Soup is for supper, and cake for dessert


From Buffalo, N.Y., came a request for a cream of crab soup and from Baltimore, a request for a hummingbird cake.

"I often visit relatives in Maryland, and I absolutely love the cream of crab soup. No one here has the recipe. Can you help?" wrote Geraldine Serba of Buffalo. Her answer came from Henriette Harmon of Severna Park, who noted that "this recipe is good and is from 'Maryland's Way,' the Hammond-Harwood cookbook."

She added another note. "Fred's Restaurant on Solomon's Island Road in Parole serves the best cream of crab soup I've ever eaten, but they won't share the recipe. I don't blame them." Recipe tester Laura Reiley offered this comment about the recipe. "It was quick and simple, showing off the delicate flavor of fresh crab. I felt the thickening roux was unnecessary; the soup was very thick without it."

Jerri L. Spry of Baltimore requested a hummingbird cake. "I remember the assorted nuts and fruits my mother had to buy at the farmer's market to make it. It was absolutely spectacular and very moist," she wrote.

A recipe came from Wendy Furie of Frederick. "This is my mother's recipe, which she originally found in a newspaper 20 tTC years ago. It should be mixed by hand only, no beaters or mixers! Also, a cream cheese icing is excellent on it."

Harmon's Cream of Crab Soup

Serves 4 to 6 as a first course

1 small onion, finely minced

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup strong chicken stock

1 quart whole milk

1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/2 teaspoon mace

dash red pepper, cracked black pepper and salt, to taste

1 pound crab meat, picked over

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 cup dry sherry

Cook onion in butter until transparent. Add chicken stock and slowly pour in milk. Add all seasonings, except sherry. Stir in crab meat and simmer 10 minutes. Make a thin paste with flour and a little water. Stir into soup to thicken slightly. Before serving, remove from heat and stir in sherry.

Furie's Hummingbird Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

2 cups mashed bananas

3 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together by hand. Bake in a greased and floured tube or bundt pan at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Cake will crack slightly on top. Cool in pan for 1 hour before removing. Use cream cheese icing or none at all.

Recipe requests

Cynthia M. Dills of Havre de Grace writes, "I've been thinking about a recipe my mom used to make, oh so many years ago. When I asked her about it recently, she remembered it but no longer had the recipe and couldn't recall what was in it. The dish was called Meatza Pie and was a variation of a pizza, using lean ground beef mixed with, I think, Parmesan cheese for the crust. Thank you for any help you can give."

A. B., no address, writes that until she moved to Baltimore 10 years ago she had never eaten seafood. Even when she did she would refuse a shrimp-salad sandwich "because it didn't look good. But now I love it and want someone out there to help me locate a recipe like the one served at the Cheesecake Factory."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.

Pub Date: 12/03/97

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