Nutcracker Sweet

October 21, 1994|By Ben Levin

Blue crabs, hard crabs

from Mitchner's Chesapeake Bay.

Yesterday's Sun eclipsed

by a torrent of crustaceans.

Serious work.

Applying the tools of the trade --

wooden mallets, nutcrackers,

picky little forks.

Side dishes -- groaning bowls of

French fries, cole slaw, saltines

washed down with pitchers of

sudsy beer or, cola for kids.

How to open a crab.

get the meat out of the claws,

throw the devil away.

Always an expert in the family --

a parent, a cousin, an uncle

who couldn't keep a job.

This his shining hour.

The taste of luscious crab

meat steamed in Old Bay seasoning.

The moment, salted in memory,

when we, the happy famished,

devoured with delight --

the last supper of the sea.

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