Thursday, August 26, 2010

More from Tom

I may have stumped a few of you inlanders about soft shell crabs. Here’s a short explanation.

The most delicate and best tasting crab is the blue crab (okay, it’s my opinion, so no complaints from the readership, please), which is found on the east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The Chesapeake Bay separates the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland from the mainland, and is a huge blue crab fishery. (Mrs. Waddelow lived in Accomack County, right in the middle of the Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and Ellen’s maternal ancestral home. Ellen told me that’s why crabs are in her blood.)

Just like the lobster and all other crustaceans, a crab shell doesn’t grow, so it has to be molted periodically—the hard outer shell is shed, and the crab emerges already covered with a new shell that is soft and flexible. The crab puffs out this new shell until it’s larger than the old one, then the shell begins to harden. The soft-shell stage lasts about four days. Blue crabs grow and molt from May until August, the months without a letter R. After cleaning, soft shell crabs are usually lightly battered and fried, sautéed, or sometimes grilled. The soft shell crab sandwich is a favorite item at Eastern Shore summer festivals.

I think Ellen should put a blue crab on a sampler design. Maybe a little more research will reveal an Eastern Shore crab fisherman in Ellen’s family. That might persuade her.

On the medical front, Ellen had two tests today: an EMG, which tests nerve impulse transmission, and another MRI, this time with contrast dye. So, today she was poked, pierced, electrified, and irradiated. Poor thing! She was really worn out tonight. Results should be ready early next week.

The next blog entry will be about embroidery, I promise. I’ll get Ellen to dictate if she’s still not up to sitting at the computer. If I get really desperate I’ll have to show pictures of the new products. Stay tuned…

Tom

9 comments:

Patti said...

Tom you have become my hero. If what has happened to Ellen had happened to me DH would not have a clue on how to post to my blog. I do hope Ellen is feeling a bit better if not a whole lot better.
Love
Patti xxx

Margaret said...

Thanks for keeping us updated, Tom. You're the best! Hope the test results are helpful and Ellen is feeling better.

natalie said...

Tom, you're the man. My husband wouldn't touch my blog with a 10 foot pole! And I also LOVE soft shell blue crab. It is divine. Give Ellen a hug from her stitchy sisters! Feel better soon!

omashee aka Barb said...

Have to agree with the above comments, my man wouldn't have a clue. Thanks Tom for keeping us updated. You're the greatest!
I've visited the Eastern Shore & tasted the soft shell crab sandwiches. YUM!! Glad E was able to get her fill.
Tell E I am keeping her in my prayers. Hope this latest round of tests will be helpful. (Did she glow in the dark??)

Natalia said...

I think my husband would definitely give it a try, but, Tom, you have definitely set very high standards :-)

Cari said...

Please give Ellen some great big get well hugs from Cari. And thanks Tom for keeping us up to date! :)

Jacqueline Korteland Boller said...

I hope Ellen feels better soon!! How wonderful of you to write on her behalf! Tell Ellen to take care of herself and hope her back shapes up soon!!

tgraue said...

Tom, You are awesome! Thanks for the updates. My guy is terrific and a tech geek but I'm not sure he'd be willing to post for me. You are a keeper. :-)

becki said...

Tom, thanks so much for the updates on Ellen. Hope she is doing better. Might we please have another update on her progress? And Ellen, methinks Tom needs his own place on the blog-h has done such a wonderful job and I enjoy hearing from him.