Friday, May 27, 2011

The Bounty of the Bay

I spent the better part of yesterday on the eastern shore. After taking care of some business at our project in Centreville I headed over to Stevensville for an afternoon on the bay with Captain Tilghman Hemsley.
Fishing and crabbing with Tilghman is a unique experience. His sixty year old boat, the Breezin Thru, is real bay boat having been built in Rock Hall by AJ Stevens back in a time when boat building on the eastern shore was a thriving industry.

We began our trip by crabbing with a trot line in Price Creek. Prior to yesterday, I had thought that May was a little early for bay crabs but apparently the crabs didn't know that. In short order, after tossing back the females and the little guys under five inches, we had collected about fifty of the crustaceans. Kathy, Tilghmans mate, tossed them into a pot and started steaming them as we headed out to deep water in search of rockfish.

After setting our lines we sat down and enjoyed some of the freshest steamed crabs I’ve ever had.

While we were eating Tilghman showed us a bottle of vodka called Sloop Betty. Sloop Betty is produced by Blackwater Distilling, the first new distiller in Maryland in thirty five years. In consideration of the fact that I had to drive home when we returned to shore I took a pass on sampling it yesterday. I intend to pick up a bottle if I can find it in HoCo and try it out in the comfort of my own home.

After we snagged a couple of rock, Kathy once more retired to the galley and began preparing a second meal. We feasted on fresh rock, crab cakes, corn and cookies as we watched the sun go down on the bay.

It was a perfect way to kick off the official start of summer.

UPDATE: I found Sloop Betty at The Wine Bin in Ellicott City...thirty four bucks. She's already in the freezer...will review later...but not likely tonight.
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