It’s the parents 51st anniversary, and since they are still on lockdown, we could not go out like we did last year to the Italian restaurant whose name I can not even remember. At any rate, Devon and I decided we would do something for them, and since mom and dad both loved Maryland crabs, we did that. I went to Maryland this morning and picked up a half a bushel and some Utz’s potato chips, Devon made a gazpacho and a corn salad, and we surprised them for dinner:
If you look to the left, you can see my bear paw, but as dad and Chris are more photogenic, the rest of me was not in the frame. Crabs look good, though:
Ironically, both mom and dad, lifelong Republicans, are almost as eager as I am to vote for Biden. They just LOATHE Trump. At any rate, Happy 51st.
Happy Anniversary to the folks, John!
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad Cole!
With age comes wisdom, glad you’re ridin’ with Biden!
Happy Anniversary, Cole parental units. Yay! Glad you were still able to get together.
Ok…do ya’ll do a crab boil like we do in NOLA? Or do ya’ll use different spices?
Oh and Happy Anniversary to ya parents
Happy Anniversary, Mr & Mrs Cole! ?
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad Cole!
Who is Chris?
And how long a drive was it to Maryland? Is that the state of Maryland, or somewhere in WV?
Brendan in NC
Happy Anniversary to your parents, John!
Happy anniversary, Cole ‘rents! Enjoy the eats.
Happy Anniversary to the parents of the host of the show!
As I always say: MAZEL TOV YA CRAZY KIDS!!!
@lamh36: A boil up yonder most likely involves Old Bay. I’m pretty sure that’s quite a bit different than when we did crawdads for my brother’s graduation!
Joy in FL
Happy 51st to the Cole parents : )
How come no pic of Mom?
Crabs look good! A very happy anniversary to Mr and Mrs Cole.
Maybe she was taking the picture :-)
@lamh36: There is only one seasoning, and it is Old Bay.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad Cole!
??? Happy 51st to Papa and Mama Cole!
You’re a good son John. Happy Anniversary to your fine parents.
@Spanky: Zatarains ain’t bad but I’m an Old Bay guy myself.
Also too, Cole ‘rents: A Big Happy Fifty First to youse guys.
Happy (3*17)th to those crazy kids!
Oh, happiest of anniversaries to Mom and Dad Cole! May they celebrate many more.
Didn’t you guys go to Lydia Bastianich’s place? It closed late last year. She retired from running the restaurants and sold it. Not a COVID victim, anyway. I forget what was supposed to go into the space, but I doubt it has opened.
A Ghost to Most
Nothing better than tearing into a half bushel of MD crabs, except tearing into a full bushel. Congrats to the folks.
How far east did you have to come? Taking 68 to 70 only gets you to the west bumfuck part of the state.
Oh, man, a Baltimore crab feast. Newspaper on the table. Steamed, not boiled. Old Bay. Where’s the Natty Boh? My mother loved Utz.
Neither Cole not I have any trouble getting to Maryland to pick up some crab or cheap alcohol (alcohol is relatively expensive in PA; not sure about WV) or take a quick weekend trip to Cumberland. Couple hours drive and back.
@lamh36: Steamed, not boiled, and the only spice that can be used in Maryland is Old Bay.
We had crabs in Baltimore with California friends and one of them looked at the plate and said “Don’t they wash the mud off?” They were of course caked in Old Bay.
@geg6: It’s faster for me to get to the package store in the aptly named town of Maryland Line than to get to the PA State Store. I haven’t noticed a lot of difference in the price though.
Folks from the Eastern Shore (of the Chesapeake) would tell you than Old Bay is but a second-rate imitation of Wye River. Or so I was informed by a friend who went to school at Washington College in Chestertown. FTR I keep both on the spice rack& have no clear preference … but on my trips to Prague (now sadly COVID-curtailed) I pack cans of Old Bay for my friends who studied in Baltimore many years ago.
Happy Anniversary, they got married the week before I came home.
I think that’s a wonderful anniversary celebration dinner.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad Cole
@geg6: Oh good. I googled distance WV to Maryland, and it said 5.5 hours each way.
I know Cole loves his parents, but I’m not sure I love anyone enough to drive 11 hours for some crabs.
@raven: Damn, you’ve been back a long time. Terrible to think of all the people who fought in Vietnam who never got their 50 years.
*well, that’s a happy thought for an anniversary thread.
I got my own can of Old Bay is there a seat at the table?
My parents made it to 56 before Mom passed, congrats to your mom and pop.
Happy Anniversary to the Cole Parents!
That’s a tasty looking feast. I notice, too, that while no one is wearing a bib, the table is covered with newspaper, which is de rigueur when eating shellfish.
(One of the best crab places I’ve ever been to had a semi-circle of handwashing stations – sinks set in barrels – just beyond the dining area.)
Really not that far to get to MD from the Wheeling area but I can’t believe you picked up high-quality crabs in Garrett County. Maybe Cumberland (the land that time forgot).
When I was young, we used to drive to Maryland for cheap cigarettes. Weather reports on local news often include a couple counties in Maryland.
Not a fan of crab despite spending my high school summers on the Sassafrass River. But Old Bay as Bloody Mary seasoning is heavenly.
Agreed. Had to be Cumberland.
Dig it. Mazeltov to the ‘rents, and complements on their mad parenting skillz.
Happy anniversary to the parents! ?
I’m lazy, so I’m more of a crab cakes kind of guy. But they’ve got to be good!
Haven’t done it in years, but it used to be much cheaper. People would drive to Maryland to get liquor for weddings and other large events. We’re talking the 70s and 80s.
Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad Cole! And welcome to voting Democratic!
Q: Do anything special for your parents’ anniversary?
A: I gave them both crabs.
I was too young but the teenagers in town would drive to Maryland to buy beer when the legal age was still 18.
Gotta exercise caution and check first as some people are highly allergic to something in Old Bay. Know someone who ended up in hospital due to that.
OH that’s wonderful, please wish them many more from this jackal. Good friends of mine had their 50th last year & it’s clear that it takes dedication and compassion, and probably a good dose of humor. So happy for them!
Congratulations to the happy couple. You’re a good son, John.
Happy anniversary to the Parents Cole! My folks just had their 47th a couple weeks ago, and it was yet again so sad that I couldn’t spend the day with them. We’re just being so super cautious about it, which is good, but…just such a damn bummer.
I’m glad you got to spend time with your family, JC, and I’m very glad to hear the folks are voting blue!
Happy Anniversary to Ma and Pa Cole.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
Glad to see you did it the authentic Chesapeake Bay way, served without plates or silverware. I don’t see any knives or nutcrackers either. I do see the wooden mallets and some purists will tell you even that’s too much.
We were vacationing on the Bay years ago and tried to find an authentic crab house serving that style. It took some searching, I wonder if the old tradition is dying out.
@lamh36: Old Bay seasoning as others have mentioned. But I think you have the same tradition of trying to do it with your bare hands. I remember the scene in Beasts of the Southern Wild where Hushpuppy’s dad angrily takes the utensils away and orders her to “beast it”. I think that was crab they were eating?
the table is covered with newspaper
I enjoyed that detail, too.
Happy anniversary to Mrs. and Mr. Cole.
Happy 51st to the parents! Boy, those crabs look good. Haven’t had a crab feed since my brother was in medical school in Bawlmer. Sometimes I regret marrying a vegetarian.
Happy congrats to Mom and Dad Cole! That meal looks scrumptious – gotta be a decent amount of Old Bay in there.
Thinking about my folks now. They made it to 57 years (both passed in 2008). I am still in awe of that. My brother is still married to his one and only bride. My sisters and I have 8 marriages, 6 divorces, 1 widow and 1 still married between us. No kids for the girls, 1 kid for my brother. Different times, different lives.
Ceci n est pas mon nym
@prostratedragon: The traditional table setting is with brown paper, but newspaper is close enough. Also the crabs are supposed to be dropped right on the paper, not served in a fancy-schmancy serving dish.
@Ceci n est pas mon nym:
How the hell do you eat gazpacho without a bowl and a spoon?
Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Cole! Congratulations to your dutiful offspring for getting you such a splendid summer feast. Cape Cod has wonderful seafood, but this Delaware boy misses crabs so much.
J R in WV
MANY HAPPY RETURNS to your folks, Cole. The Cole parents raised a good boy !! Those crabs look great, a real summertime treat!
Congratulations to the folks and your whole family!!!
Happy anniversary to Mom and Dad Cole!
Mike in NC
We used to love going to Captain Pell’s Crab Shark in Fairfax, VA. But eventually the land was sold to build luxury condos. Happy anniversary.
@WaterGirl: Straight to Bromley Hall!
And happy being a good kid to your parents to you!
@raven: I wondered the other night when you said private dorm with a pool.
In west Virginia old bay was a delicacy when I was growing up. We used pickling spice.
and there are no more crabs in Cumberland than in Elkins. It’s in the middle of the mountains.
Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Cole!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Cole’s parents.
@lamh36: also, many of the crabs they sell in maryland/baltimore come from louisiana
Happy 51st, Mr. and Mrs. Cole!
Happy Anniversary to Mr and Mrs Cole, who raised their kids right.
*note to purists: an Atlantic blue crab, whether caught off Nantucket or Bawlmer or Biscayne Bay is the same animal. Needs Old Bay.
@lamh36: I’d bet that it was Old Bay spice mix instead of NOLA-style spices (edited: probably steamed crabs in MD versus boiled NOLA-style; I am generally not the person who cooks the crabs in the household). Both taste good to my Midwestern palate, although I will have to give the edge to NOLA as my in-laws are from there. No matter whatever spices are in the pot, my spouse and all my in-laws can crack about 2-3 crabs minimum in the time it takes me to deal with one crab. :)
Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Cole!
Damn John, you nonchalantly drive long distances like folks do down here in Texas!
I know technically it isn’t far from where you are in West Virginia to the borders of four states (I grew up in Southeastern Pennsylvania with a similar situation). But even if Maryland is next door, the Bay (and the crabs) aren’t.
Sister Golden Bear
Happy Anniversary to the Coles the Elder.
Um, so what? For many years MD crab retailers have routinely packed their products for long-distance transport. In the Time Before COVID, one of the best arguments for flying out of the Capital region through BWI was the possibility of picking up “the fruit of the Chesapeake benthos” packed in dry ice to bring home.
Another good reason was the G&M Restaurant, no more than 10 minutes up the B-W Parkway from the airport, a pretty damn good seafood restaurant & a great place for a farewell-to-Bawlmer feed before flying out.
List of ingredients on my Old Bay can: “Celery salt (salt, celery seed), spices (including mustard, red pepper, black pepper, bay (laurel) leaves, cloves, allspice (pimento), ginger, mace, cardamom, cinnamon) and paprika.”
BTW, Old Bay was bought by McCormick’s 30 years ago. I’d have thought Jackals would be allergic to anything made by a food megacorp, but I guess you just never bothered to find out there are small-business alternatives like Wye River.