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Weekend festival makes people feel happily crabby


Steamed crabs, crab cakes and crab soup are among the choices that will be on hand at the 13th annual CrabFest next weekend at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels. There will also be bratwurst, french fries, corn on the cob and homemade baked goods to sample. Activities include crab races (enter your favorite for 50 cents); rides aboard the Mister Jim, a replica of an old oyster boat ($2 per person); demonstrations of seafood-industry skills such as crab picking, net making and crab fishing; and a showing of the movie "The Blue Crab," about the life-cycle of the crab. The museum is located at the end of Mill Street in St. Michaels. Regular museum admission gains entry to the festival: $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $3 for children 6-17, and children under 6 are free. For information, call (410) 745-2916.

Summer salad

Here's a summer salad suggestion from Carole Brosso, chef at Buddie's Pub & Jazz Club, 313 N. Charles St. Ms. Brosso recently received the American Culinary Foundation's certified executive chef designation. Note that some advance preparation required. Ms. Brosso says the salad looks beautiful when presented in a clear bowl.

Layered Surf and Turf Salad

Serves 4

1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, cleaned and shredded

1/2 cup mayonnaise

6 ribs of celery, finely minced

8 ounces of surimi, such as Sea Legs, broken in pieces (thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead)

4 ounces of steak, grilled to taste, cut into thin strips

10-ounce box of frozen peas (thaw in refrigerator 1 day ahead)

1 small yellow onion, minced

1/2 cup of bell pepper, chopped (see note)

8 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded

Place lettuce in bottom of bowl and spread mayonnaise on top. Then add other ingredients, layering them in order. Store in refrigerator.

Note: You can use green peppers, or any mixture of red, green and yellow peppers.

House of crabs

Crab mugs, crab glasses, crab T-shirts, crab-shaped soap, crab Christmas ornaments, crab-decked tote bags, crab-steaming pots, crab flags, crab hats -- in fact, a whole store full of crab-motif items awaits shoppers at the new Wye River shop in Queenstown. The shop also has soups, seasonings, crab chips and crab-flavored popcorn, and while you're browsing, you can sample Wye River red- and cream-of-crab soups. The shop is located on U.S. 50 about a mile east of the outlet mall. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. For information, call (410) 643-1111.

OK, thirst, take a hike

Long lines at stands at the ballpark during the recent heat wave suggest that when the thermometer gets going, Baltimoreans head for the nearest lemonade. A new line of "brewed" lemonade and fruit drinks from West End should help quench some of that thirst.

West End fruit drinks were introduced in 1992, and the company has recently expanded the line. The flavors are the stuff of island dreams: mango-orange, strawberry-kiwi, kiwi-lemon-lime, country peach, wild cherry, raspberry-vanilla and blackberry-cherry in the fruit drinks; and cranberry, raspberry, kiwi and pineapple in the lemonade, to name a few. The drinks contain 10 percent juice. The colors are luscious-looking pastels, in handsome bottles with catchy artwork.

West End says the drinks are slow-brewed in small batches, rather like tea. The fruit drinks come in carbonated and uncarbonated varieties. Calorie count for the 11-ounce bottles is 120, and a four-bottle pack costs about $3. A single 20-ounce bottle is about $1.

Look for the drinks at selected Rite-Aids, selected 7-Elevens, F&M; stores and Basics/Metro, as well as some delis and small shops.

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