Well, other than the wounds to my beloved laptop….my visit to South Carolina was great. The weather cooperated and it was a pretty painless 11 hour drive both ways. My sister looks great! She’s feeling pretty well (it’s all relative of course) and bounced back from the last round of chemo a little bit more easily. Her oncologist said he thinks that’s because the cancer is receding—she had a cat scan on Monday and we’re waiting hopefully for the results to confirm that. She’ll start radiation soon and they will pull back on chemo somewhat while she’s doing that and then probably two more rounds. This is a long and phenomenally difficult journey for her but she is handling it with incredible grace. I happily and quickly adjusted to her 10-12 hours of sleep each night! In fact, last night as I lay in my bed with Owen drilling his knees into my back and the two cats pinning my legs down all I could think of was the beautiful guest room I stayed in at Judi’s house…..sigh.
We had a great time—didn’t do tons….I cooked a lot of food for her and we watched a bunch of Gilmore Girls (see David? your gift keeps on giving….) and walked Wally. As much as I missed my guys it was awfully hard to leave her.
O.K…..I have been known to be amused by some things about the south. As one-of-my-favorite-people-in-the-world, Gina, mentioned however….the south also has things like She-Crab Soup. Gina is not only an amazing friend to Judi and a master organizer, she is also a great cook. Every time I’m in South Carolina I end up eating something that Gina made and it’s always fantastic. This time she dropped off some She-Crab Soup the evening I got there and Judi and I had it for lunch the next day.
It was amazing. It’s rich, obviously, but for a special treat it is incredible…..
South Carolina She-Crab Soup
courtesy Gina McLellan
1 quart half-and-half (recommend using a quality brand)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pieces lemon zest (a few “grates” of fresh lemon peel will work)
½ stick butter
¼ cup crushed oyster crackers
Salt and pepper to taste
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 pound white crabmeat
(blue crab claw meat is usually cheapest, but white crab meat is best for this soup)
2 tablespoons sherry (use the real stuff—not cooking sherry)
Put half-and-half in top of a double boiler with nutmeg and lemon zest or peel and bring to a simmer. (If you don’t have a double boiler, just put a smaller sauce pan inside a larger one with water in bottom of it. Don’t try to cook it in a pan directly on burner because the half-and half scalds easily.) Cook for a few minutes at simmer. Steam should rise from milk, but don’t boil it. Then add butter and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Thicken with cracker crumbs; season with salt and pepper and Tabasco sauce. I use sea salt and very little of it. Add crabmeat.
Take off burner and let stand for a few minutes to bring out the flavor. Just before serving, add sherry.
Note of interest: The “original” she-crab soup was made with the eggs from the female crab added to the broth for the flavor. It’s now against the law to harvest female crabs with roe, so today’s soup is just as tasty but minus one ingredient!