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Lack of proper communication is perhaps the most frustrating thing in the world for me. I like instructions and other information to be clear, concise and detailed in the extreme in order to avoid unnecessary hiccups.
Just recently, I was moonlighting as a private cook for the mayor of a nearby town. The courses we negotiated were a shellfish-based appetizer course, a choice of two entrees, a regular dessert and a cannabis-based dessert for 10 associates who would stay longer after the dinner. The creative part, he said, he would leave to my discretion but urged me to keep things cultured as much as possible.
When his guests arrived, the mayor urged me into his lush dining room where the men and women had gathered and were already sampling their host’s assortment of beer and wine. He wanted to introduce me as the cook he had for the night’s gathering and I was somewhat delighted when several of the guests recognized me from my works in print and online media, making me feel somewhat like a minor celebrity at a fancy event. I stuck around for a little while to rub shoulders with the influential people in hopes of picking up another private cooking gig or expanding my media clients when our mayor reminded me of the time – I still had entrees to prepare in the kitchen along with the sugar glaze for the cannabis-infused crème brulee.
It was at that moment that one of the guests asked me what sort of appetizer they’d be enjoying and, in my oversight, I simply said phonetically, “Crab-Apple Dip, M’love, with some assorted fruits, cheeses, imported nuts and whole grain crackers.”
The faces in the crowd seemed crestfallen or a tad awkward. The mayor himself seemed to wince, while a few others seemed intrigued. I was perplexed by the response, but with a mind already focused three or four steps ahead on the entrees, I didn’t pay it much thought as to why that garnered such a negative response.
The mayor hurried in after me, nervously wanting to see the dip I had prepared before I brought it out. When I showed him the dip, somewhat confused, he laughed. Not just a small chuckle, but the man had a hard time controlling his booming laughter, and once he did, went back out to inform the party through the gaps of his laughter, “Not crabapple dip! Crab-apple dip! Crab dip with apples!”
There was a resounding chorus of “Ooooooh!” and my fumble was made plain. Somehow, it had never occurred to me that phonetically, my prized crab dip recipe sounded like it was made with the small, bitter crabapple that was synonymous with a poor man’s diet in Bonavista Bay. It was a great time and an excellent start to my autumn private cooking season . . . despite the lesson learned to better think of names for my creations.
– 2 average sized snow crab (legs and claws)
– 1 ½ cups sour cream
– 1 block cream cheese
– 1 whole red delicious apple, small dice
– 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
– 2 tbsp butter, melted
– 2 tsp paprika
– Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot with salted water, half submerge crab legs and claws, cover and proceed to boil until crab pales in colour and registers a thick aroma (about 40 minutes). Submerge the crab in an ice bath for 10 minutes and proceed to extract the meat in any way you see fit (to my knowledge there is no real standard method unless you have a lobster pin) and set aside in a bowl. Peel, core and dice your apple as small as possible. In a mixer, whip together on medium speed your sour cream and cream cheese. Gradually add the remaining ingredients aside from salt and pepper until the mixture is smooth. Add the crab meat and apple, blend until smooth. Season the top with salt and pepper. Garnish with apple slices that can be used for dipping. Serves 6 people. Goes great with an assortment of fruits, cheeses, nuts and crackers.
Terry Bursey, otherwise known as the Food Dude, is a Newfoundland chef who enjoys putting his mark on traditional recipes and inventing new tasty treats with unexpected ingredients. Reach him at email@example.com.