a life well lived

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

feeling my age 06/03/00

Old age crept up on me today.  John is off today and tomorrow to Pennsy Days at the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum in Strasburg (his paintings are part of an art show), leaving just us womenfolk at home.   

Elsa invited me to go to Rollers for a delectable lunch of soft shell crab - and I turned her down. Don't have the energy to be in Chestnut Hill, which always gets my juices flowing.  Lots and lots of happy memories and places to go and things to see.  

Am still saying it to myself - I turned down soft shell crab.

Soft shell crab is practically my favorite shell fish, nudged out of 1st place by the Oysters Kilpatrick at The American Club in Sydney.  And I was not up to the drive.  Old age stinks.  Instead, we headed to Newtown and lunch at Pat's Colonial Kitchen.

Pat's is a wonderful nook of a restaurant, nurturing my ego as well as appetite. We walked in and back to the upper level, which is do'ed up like a veranda. Judy brought over our coffee order without having to ask - my decaf came in a "MOM" mug.  "Lisa's Salad?"   My favorite.

It is not soft shells, but Lisa Salad is a glory all its own.  I can order it in the middle of winter and one bite and my mouth thinks it is summer. Elsa would bring it to me when I was in the hospital recuperating from my stroke and it did as much for my recovery as any medicine or therapy.  The salad is refreshing, a bed of beautiful fresh lettuce generously topped with raisins, sun flower seeds, bits of pickle, strips of turkey, with a wonderful slightly French but tangier dressing.  A large salad, I ate almost every bit of it.  Not soft shells, but just right for today.

Have you ever sunk your teeth into a soft shell crab?  One bite, and I think I've died and gone to heaven.  Lightly floured, delicately sauteed is culinary bliss.  There is no rush, since they are in season until September (every month without an "r" is soft shell season on the East Coast).  They are pricey because they have to be caught between the time the crab sheds its old shell and before it starts growing a new one.  Hence the name.

I have an honor roll of places I have dined delectably on soft shells – the Crab Claw in St. Michael's, Maryland;  the Robert Morris Inn in Oxford, MD;  Monique's, an Alsatian restaurant in New Hope, PA.  The best I ever sampled was at Louisa's in Cape May, NJ.  Under the Blue Moon in Chestnut Hill was our traditional haunt for many years, until the owners had the audacity to retire (many frequent diners went into mourning); and now we go to Roller's, also in Chestnut Hill, for our annual gastronomical pilgrimage.   

Wherever I am, if soft shell crab is on the menu, I am doing just fine.

 Nite-nite and God bless - Kay 

When Mom was at St. Mary's, just down the road a piece from Pat's, for what was supposed to be rehab after her tumble in Alexandria, Va - which ended in her being discharged how for hospice - a nurse warned me that Mom was going down hill.  When I asked how she came to such an interesting conclusion, she explained that Mom had lost her appetite at breakfast.  Oh, I explained, she hadn't lost her appetite,s she just didn't like the food.  Went to Pat's for lunch (they were a wonderful support circle) & only ate half my Lisa's Salad, taking the rest back with me.  Mom devoured every last smidgen!!!   ~deev~  06/03/14

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