When Ken and I travel, I keep a logbook of our mileage, stops, traffic backups, motels/hotels (the good and the bad) and places of interest.
Also, I check license plates and tractor-trailer cabs for the state of origin. Lately, I’ve been keeping track of vanity license plates. I thought Florida had a lot of such plates until I got back to New Jersey. Or maybe those cars are owned by transplanted Jersey residents.
However, the person who started my collection was Jim McLaughlin, who appropriately had CROQUET on his New Hampshire license plate. We often see Jim at tournaments and when we’re in Venice, FL, competing with other members of the Sarasota County Croquet Club. Other vanity plates that piqued my interest were SOAR VT, HOT WTR, PAID 4, BOSS 12, PLAY 1, PUTT PAR, TUF LUV and ACTIVE.
Back in New Jersey I discovered DR PHIL on a physician’s BMW parked in front of the $1 Store. On other occasions I saw BRONX NY, TYMFLYZ, R BOOSTER on a Rutgers car, IC YOU, THAT GUY, MY LFE, GIGGLE, BY EXMPL, FAUCET, 2 AUTISM, MIDWIFE, GGS TOY on GiGi’s new car, and LUV LIFE. I also saw FSTJHNY on a Nissan.
The vanity plate that inspired my cooking was CRAB CK so for an appetizer at our Derby Party I made mini crab cakes based on a recipe in Of Tide and Thyme a collection of contemporary and classic recipes celebrating Annapolis, Maryland. Here’s my version since I only had a can of crabmeat, not a pound of fresh crabmeat.
Mini Crab Cakes
3 slices white bread
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can crabmeat
tartar sauce (optional)
Remove crusts from bread and pulse in a mini Cuisinart until you have bread crumbs.
Mix together bread crumbs, mustard, Old Bay seasoning and seasoned salt and set aside.
In another bowl gently fold together the egg, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and the bread crumb mixture.
Add the crabmeat and shape into little individual cakes and place on a baking sheet.
Refrigerate for at least two hours to avoid the cakes breaking apart when cooked.
Place under the broiler and broil until brown.
Serve warm with or without tartar sauce.
NOTE: If the mixture is too moist to form small cakes, add crushed saltines or bread crumbs to the mixture to make firmer. According to the original recipe, crab cakes may also be fried in hot oil until brown.
Sidna Brower Mitchell can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.