At some point in the summer, though it was now many years ago, I start to miss the summer foods of my youth. For much of the country that might be burgers and hot dogs grilled to a char, for me, and probably many of the kids who grew up near the bay on the Atlantic side of the country summer means crabs -- Crabcakes, steamed crabs, crab imperial, crab fluff. Well, I suppose we thought about crabs all year but in summer the little blue "bugs" that part of the world stakes it's pride on come into season and what spends all year as a mild crab fever becomes an all out frenzy in Maryland. Through the years gazing out on the Pacific side I've become quite the fan of Dungeness crab (the winter crab treat), but when the weather gets warm, sooner or later, it's gotta be blue crab, beautiful swimmers as their Latin name aptly describes.
Tonight I satisfied a little hometown fever with plump crab cakes (blue crab, mayo, egg, cracker crumbs, tabasco, worcestershire, old bay, mustard) and tangy, horseradishy cocktail sauce. Not quite a down home tradition, but just the way James likes it.