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December 13, 2005

A.C. Crispin - 24 Please Don't Go...

My husband, who is otherwise a nice guy, I assure you, has just reminded me that blogs, in the same manner as black holes, need constant "content" to suck up, or they will implode. He has just been reviewing the traffic records on this blog, and saying "You've got a lot of people reading, but you don't post enough! They're leaving because you don't post enough! Post something! Anything!"

So here I am, straining to be half as clever as Miss Snark, sitting here with him standing over me, racking my feeble little cerebrum for something to say. He says if I don't post you all willl desert us!


A fate worse than death!

(removing tongue from cheek with a distinct popping sound)

My mind is a total blank as to things to post about, unfortunately. Perhaps I shall give you my recipe for real Maryland crabcakes.

Yes, that's what I shall do, because my best friend, Thia (some of you will recognize that name) is in town visiting from Colorado, and they can't get decent crabmeat out there. So tonight I wlll make her my very own crabcakes.

You will need:

1 pound of REAL crabmeat, the kind that hasn't been frozen or canned. Backfin, of course, is best. Around here I can get if for 7.99 a pound on sale.

1 package of Old Bay crabcake mix. It's the best!

1/2 - 1 cup of mayonnaise, depending on how much other liquid you'll be adding.

a small onion, a rib or so of fresh celery, fresh parsley,fresh lemon juice, ground mustard, tabasco sauce, Old Bay Seasoning, butter and oil.


First of all, THOROUGHLY pick over that crabmeat. It will take you a while. I do it front of the television, surrounded by big-eyed four-footed creatures who, fortunately, don't drool.

Second, mince up about 1/3 cup onion, and 1/3 cup celery, and finely snip about 4-5 tablespoons fresh parsley.

Mix up the Old Bay Crabcake mix, according to package directions. Add a bit extra mayo if you like your crabcakes extra moist. Be careful mixing the crabmeat in, you want to keep the hunks of crabmeat pretty intact. Using your hands is best to kind of "toss" the mixture together. You want to mix most everything in at once, so you have to mix as little as possible.

While I'm making up the recipe using the Old Bay mix, I also add the following:

1. 1/3 cup minced onion, 1/3 cup minced celery and several tbs snipped parsley

2. a splash of tabasco and extra Old Bay seasoning, because Marylanders like their crab fairly highly seasoned.

3. about a teaspoon full of ground mustard

4. a few tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice, if desired

(If you want to stretch the recipe a bit, you can add in an extra 1/2 cup to 1 cup finely ground breadcrumbs, without harming the recipe much, but you'll need to add that extra mayo. I use the reduced fat Hellman's and it works fine.)

Now, shape the crabmeat mixture into patties.

Here's the 64,000 dollar question: broil or fry?

I like my crabcakes broiled. My husband prefers his fried, or, most accurately, sauteed. Either works great.

If you broil them, stay in the kitchen! They'll burn in a trice! Brush the crabcakes with a bit of melted butter, and turn a couple times to get them a lovely golden color on both sides.

If you fry them, press the crabcakes into extra bread crumbs, then saute them in a mixture of butter and veggie oil, or you could use that really light flavored olive oil, I suppose.

Serve with tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce, if you like. Or just a squeeze from a fresh lemon wedge. Of course you can put them in buns and have crabcake sandwiches, but I like to just serve rolls on the side, and let the crabcakes take center stage. They deserve it.


Oh, and here's today's WRITING TIP: There is NOTHING WRONG with the word "said." Do not drive yourself, or the agent or editor who reads your work, to the edge of distraction trying to avoid using the word "said." Having all the characters shout, gurgle, moan, grumble, ejaculate, spew or dribble their lines will get old really quickly, trust me. The reader's eye hops right over the word "said," so it doesn't become tiresome -- but half-killing yourself to come up with terms to replace "said" gets old very quickly!

Of course it's fine to have a character whisper or shout, if that's appropriate to what's happening, I'm not saying you must eschew all other terms. But remember: there is NOTHING WRONG with using "said."


-Ann C. Crispin


Anonymous said...


Harry Connolly said...

You should be getting more and more readers. There's a syndicated feed on livejournal right here.

It seems that only two people know about it so far. Maybe this post will help.

Anne Merril said...

I can't believe you went with a packet mix.

For shame! :P

Linda Maye Adams said...

I'm glad to see your dialogue tag tip doesn't have the traditional zero tolerance policy advice I've been seeing a lot of it lately.

roach said...

"Having all the characters shout, gurgle, moan, grumble, ejaculate, spew or dribble their lines will get old really quickly"

Not to mention messy.

Anonymous said...

Harry Connolly said:
You should be getting more and more readers. There's a syndicated feed on livejournal... It seems that only two people know about it so far.

I'm a LiveJournal user, and have been reading this blog for about a week and a half. When I discovered this blog had a RSS feed, I created a Live Bookmark in Firefox instead of looking for a syndicated feed, and check the bookmark daily for new posts.

It's a lot easier than picking through my Friends page on LJ to find and read new posts. ^_^

Bernita said...

You nearly lost me when you posted a recipe.
Nearly missed the addendum about "said."
Dammit, girl, I've enough recipes.
It's clues we idiots need.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere - Bloglines tells me when you post new info. btw, you have seven subscribers through Bloglines.

I have to admit I skimmed the recipe. But the tips are always good, as is the writer-beware info!

Anonymous said...

"Pick over the crabmeat" -- translation please?

Mad Scientist Matt said...

Frankly, I feel that if posts go too off-topic, they dillute the appeal of a blog. That said, if you don't have any new menaces to blog, I'd happily check back just to re-read the old posts. Or you could just post the writing tips on their own - those are definitely worth reading.

Sal said...

"Pick over the crabmeat" -- translation please?

Cracked crab tends to have pieces of cracked crab shell in it. "Picking over the crabmeat" means taking out the bits of shell that got left in the crabmeat during the shell cracking process.

Eldheni said...

Nice recipe :) (although packages mix???)

And since everyone on LJ is learning about this site, not to mention all the word of mouth from allour writing friends, I think you shall have a growing audience indeed.

Of course that leaves the problem of what to "feed" all of them, LOL

Have fun!

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