Crab – Sharon Olds

Crab

When I eat crab, slide the rosy
rubbery claw across my tongue
I think of my mother. She’d drive down
to the edge of the Bay, tiny woman in a
huge car, she’d ask the crab-man to
crack it for her. She’d stand and wait as the
pliers broke those chalky homes, wild-
red and knobby, those cartilage wrists, the
thin orange roof of the back.
I’d come home, and find her at the table
crisply unhousing the parts, laying the
fierce shell on one side, the
soft body on the other. She gave us
lots, because we loved it so much,
so there was always enough, a mound of crab like a
cross between breast-milk and meat. The back
even had the shape of a perfect
ruined breast, upright flakes
white as the flesh of a chrysanthemum, but the
best part was the claw, she’d slide it
out so slowly the tip was unbroken,
scarlet bulb of the feeler—it was such a
kick to easily eat that weapon,
wreck its delicate hooked pulp between
palate and tongue. She loved to feed us
and all she gave us was fresh, she was willing to
grasp shell, membrane, stem, to go
close to dirt and salt to feed us,
the way she had gone near our father himself
to give us life. I look back and
see us dripping at the table, feeding, her
row of pink eaters, the platter of flawless
limp claws, I look back further and
see her in the kitchen, shelling flesh, her
small hands curled—she is like a
fish-hawk, wild, tearing the meat
deftly, living out her life of fear and desire.

Not a coffee drinker

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Not a coffee drinker

Coffee smells good but tastes bad. I understand it’s an acquired taste, by why bother? There are so many other delicious drinks to be had.

And if you think I’m alone, check out this quote from a recent Telegraph Article:

“For many it is the first highlight of the day, just when you need it most: the scent of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the house first thing in the morning.

But scientists claim to have solved the mystery of why coffee never tastes as good as it smells.

The act of swallowing the drink sends a burst of aroma up the back of the nose from inside the mouth, activating a “second sense of smell” in the brain that is less receptive to the flavour, causing a completely different and less satisfying sensation.”

Also if anyone is wondering, the above-pictured drink is actually foamed milk, honey, and cinnamon. My drink of choice at any coffee shop.

 

What I ate: Hawley, Pennslyvania

When some people think of vacation, they think of lazy afternoons spent on the beach. My oldest sister decided to treat my other sister and I with a ‘weekend retreat’ for her birthday. Two months later and with much excitement we roadtripped west to Hawley, Pennsylvania and possibly the most luxurious hotel digs I will ever stay.

To give you an idea of the clientele, I came across kayaking photos from Lucky Magazine’s editor in chief while browsing on Instagram.

As may be common with luxury spa resorts tucked into the Poconos, it was an all-inclusive experience. Meaning each day we received 1hr massages gratis at the world-class spa, and could enjoy over 20 activities and classes daily. Meals were included.

Suffice to say – this ended up being one of the best rejuvenating stays I’ve ever had. I worked out about 3 hours per day, tried out every single one of the 5 jacuzzis and whirlpools, swam (aka frantically doggy-paddled) in the heated pool, and fell asleep happy and exhausted.

But before getting too worked up about how awesome the hotel was, I wanted to share some of the lovely meals we had. Without much further ado, here they are:

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The morning view from the dining room. 15 ft floor to ceiling window views to the forest, with the lake peeking from behind the trees.

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A typical breakfast with a yogurt and baked goods buffet as well as complete meal. I had poached eggs over polenta and grilled tomatoes and squash.

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Grilled asparagus.

 

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Beets and baby arugula salad.

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Wedge butter lettuce salad.

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Braised, stuffed artichokes.

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Steak frites.

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Soft shell crab.

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Shrimp and grits.