I was in crab heaven. I can't remember the last time I got high from inhaling copious amounts of Old Bay but don't you know, eating crabs is like riding a bike. Once you learn the rhythm and the tricks, you never forget. Your hands know what to do without even thinking. I'm betting I could be in a coma and if someone put a pile of steamed hard shells on my hospital bed, my hands would pick up a knife and start popping off legs.
I worry about the Chesapeake Bay and the crab population. Every spring I ask my mother for the crab forecast. Will it be a good year, a rebound year or will it be another depressing year as the mighty blue crab follow the oysters into the lore of yesteryear, where old timers speak of both as never ending. Even I can remember there being four sizes of crabs available in the crabhouses, small, medium, large and jumbo and you didn't need to run down to the payday loan with your car title to pay for two dozen jumbo. Those days are long gone.
As are the days when I could easily eat a dozen crabs in one sitting. Still the picking was good and the meat was sweet. There were even enough left over to bring home some lump meat. Couldn't let that go to waste. But what to make with my precious half pound of meat.
Crabcakes were a given but I have to thank Patrick O'Connell for idea of using fried green tomatoes as the "bread" of my crabcake sandwich. Frankly I'm pissed for not thinking this up myself. That particular recipe is in his cookbook, Patrick O'Connell's Refined American Cuisine. There you'll find a beautiful refined dish with pickled okra, a sweet corn relish with a tomato vinaigrette. Here, instead, you'll find my barbarian's offering of a crabcake slider cradled in the tangy, crunchy grasp of panko green fried tomatoes.