky.
So, in a LARGE FRYING PAN, sauté half a bag of frozen yellow corn in a scoop or two of margarine until slightly browned, and then toss in a large diced onion. No need to overcook the onion, but stir just enough to mix thoroughly with the corn and margarine. Then stir in TWO PINTS of well-drained crab meat of choice and declump with spoon or spatula as desired until thoroughly mixed with corn and onions. Continue to stir the mix. Here it gets tricky. To crabs, McCormick Old Bay Seasoning is the bomb. Not enough, and the great taste of MOBS is understated. Too much, and the dish tastes salty, and overwhelms the natural crab flavor. Since I never measure, I just pour gently and continue to sift until the crab & corn is rich in flavor. For beginners, I'd suggest starting with a quarter of a cup of MOBS, mixing liberally into the meat. If you believe you need more, simply sprinkle more into the batch while stirring. It WILL TASTE a bit salty, of course, but remember, once you stir the meat into the stuffing, this saltiness will dilute, if not overdone.
In a separate 2 quart pot, open two boxes of Savory Herbs StoveTop (Have a third on hand for emergencies). Follow directions on box. Do not overliquify. If you do, you will need to add more bread crumbs, croutons, or stove-top. Otherwise, the dressing will have a mushy texture best avoided.
Then throughly mix the meat and bread stuffing in a separate mixing bowl or reuse one of the current pans, if large enough.
Thirdly, let's turn our attentions to an oven-safe casserole deep dish or baking pot.
If using a deep bowl, fill with the casserole about halfway, then sprinkle or place in a layer of thinly sliced cheddar or monterey jack cheese. Continue to fill bowl until all mixture is used or capacity of bowl is reached. Repeat the cheese layer. Then for visual effect, add for color or preference, whole unpitted olives, jalepeños, bell pepper rings, sliced tomatoes, or whatever suits your fancy on the surface of the dish in an arrangement that suits you. I used olives this past weekend, but remember, this is your chance to be fancy. If using a deep dish pyrex pan, I would skip the middle layer of cheese. Another variation I have used is to hold back enough crumbs or croutons to sprinkle among the top-layer garnish, for that crusty effect.
Finally pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until slightly browned.
Now you've got a dish you can't get enough of...
I think it's all here. Best I can recollect. Boo yah!
Date: Mon Aug 2, 1999 11:19:11 AM America/New_York
Well, you SHOULD get invited for the Annual Summer Wind event, Karen! Let's tell Sue to tell Skip this just must happen. You are the only guest, to my recollection besides us, to have been invited more than once during the photographed years! Did you know that? I haven't heard any fresh plans, but Skip has put the whole thing off to September because Sue told him we'd be gone TWO weekends in August. But when I heard that the crabfeast was scheduled for August 7th, I told Sue we'd truncate our vacation by a day or two so we wouldn't miss sharing crabs with Grace & Karen (having been scheduled to be on Fripp Island SC August 7-15). Now it seems like this whole summer has gone whacky with crumpled plans and the sort (remember the Fells Point gig?). Alas, we should definitely be in South Carolina on the 14th, but how about sometime in the last half of this month?
Looking ahead for us, in this always busy favorite month of mine, Sunday September 5 and Saturday September 18 are already booked for some short daytripping out of town. And I think Cap'n Bafalis is eyeing September as well. That first year we went, in 1995, remember, when our friend Jack and your sister went it was rather chilly on a Sunday afternoon, but it was still loads of fun even with Char in absentia.
I don't suppose we will host our annual September backyard feast this year after last year's fiasco with the boys in the hood crashing ithe late hours and resulting in my brand new camera getting swiped, but I dunno yet. Last year's was sort of impromptu, and...
Well thanks for your sweet note KS. Miss you and hope we find some nice afternoon to get crabby together very soon...
From: Susanne Viscarra
Date: Thursday, June 03, 1999
Sorry I didn't get back. You just sounded pretty upset about the plans being wrecked, such that you needed to cool down not converse. Since your plans changed with us, we've now booked ourselves to take my brother and his kids out Saturday morning until dinner. Of course, you guys are still welcome to come up tomorrow night for an evening cruise. Just let us know. We went to Parrot Island (which is now called Bohager's) last night for their Austin Powers party.
Pussy Willow's on the coast, and the blind monkey's farting around with the TV antennae again. No word from you Chesapeake bums since I reported that Simple & Jen's party has moved up to Cockeysville. I feel arid dung dust up my nostrils and especially crummy that my plans were jacked, but par for the course and all that, leaves me with the only thing I can do is to regroup. So a Cockeyville roadtrip Saturday afternoon is pacing us since our agenda is to fringe this Internet business we're building, or at least considering it once I feel I can pull it off, which I probably can't. I'm actually a prude when I'm not trying to upend the principles to which I naturally gravitate in my challenge to understand the human condition. Not a classic prude, as nudity's no problem, but I will not ever feel comfortable in trying to talk someone into doing something they are not absolutely eager to do. Susanne has certainly never given any indication that she's interested in any of this or anything about us as long as we've known her short of queening a social crew to flit about in her honor for that matter, so this break in the plans sort of leaves us to our own wits. Bitch bitch, kick and moan. I was soooo booked, absolutely flattered by how fitting this entire penny opera at Fell's Point this weekend was falling into place. But noooooo...
Meanwhile, it goes without saying. You two are welcome—of course, darlings—to come up, be our guests Friday night until day next, but I know you really don't want to leave your breezy bay perch, so it's fine with us if you beg off, given we won't be on the sail Saturday. Just let us know whacha decide, Cap'n....
From: Hank Schomburg
Date: Thu, 10 Jun 1999 08:32:14 -0400
I thought you might be able to use the new spam yourself as a part of your enterprise. I suspected it was not new to you, though.
Sparky & I have been talking about the trek to the nationskapitol ad nauseum. I have to fly to Rhode Island (is there anything there but portagee and designing?) this weekend. Following weekends seem replete with family gatherings. As some point a red pencil must emerge and put an end to the "we should" loop. June is the month of evil for me since it is the end of the fiscal year and all insurance policies must be renewed. Kind of like April for an accountant.
We will work it out.
Wonderful Hank, but they won't send me any garments in MY sizes. And I'm just getting bigger. That in itself disappoints me on several levels, lemme say. I could however just send their slippery SPAM to every victim on my mailing list, order the largest sizes they stock, then give the garments to the next likely juggernaut I meet. Apparrel bandits stealing my cereal. Dmmm. I freak way too easily for this kind of questionable work. I ask myself, is this a public relations task I should embrace in my role of site owner? As you have been known to observe, "Just because you're misunderstood doesn't mean you're a genius..."
Sparky, how's it been? Well, we take the Pontiac to Cockeysville. I snapped five rolls of film some grocery store goober is probably handling right now or has just recently handled in a precarious process of handoffs from my hands BACK to my hands, for pickup in the morning. Cha cha chisle for Man Razor on the swing out screen pass.
Four naked girls with various extremes of bodacious allure wiggled and squiggled, charming all but Sue's old school vanity right out of the room of regulars and newcomers that night. Simple, Jen, and Dave's Emporium of Performing Nudity (The Booby Guarantee) was kept carefully wrapped in Maryland yokel for its own sake.
Jen's slightly better looking younger sister was there also. Within an hour or so another two or three more "professional" looking early Internet girls made their entrance. Remember, this was an amateur gig, no was money exchanged, none ever required for these monthly fanzingers Jen and Dave hosted to show their approachability and to honor their paying fans, people who paid a small fee to join their online fan club. They certainly had earned themselves a true measure of fame power because it was on record that Jen & Dave were among the very first to take their exhibitionism to the Internet, and soon enough made contact with the first and second waves of girls who undressed for money on the web that had swept the nation the past couple of years before the big money porn industry finally arrived to prove that money, big money could be made on the Internet, thus pushing the technology and attracting the interest of the so-called more legitimate business world with all its supporting players like government large and small, the arts, news, views, and service industries, et cetera.
All the young women this night were in their early twenties, wearing mostly routine wet smiles, camel toes, and unimpressive bras of various colors and texture, but none could be called irreducibly seductive or exotic. Boobie guarantee, yes, seductive or particularly exotic, no. Flanking the plain, even dingy walls in this one bedroom Cockeysville apartment where Jen & Dave lived without benefit of marriage, although there was periodic talk that the ritual knot was on its way, maybe a dozen flirty men became boys in stride and slope, including this reporter as the small talk transitioned to the quick snap phase of shooting the models, who in turn kept themselves in constant movement once the girls had shed what little they had left clinging to their conspicuous nipples, young, smooth, tight and soft, some freckled, some clean, but all of them as pale as the walls, untouched by the sun, except Simple, who in light of the others was a sun bunny II thought it might be fun watching naked girls behave as if wood nymphs from the lore of old, Sue—in her sophisticated Cleopatra wig—ripped an early fig-snot mad drunk, while I just legged it out, snapping experimental keepers of steamy rather unartistic nudes draping about men and selves. Minor disappointment in Sue Baby bombing, but one of us usually is.
Fortunately, she brought her usual nice demeanor earlier on when things were less naughty and more sober. People liked her, but soon enough she kept picking fights in battling her feelings of inferiority against naked youth—trotting out her usual posture of superiority based on the amount of money she makes when she feels threatened by others, especially women, and proud of the well-appointed home she has. Well, we didn't always, and nobody was holding her age or looks against her. Because she was beautiful, fascinating, desired, compelling—until she turned ugly. The guys were certainly talking to her, and while I understood and actually anticipated her mind warp, I didn't feel comfortable leaving the scene immediately, not until a pardonable hour. I picked up her cues, of course, realizing tonight I'd have to generate all the charm and cheddar to muffle any outrageous horses I might have been compelled to unleash. Just know she had gone on record that she wasn't playing any naked games tonight; she was drinking into a mad stupor, and that was that. So my behavior was constrained to normal levels as I had to keep stepping in to bail her out of her own boozed up defiant rudeness, by rolling out my own personable and smart self to the lads who tried to chat her up, as well as those occasional loud remarks directed at no one directly but were no doubt aimed at our host and hostess, Jen & Dave. In other words I had to blend in, try to excuse and explain her slack, and come off as a broken marriage commoner myself. So I took one for the team. A switch of the norm you usually see surface when we're in Baltimore, eh Hank? This is why we're hardly the overachieving power couple of our dreams. One of us is always in the tank. So together we may cut one good figure. We maintain a certain balance, but we don't overachieve. We get by...
Bottom line—this night of fully dressed comic book men and topless hick girls was boring, squandering IQ, hopefulness, bravado, charisma, raising nothing, taking nothing away but the stark realization of being too indifferent to be there. We could ride away from this boobie guarantee to the motel room we'd booked there in Timonium for the night without regrets or any deeper symptoms that we were on our way out of a marriage we thought otherwise worked so well...
Sue and I swap the sober, responsible role by rote often enough that it's one of the most important maneuvers that's kept us together all these fifteen years of poking holes in liberal presumptions, forcing limits, noting discrepancies, self-realizing what felt comfortable to us and what didn't. This marvel, which seems to occur instinctively when one of us falls victim to the mash, while the other remains strong and capable was again in gear. So I floated around the apartment like a long haired jungle king that night, soaking up feminine empathy and its affect on the less attractive male yearling, masking my own zeal for the body nude with a slow deliberate maturity born of mine and my wife's conventional prudishness, if any of this could be called mature.
So here we were, shooting fish in a barrel of witz o' mania, 12 or so forgettable clowns glazed in denial, teasing the limits of common need in some slightly rundown standard issue apartment complex gracing the foothills of urbania just north of the Luthersville-Timonium strip. In the sizzle of the night heat I would become a sweaty mess without even clearing the deck with visceral agitation like I often do in public confrontations with phony, flat, non-personal situations. But this was a private home, and I tend to keep my manners in someone's home. Well, there was that Iggy Pop chair crashing scene at your house, Hank, but I was sitting (or buttdancing) in the chair, and it was purely accidental that it collapsed and I fell to the floor. And that's right, Susanne, after watching me plead in embarrassment for five to ten minutes confessed that the chair had already pulled apart once before, so I was able to finally plead innocence on that one.
There was something missing even in the hands off lap dances that the girls began to give toward the end of the night. No electricity. No psychological integration. Perhaps this was because none of the girls—as nice-looking, shapely and cheerful as they were—fit my pulchritudinous type. These were kids. Lower middle class kids mostly from Cockeysville, Maryland. What can I say? Bottom line—this night of fully dressed comic book men and topless hick girls was boring, squandering IQ, hopefulness, bravado, charisma, raising nothing, taking nothing away but the stark realization of being too indifferent to be there. We could ride away from this boobie guarantee to the motel room we'd booked there in Timonium for the night without regrets or any deeper symptoms that we were on our way out of a marriage we thought otherwise worked so well...
We have another earth scorcher here today. Gotta go sailing soon. Both of us are eager to have you grab some DC gusto from the Dollhouse any weekend soon. Maybe some Friday night, you guys can breeze up on rail or by car. I still appreciate the natural splendor of that plan, don't you? If some Friday night you two want to plot your way here, then plan the night from there starting with the basic tour of course, which will take five minutes, take in something around Washington, and then we can all leave for Baltimore midmorning next for a daycruise with Capt'n Hank and his, hopefully finishing up on an early evening sober moment maybe pick up some Chesapeake blues at a Fell's bar with our friends Karen and her new man, just like it was supposed to happen LAST weekend.
Things to do in DC. Introduce you to our 'XusNET servers—geek to geek. Gaggle around those Inner Harbor Mardis Gras pix we took with y'all back in February. Show you the stash of pics from last week's Cockeyville light of fancy. Swap a few Susanne-styled snappers. And bend tales of our two cities into spicy tongues and funny clothes few in our mosaic can fail to appreciate...
Yeah, just say it, I'll do anything once just to test the water, get it over with, and move along to the next challenge that must be met, not by bothering to count the successes or stumbling over the failures, but by filing the experience, noting those feelings, and realizing for the record who I am, and what I am capable of being...
DC is a conservative city, regardless of who's in power at the national or district level, and no matter how liberal the local government pretends to be with its passage of laws to the left of Maryland's tax and spend smiling faces.
Gabriel, forgive me for not getting back to you sooner. My move and details yet unresolved from my mother's estate have not left me with any free time. Karen told me some of the avenues you were considering and I wanted to pass along my recommendations. Congratulations on securing the Always & Forever account.
If you have already targeted the types of businesses you would like to draft web sites for then you only need to decide the geographic area you will develop. I would recommend soliciting a telemarketer, paying minimum wage and a percentage of new businesses signed up. The initial investment is minimal and well worth the return. The person you hire can work out of your home. Have your phone salesperson pitch your services to the businesses you have targeted being careful to contact the appropriate people inside the companies you contact.
Karen tells me you have a brochure. Mail out your brochures to contacts your telemarketer uncovers or send out a blanket mailing to the businesses you have targeted along with a personal letter addressed to the decision maker. Both approaches are bound to bring in business.
You are not the sales type, as you have said, so I would have Sue make the office calls. Her personable style will help sell your services. If business picks up then you can hire an outside sales rep to work on a percentage of sales and service. It sounds pretty basic and I believe it is. Bringing in initial business will happen with these efforts. The quality of service and the product you bring to the marketplace will determine your ultimate success. Follow-up is the key Gabriel and I encourage you to think about how you will approach customer service. It is the key to long term success.
Peter, our new tenant, web staffmember, is hosting his girlfriend Michelle who’s flying in from Purdue University that weekend, and as befits the season, are planning a Sunday afternoon bird roast, and we’d love to have you.
Hope some of what I have offered proves beneficial. I wish you and Sue the best of luck as you pursue your goals. Very respectfully,
Thanks Pitch for your business advice. Of course your plan of action is a very good one. It is certainly my loss that we never got the chance to seriously talk without all the distractions. I'm sure I would have liked to have collaborated with you.
Thanks again Pitch for easing into a rather strange crowd gathered last Friday night, and not missing a beat. Your salsa was a killer the next day after having a chance to stew in its own cold juices a while longer. I indeed felt the sting, and most of my buds are half-dead from years of palate abuse. And many kudos for manning the grill. Everything was fabulous
Len Bracken's number, if'n you're still interested, is 301-xxx-xxxx. He's a decent enough fellow, even if his politics are more than a bit twisted. And he is definitely a true believer in these health derivatives, conjures, and whatnots...
Date: Sun Oct 5, 1997 5:49:14 PM
Gabe, I honestly did not think your friends were strange. Different maybe, but then, we are all different. Karen and I had a wonderful time and I am glad we could add to the festivities. Birthdays are fun and yours was no exception.
We will hope for an invite next year and if you decide to throw something for Sue, please count us in. Regards, Pitch
Well Pitch & KarenSaturday's Sue's birthday, October 11. We're thinking of an early Saturday afternoon pitch to the shore for crabs & shrimpers. Inviting Sherri. And of course, Mom. Are you guys up to join us?
Peter, our new tenant, web staffmember, is hosting his girlfriend Michelle who's flying in from Purdue University that weekend, and as befits the season, are planning a Sunday afternoon bird roast, and we'd love to have you.
This is not an either/or situation for us. We will probably do both. And we'd love to have y'all join us for either or both. Lemme know.
"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""