"If we don't offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don't lift to the horizon; our ears don't hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting." - Kent Nerburn on traveling from Letters to my Son
For someone who begins the first moments of every morning with a bowl of Barbara’s brand cereal with original-flavored almond milk followed by a cup of strong coffee, mildly diluted with half and half and sugar, I can speak candidly about finding comfort in routine. And while I love to travel, I am also shamefully famous for on-the-road food-related tantrums like the time I woke up at a bed and breakfast in Ojai to discover that no breakfast basket had arrived at the door like it had the previous morning at eight o’clock sharp. I thought perhaps the breakfast folks were running late, so while Matt tried to sleep, I anxiously waited for thirty minutes before finally calling the front desk, only to receive the information that they delivered complimentary breakfasts on the weekend, and since it was Monday, there would be no breakfast. What did that even mean—there would be no breakfast? At this, I took the next logical step. I ran and leapt into the air, throwing myself in what Matt describes as a sloppy, swan dive onto the bed and buried my face in the pillow in such dramatic fashion that the memory of it still makes him laugh. Needless to say, driving across the country with me was also difficult on him. A scene at the Hampton Inn in Flagstaff comes to mind. No skim milk? Excuse me while I go upstairs and destroy my hotel room.
Then there were all the conversations and catching up at the wedding with all of Matt’s and my distant relatives we rarely get to see and whose lives are so rich and so different from ours. Speaking of different than ours, there was a smattering of b-a-b-i-e-s. While in Philadelphia for the wedding, I met up with my best friend from college who I hadn’t seen in over a year and who had just had her second baby a mere ten days earlier. It was so wonderful to see how she hasn’t changed a bit yet has this entire beautiful family at the same time. And then, we spent the week with our adorable nephew (whose toe point is highlighted in Part 1 of this wrap-up) and super cute niece, Isabel, who, plain as the eye can see, took to her aunt quite naturally.
local restaurant the previous night so we thought we might attempt that. If they had oysters, we thought we could grill those. Basically, we were very into the idea of grilling something, but we were comfortable with not knowing what that would be exactly. But then we arrived at Captain’s Ketch and the fresh jumbo lump crabmeat and the idea of some classic Maryland crab cakes called to us. (We would’ve had to catch a lot of crab to have acquired enough crabmeat to make one crab cake let alone enough to feed the seven of us.)
Crab Cakes adapted from recipe by Paula Deen
2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat
6 to 8 crackers, crushed
4 scallions (green and white parts), finely chopped
2-3 tablespoons of chives, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon seafood seasoning (The house came equipped with this tub of seasoning, which we taste-tested and feel semi-confident in saying that it was probably a mix of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne.)
tartar sauce, for serving
In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except olive oil. Shape into patties. (We found that the smaller the patties, the more manageable they were to flip and keep from falling apart. I’d say to aim for a size slightly smaller than an English muffin.)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches, in pan and fry until browned, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Serve warm with tartar sauce.