Now, This Is How You Treat Guests

You can be sure to receive comments like this one, lots of them, when you serve Crab Toasts at your next dinner party.  They’re a wonderful combination of textures and flavors that provide a bright, vibrant crunch, even in January.  Loads of avocados, tomatoes and lemons pair well a generous helping of crab to put one in mind of a summer beach vacation, while creaminess spreads a warmth that lifts the taster beyond winter’s reach.

When Fine Cooking featured the preparation in its December (2016)/January 2017 issue, the title it selected is illustrative. Specifically, it’s Crab Toasts with Crushed Avocado and Bloody Mary Aioli.  Just the name alone suggests this as a perfect appetizer, party offering, or even a light dinner.

The Bloody Mary aioli provides a creamy and tangy platform that accentuates the crab’s sweet brininess.  It’s something of a combination of remoulade and cocktail sauce.  The avocado mash serves a similar, but distinct, function, contributing a green freshness.  As mentioned earlier, it’s a lyrical reminder of what awaits each summer.

This compliments the dish, as do the lemons, tossed with the crab, juiced for the aioli and for the avocado, and finally grated atop the toasts.  They provide a bright, sunny note that works particularly well with shellfish.  The pepper, finely chopped, lays on a spicy zing.

These are a supremely satisfying appetizer, and they serve their purpose all too well, whetting the appetite for…more Crab Toast!  If any make it past the kitchen, and they may not, your lucky guests/housemates will be sure to rave.


Crab Toasts with Crushed Avocado and Bloody Mary Aioli

  • 8 ounces lump crab meat
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons finely-grated lemon zest (*1)
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely-chopped fresh red chili, such as a Fresno, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot sauce, such as tabasco (*2)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 24 thin slices of baguette
  • 1clove garlic, halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

In a medium bowl, toss the crab with 1/2 teaspoon of the lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice.  Season lightly with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and the chili.  Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.

In another small bowl combine the mayonnaise, tomato paste, the rest of the lemon juice and on teaspoon of the zest.  Stir in the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place an oven rack six inches below the broiler and activate the oven.  Place baguettes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and toast them until slightly charred, approximately three minutes.  After you’ve taken the toasts from the oven, rub them with the exposed end of the garlic.

To serve, spread some of the aioli on each toast, then top with avocado mash and crab.  Sprinkle with dill, chopped chili (if using) and lemon zest (again, if using).


1 -The recipe calls for a teaspoon-and-a-half of zest, but I created more.  Though the original doesn’t take this step, a little zest sprinkled atop the toasts looks good, and it adds a nice taste.

2 – Big surprise, I chose sriracha.  Of course, tabasco is fine too.


107 thoughts on “Now, This Is How You Treat Guests

    1. Thanks, Crystal!

      I figured you’d say that, which is why I had more in mind than just arancini when I went to the fishmonger.

      Gotta plan. Let’s see…You typed that a couple hours ago, and the flight from Houston is a little under three hours, so that gives me an hour to make another batch and to pop it in the oven.

      Just in time for your arrival.


      1. In a happy coincidence, Pennsylvania also is where you’ll find Punxsutawney, the town Bill Murray made famous, and home to Phil (not just a groundhog, but THE groundhog) for 140 years now. Thus, I do believe a replay may be arranged.

        In fact, let’s use this to our advantage. What do you say we concoct a different seafood New Year’s treat every day for, like, the next 2,500 days? Just remember to hit “Do-Over” as midnight approaches. By the time we’re done, we will have compiled a veritable Encyclopedia Britannica of January 1 delicacies, which we’ll bestow to a grateful, and amazed, world.


      2. A reasonable concern, Crystal, but the vision prescribes “seafood” in all its wondrous variety. Plus, if we “cheat” every once in a while and cook something highlighting mushrooms, chicken or artichokes, I don’t believe anyone will complain.


    1. No, no, Rachel. That treatment is reserved for guests who have crazy arancini-making skills,

      While they’re in the kitchen fulfilling their destinies, we’ll be in the living room going after the crab toasts. In fact, I’d better clear a path to get to the oven, as this party is going to need more finger foods. Others already have told me they’re on the way, and I imagine we’ll have a houseful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hardly an enthusiastic endorsement.

        Very well, then. Originally, I would’ve thought we’re building, from the ground up, your appreciation for good eating.

        Though, you’re here already, and you’ve been participating in conversations for over a year now. You know what I call that?

        A head start. Hope I can keep up with you, Rachel…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Heh, sorry; a bit a general unenthusiasm on my part. Though you’ll be happy to hear my sister and I tried our hand at making a honey pudding this morning. Wasn’t terrible, so that’s a good sign.

        Though if it’s a race and I’m ahead, then I must be the hare. Whereas you move at a good, steady pace, I’m the person who runs ahead heedlessly, burns out, and winds up napping until the race is over.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Pudding, eh Rachel? That’s something I myself didn’t try making until about a year ago.

        You’re right, reading of your accomplishment does make me happy! Would 2019 Rachel be in the kitchen with her sister, creating? Maybe, maybe not, but today…definitely! There’s your progress right there.

        A good nap, when life affords the opportunity, is wonderful. As for being “ahead,” you are, in terms of your enthusiasm. For me, cooking is my hobby, and any interest I show merely reflects that inclination. For you, it’s a completely novel undertaking, powered only by the excitement of new discoveries. Your advantage.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Well, I like sweet things is all. And my sister had recently been messing around and made this little honey cake, which awakened in me a hitherto dormant obsession with honey. Add to that the recipe book she got me for Christmas, which happens to have a recipe for honey pudding in it, and voila!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yeah Rachel, it really was that simple.

        Only…you had to have an interest in a good ingredient, and the imagination to recognize something good to make of it. Without those crucial elements, you and your sister would remain forlorn and pudding-less.

        Can’t you see you’re turning into a foodie? It’s plain to me, and I only have known you a year or so. Meanwhile, your sister has known you, like, forever, and she bought you a cookbook. Ah, the hopes we have for you…

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Have you ever seen “A Beautiful Mind?” In it, a brilliant professor of mathematics, sadly inflicted with delusions, fills countless chalk boards, bulletin boards, etc. with elaborate flow charts “detailing” the latest Soviet plot (this was during the Cold War, obviously). To the point he hallucinates interactions with a CIA agent sent to enlist his efforts.

        That’s you, except with Writing instead of Mathematics.

        Your sister and me spend hours on email every day. Yeah, scheming to make you into a Foodie.

        We concoct these elaborate plans, just to get you baking. The hope being, you’ll be robbing banks soon to support your five-cupcakes-a-week habit.

        You’re paranoid, Rachel. Oh, would you ask your sister if she’ll be free in half an hour? There’s lots she and I have to discuss.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Ah-ha! I knew it! Now I just have to figure out your ultimate goal. Hmm… Maybe I’ll begin writing down clues and theories on post-it notes and sticking them all over the walls.

        To answer your first question: no, I’ve never seen it. I thank you for the crafty complement, though. A tortured genius is still a genius. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      8. That’s very true, Rachel, about genius all the same, tormented or not.

        Also similar to you, the protagonist in “A Beautiful Mind” was a real person, except in his case, the story no doubt was glammed up for Hollywood. Still, gives you something to ponder. For example, when your story goes to the big screen, which actress do you want to play you?

        As for sussing out what your sister and I are planning, good luck. Don’t you think we took the utmost care to cover for every possibility? By the time you have even a vague sense of what’s happening, your own food blog will be years old and you’ll be making final plans for your bakery. Then, and only then, everything will make perfect sense.

        This is about so much more than just food, Rachel.

        Or…maybe…it isn’t!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Liam Neeson, because, like the actor, I have a very specialized set of skills….

        If you’re going just by looks, try Rick Schroeder. Or at least that was the case the last time I saw him in anything, which was, like, twelve years ago.

        In that event, why don’t I just go with Tony Randall, the original Felix (Unger)? Something of a match personality-wise too. Of course, I think he’s been dead for a decade now. Oh well, actors come and go, but Felix is Forever!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Assassinating people.

        …or feeding them. I keep forgetting which one it’s supposed to be.

        As trips to the market outnumber trips to the morgue by about a 10,000 : 0 margin, that kind of makes the answer obvious, doesn’t it?

        “No, no, Chief, he still is alive. But…but…he’s getting fatter by the minute. Eventually, one of these decades, his heart’s going to give out. And then, you know….Hello? Hello?”

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Lol! I actually joked a couple months ago that I only cook when someone is wanted dead… Though seeing as how my to-the-morgue number is on par with yours, I reckon I make a very poor assassin. That, or it’s just a really cutthroat business.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. The 118th annual meeting of the League of Failed Assassins will now come to order.

        First up, a discussion of…ah, who cares? Let’s go right to the dinners. Waiters? Snap-snap!

        Let’s admit it, Rachel, neither of us has what it takes to be a killer, either in the field or in the kitchen. (Don’t tell that to Rosy, though, or he’ll have us both walking the plank.) Your own recent work with honey pudding makes that quite obvious. Quite the opposite of killing, in fact.

        That’s why you’re vice president of our splendid organization.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. The 118th annual meeting! My, my. It seems we’re just a couple more in a long line of folk who butcher assassinations. That, or you’re a vampire. Or a hobbit with a magic ring.

        But I digress. Dinners, did you say? It seems this vice president thing has some benefits. Particularly if you’re the League’s head chef.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Actually, I’m just the prothonotary. Whatever the heck that’s supposed to be.

        No vampirism here, either. Haven’t you seen how many recipes feature garlic? Nope, Rachel, you and I are newbies in an organization that goes all the way back to when people still used words like, “heretofore.”

        However, as prothonotary (chief of clerks), I do have access to the head chef’s recipes, which have accumulated ever since your own predecessor first commissioned a kitchen all the way back in 1904. That’s why I never run out of ideas. A century, plus, of good cooking yields its treasures.

        See? Being unable to pull a trigger or to sink a dagger does have benefits. Delicious benefits, I hope you think.

        Oh, and the chief of clerks also curates the League’s storerooms. You wouldn’t believe some of the things our membership has collected over nearly 120 years…

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Wait. People don’t still use words like “heretofore?”

        …Alas is still good though, right? 😝
        Hehe… Maybe I’m the vampire.

        Delicious benefits indeed. Although one can, technically, deal death and deliciousness at the same time. But then, such delights are so short-lived, and the victim rarely gets a chance to say much in the dish’s praise. Much more rewarding to merely torture your victim by serving him something absolutely wonderful and leaving him to forever pine for more.

        But come, what secrets do these storerooms keep? What relics, what artifacts, what monstrous, hundred year old cuts of venison?

        Liked by 1 person

      16. Alas, “heretofore” passed into obscurity many decades before either of us was born. As that sentence’s first word demonstrates, though, your own favorite four-letter word still is quite current.

        Yeah, theoretically, one could fold arsenic into a savory sauce, but that so is not my style. Obviously, I wouldn’t be a very good “Failed” assassin, either, if I did that, wouldn’t I? Chalk it up to ego. How do you think I’d feel about my cooking if, instead of purring contentedly, diners fell over dead?

        Oh, the storerooms? Let’s see…. There are all sorts of shrunken heads. Not all of them from the Amazon basin, either. Vast fortunes in at least 387 different currencies.. Seven or eight mummies. A meticulously preserved collection of the world’s 57,890 species of beetles, each one framed. Seven hundred pounds of opium. Plus 187 opium pipes. A singing robot a member constructed back in 1913. And it still works. Six individual sealed bottles, each one said to contain a ghost. 129,455 different cookbooks…

        That’s just the first storeroom, too. There are dozens of others in the sub-basement. One day I’ll explore them too. And one day I’ll write a book about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Ha! That’s true, it’s always better to succeed at being a “Failed” assassin. Although… One could observe that “Knock em dead” IS a phrase, one with positive connotations…

        Lol! I didn’t realize the League was so storied. You write that book, and you’ll be more famous than a certain pirate!

        Liked by 1 person

      18. Actually, Rachel, most of us learned only too late we had no taste for killing.

        By the time that realization struck, we already were up to our necks in elaborate plots Then, it became necessary to separate ourselves from some very precarious situations. This required a resourcefulness and creativity we didn’t know we had, and which we then used instead in amassing some pretty eclectic collections, hence the storerooms.

        You really need to explore your own vaults more often. As vice president, they are at your disposal, after all.

        For example, do you realize you have twenty-seven signed Emily Dickenson first editions, including two the outside world thought had been lost forever? Or how about Catherine the Great’s favorite bed? Or a set of mixing bowls once used by Julius Caesar’s personal chef? Or…

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Absolutely, Rachel!

        By the time you reach the menagerie of (very-much-alive-thank-you) dwarf wooly mammoths, you’ll know it’s time to call it a day. After all, there only so much spectacle the human wind can absorb in one setting.

        Our group, we may suck at bumping off people, but oh, the collections we’ve assembled!

        Liked by 1 person

      20. *Dwarf* woolly mammoths? Aww! Do you think anyone would mind if I… borrowed one? Just, you know, for a couple years or so?

        Indeed, it’s quite a collection. The “possessed” wing of the gallery is really rather eerie though. Who wants to have that many paintings in one place that are all watching you?

        Liked by 1 person

      21. Then, then…what happens if a couple of our members get a little tipsy at one of the monthly dinners and they start making eyes at each other? Before long, they seek somewhere quiet to continue their…pursuits. Nothing doing in the Banquet Hall, which is absolutely thronged. Then one of them notices the door to the cellars is ajar.

        Both have heard whispers, including rumors of a “romantic” portrait gallery. Oh, we have to see if the stories are true – let’s go! Shhh…

        On their way, as sounds from the celebration above grow ever more muffled and distant, they grab a bottle labeled ‘Spirits,’ hoping to keep the buzz going. They enter the gallery – impressive, yet a little unnerving, even at first. Figuring a swig or two might calm them and improve the “mood,” they break the seal and pop the cork. Thus released, the spirits dart through the hall. “Spirits,” as in ghosts, specters, haunts. A fact our terrified lovebirds realize just one second too late. Now the gallery is double-possessed.

        See, this is why we always lock the door to the cellars, particularly hours before there are events, and it’s why you and I are the only ones who have keys!

        Liked by 1 person

      22. For centuries the shades remained confined, their prison’s label ensuring countless generations left the bottle on the shelf.

        That is, until our modern era, when people know better. Much too sophisticated to pay heed to outdated superstitions, don’t you know?

        All the more a pity, as our amorous couple ruined perfectly good Spirits. See, a prothonotary, for example, would’ve known how to handle the possessed flask. It would’ve yielded a real corker of a Halloween dish, believe you me. Totally effervescent, it would’ve been. Now you’re going to have to settle for whatever I can find in some cookbook.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. Ha! No, I wouldn’t imagine so, Rachel.

        Especially not these wisps, ornery as they were about having been confined for centuries. In fact, had we not noticed the cellar door was ajar, and gone in after our mischievous couple, they very well may have become phantoms themselves.

        Though we were able to contain the situation, it did spook the mammoths something awful.

        Liked by 1 person

      24. Aye, good thing at least one of us was keeping an eye on our charges in the midst of all the hubbub. How the League manages to keep up such spirited conversations — er, phantoms not included… generally — every month is mind boggling. You can hardly hear a banshee over some of the arguments and debates that have taken place; certainly not the creak of the cellar door. It was some quick thinking on your part, too, to grab the Book of Spells from one of the shelves and flip it to the Spell of Binding.

        Poor woolly mammoths… The whole thing must’ve been such a shock to them. We’ll have to treat them to something. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      25. Like running a frikkin’ day care. Seriously!

        Except our mischief-makers know how to kill people. Failed or not, they still are assassins. Plus, they always are going after each other, whether in debate, or in romantic pursuit. Sometimes both. We constantly have to separate them – to forestall both interactions.

        Great idea about the mammoths, Rachel! See, visionary problem-solving like this is why we elected you vice-president in the first place. Acting President, actually, as the president set off to inventory the storerooms months ago, and nobody’s seen him since.

        Anyway, as for our frazzled wooly friends, I share your solicitude. As you know, one of our members accompanied Howard Carter nearly a century ago when he unsealed Tutankhamen’s tomb. Among the discoveries were grass seeds that had been stored away with the pharaoh. I’ll take those, and some seeds Julius Caesar’s cook had forgotten to pulverize, and I’ll plant both.

        Something’s bound to germinate, and when it does, the mammoths will taste grass feared to have been extinct for millennia. They’ll graze old style this spring!

        Liked by 1 person

      26. Like a day care! Aye, just like. If you’re not careful, it may even drive you mad. You know what the president told me before consigning himself to the depths of the storeroom? “Rachel,” he said, “I’m going on vacation.” Vacation! Why, if I’d known what he’d meant, I would have stopped him right there. Leaving me in charge for this many months… For shame!

        When I find him, I may very well feed the mammoths his hair. Until then, I like your idea. Probably healthier.

        Liked by 1 person

      27. Good idea, my friend, but I don’t think you ever will find him.

        Remember our naughty couple, the ones who uncorked the ghosts? Well, when I was helping you clean up their mess, one of the ghouls I recaptured looked awfully familiar.

        Question is, how did he join our 101 Happy Haunts (or our 1,001 Not-So-Happy Haunts)? Did a mummy’s sarcophagus crush him? Or, maybe he awoke a slumbering gauzer who, annoyed at having his 3,000-year nap interrupted, throttled the president.

        Could be, he got entwined in the Closet of Silks, and he died of sheer pleasure (most definitely a Happy Haunt, if that were the cause). Likewise, the same, if he stumbled across the Grand Vizier’s Harem.

        Maybe he got into an ill-considered drinking contest with the band of Cossacks who rove the storerooms. (“I drink whole bottle of wodka in five seconds. Top that!”) Another possibility is that he misread one of the incantations in the library’s Magic section, and he accidentally enacted a Spell of Evaporation.

        No matter how our former officeholder crossed over to the other side, he’s no longer. Whatever happened, one of the countless curiosities was…too much.

        Liked by 1 person

      28. Lol!! Or maybe… his death was CAUSED by getting eaten by a herd of dwarf woolly mammoths. Possibly drunk ones, if the mammoths encountered the Cossacks first. Dwarf mammoths can’t hold their liquor.

        That said… Do you suppose mammoths will eat ectoplasmic hair?

        Liked by 1 person

      29. It’s possible, I suppose. Those storerooms certainly hold far more than their their share of odd, baffling things.

        278,655 marbles too. I should know too, as the first month on the job, I had to count them all.

        Anyway, as far as supernatural locks go, when Yeti stops by the League’s Barber Shop/Hairdresser for his monthly trim, the barber has to do something with all the cuttings. Though he and the hairdressers have sworn their work to omertà, I labor under no such restriction!

        The No-Stories policy began as a courtesy to our membership, many of whom, by virtue of their unsuccessful bump-off attempts, still very much are Wanted (and hunted) Men and Women. In the decades since, though, it’s come to cover the countless oddities that stalk our vaults, or are concealed in them. …at least the 1.4% of them that make their way up to the club level.

        In that case, then, what else do you want to know?

        Liked by 1 person

      30. LOL! 😂

        Poor Felix. I would express a hope that you didn’t have to do it on your own… But then, with more than one person involved, it probably would’ve taken three months more. At least.

        Ah, an excellent policy. Of course, I’m grateful for any information you can provide. I am the Acting President, after all; I have to be up on all my League lore.

        Liked by 1 person

      31. That former President, I swear…. The guy hated me! After all, what point was there in having to know exactly how many marbles filled a room in the Hall of Lost Pastimes?

        Whatever did I do to him? Sure, I refused to let him “borrow” one of the League’s mummies to use as doorstop. Then, once, I didn’t fork over the key to the wine cellars that time he was trying to “impress” a fetching prospective member. Of course, there was that time I didn’t want him taking one of the League’s Formula Ones to pick up his dry cleaning.


        His (acting) replacement has a much better head on her shoulders.

        Oh, speaking of which – he once wanted to practice his putting using one of the shrunken heads in our collection….

        Liked by 1 person

      32. Aw, thanks; Though seeing as how you kept our errant president in check for so long, I’m surprised you didn’t get the honors! That takes integrity, and integrity is something the League desperately needs in its president. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get the permanent job.

        Liked by 1 person

      33. That’s flattering, Rachel, but I don’t want the job. Come on, you saw how much trouble we had cleaning up after those two lovebirds who uncorked a bottle of Spirits. Do you think I want to do that 24/7?

        Nope, I’m having far too much fun…well, fill in the blank – hang-gliding in the wind tunnels – smoking the Cossacks in Formula One races (though, to be fair, most of them never learned to drive) – perusing Mozart’s “forgotten” symphonies, or reveling in Emily Dickenson’s “lost” volumes in the library’s Archaica section – repairing to the kitchen to try any one of the countless recipes in our 123,550 cookbooks – seeing what the white-coats in the Devices Laboratory are developing this week.

        Meanwhile, Rachel, you’ve been to how many ribbon-cutting ceremonies this month? Endured untold rubber-chicken dinners? Delivered ever-increasing dozens of speeches forgotten long before you finished speaking even?

        We’ll keep the former President’s fate a secret. though, which should allow you keep the drudgery to a minimum, and to spend your time on “special” projects, like inventorying the storerooms.

        Liked by 1 person

      34. Good choice. 😆

        You make an excellent point. Even this relatively minute bustle has left me lax in my reading, and I had rather been looking forward to peeking through our collection of Dickenson’s works… the Poe ones too, if I find the time. I hear we even have a contemporary, eyewitness account of his death somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

      35. You heard correctly, my friend. You especially will like the part about…. No, wait. I’ll let you read it yourself, and will reserve for you the same experience that rocked my world for, well, weeks.

        Without divulging too many details, recall we are a society of would-be assassins. Thus, when our League was founded early in the last century, one of our charter members left an account of one of the first jobs she took as a very young woman, even then, fifty-some years earlier.

        Namely, she was commissioned to bump off EAP himself. The “why”s are enveloped permanently within time’s fog, and our eyewitness was understandably sheepish about what she was hired to do, but still, the account is fascinating. Imagine our Would-Be’s surprise to arrive at the scene, only to discover Poe already engaged in a mortal struggle with…

        Well, I won’t ruin the surprise for you. Though it’s a diabolical twist worthy The Master himself.

        Liked by 1 person

      36. Yep, you, said it, Rachel!

        Not only that, but with the library being next to the wine cellar, how many unique, priceless volumes and documents have tipsy members used for coasters or napkins?

        I pray that hasn’t happened to our Poe story. Of course, I took it in already, but wouldn’t that be just your luck to read, “Except, the poet wasn’t alone at that moment. Imagine my surprise – shock, really – to spy, at the foot of the bed, something (or someone)” – then a giant Bordeaux stain?

        God, people! Seriously?

        Liked by 1 person

      37. The architect’s. He eventually became the President, and thus, your predecessor.

        In his defense, sort of, the League has so many riches, vast treasures, astounding collections of curiosities, there’s no way a converted mansion could hold all of it. Even one taking up an entire city block, as ours does, and featuring seven stories above ground, as well as fathomless depths below.

        This is after – after, mind you – we got rid of the ping-pong ball reserves, auctioned off the vintage limo collection, and merged the rooms of cookbooks with the Library. Plus, we kept only the twelve or fourteen most intriguing mummies too, and donated the hundreds of others to various museums.

        Still, it’s a wonder everything fits.

        Liked by 1 person

      38. You know the old jab at Mike Brady, that, although he was an architect, and he had, like, 72 people in his family (or thereabouts), he was unable to design a house with any more than a handful of bedrooms?

        The kids had to, not just double-up, but triple-up, sleeping three to a room, but the maid had her own bedroom. What’s up with that? And who’s had a live-in maid in, like, the last 100 years?

        Anyway, many of our headquarters’…idiosyncrasies make a lot more sense when you consider our former president was in the same practice as was the dad on The Brady Bunch.

        Liked by 1 person

      39. I’m afraid The Brady Bunch is another one I’m shamefully unfamiliar with (to my sister’s chagrin), but that’s funny! And now perhaps I understand the League’s Bed Room a little better… I suppose our architect/president may have been set on making the most use of the least space. Still, I wouldn’t have thought bunk beds could go that high.

        Liked by 1 person

      40. It’s a shame, really. One of the perks we offer members is the option of spending the night in one of the guest rooms.

        “Cool!,” most of them think, noting how luxurious and beautifully-decorated our digs are. Just imagine, a snowstorm whirls outside, each arctic blast shaking the frosted windows. Inside, though, you’re warm and cozy in a plush robe, grasping a mug of steaming cocoa. “How awesome is it going to be,” you think, “to snuggle beneath a soft, thick blanket, and to sink quickly into a deep, perfectly content sleep?”

        Only to get to the room to discover you’re bunking with 16 to 20 others.

        Liked by 1 person

      41. If you’ll accept advice, Mlle. President, I’d make it your new (um…”acting”) administration’s priority to see that the spare bedrooms are more worthy an organization of our prestige.

        Sure, we no longer will be able to accommodate 1,753 stay-overs a night, but did we ever come close anyway? Plus, that’ll be a powerful motivation. With only, say, a dozen beds available per night, we can make their availability contingent on the club member’s good behavior.

        Such as, refraining from sneaking into the wine cellars and uncorking a bottle of ill-tempered spirits in a drunken quest for the ultimate make-out session. Hey, you two can stay in the Royal Suite tonight, provided you don’t unleash havoc after dinner. Yeah, stuff like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      42. Maybe I’ll just hide out in the storerooms , if ever I’m drafted.

        Good luck finding me down there!

        Besides, Rachel, you already have cleaned the mess your predecessor left behind, and then some. Good riddance, if you ask me. Nope, my friend, you’re President for Life.

        Liked by 1 person

      43. As you probably know, and I definitely know, there’s enough down there for two people to lose themselves for fifty eternities over.

        Just the “Gardening Oddities” collection alone would take fifty years of weekends to examine properly.

        Then there are all the noteworthy – and often baffling – things that have been found in chipmunk burrows. The most elaborate, and exquisite, Japanese landscape gardens and koi ponds outside of Tokyo. All sorts of intriguing and edible things that have fallen from the skies. Sample them if you dare!

        Oh, and don’t forget about…

        Liked by 1 person

      44. …The “World Records” room, perhaps? It’s amazing the things that have been fit in there. Some of the vegetables, containers, houses, etc. have had to be Russian dolled to save room. Just don’t eat the remaining half of the pie that’s down there… There was a mishap with the giant glue bottle.

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      45. But, but, Rachel, who among us didn’t eat glue when he/she was in first grade? Now you’re telling me there’s a humongous bottle in one of the back rooms? You know what that sounds like to me? Good eating. Where’s my extra-big spoon?

        Oh, I see what you’re doing. By labelling the glue a “mishap” you’re trying to discourage my interest. That means even more glue for you.

        Huh-uh, not so fast, sister. I know what’s going on here.

        Oh, and “World-Record” covers more than just the largest of anything. The smallest is even more astounding. You already know about the mammoths. How about the fleet of miniature 707s? At six inches long, it’s easy to mistake each for a die-cast toy, yet they’ll take off, fly down the block and back, then will land at your feet.

        Then there’s the beguiling collection of tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of ultra-miniature galaxies, each one shifting in a hollow glass sphere that fits in your palm. Those colors, absolutely mesmerizing!

        Then, have I told you about the…

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      46. Hah! You’re right, I completely neglected all the other broken records! Like Dr. Rhael E. Smalls, who decided to test his prize invention — a shrink ray — on himself. The shrink ray itself, already a record breaker, now is not only the only working shrink ray on the planet, it’s also the tiniest.
        We also have a miniature prison. Built specifically for the doctor.

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      47. You’re killing me, Smalls!

        If the ne’er-do-well Dr. is similar to evil geniuses throughout fiction, he constructed another shrink ray from what we issued him in prison, including a tiny spoon, an even smaller roll of dental floss, and a specially-published miniature Volume 47 of Audubon’s Birds of North America (concerning the nuthatches of eastern Kentucky, if memory serves).

        Then, he slipped right through his window’s bars, and to freedom. He intended to get back to the shrink ray, then to reverse its wiring, and to make himself full-size again.

        Once restored, on to his evil plan to take over the world.

        Or it would’ve gone down like that, but an amoeba gobbled up our unfortunate miscreant on his way to the device.

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      48. Indeed. It’s a shame, really. He might’ve made it into the comic books, if not for such an ignominious end. Instead, all that’s left of him is the miniature gravestone we had made, and a shrink ray with a trigger too small for easy use.

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      49. That’s what saves our world, over and over – archvillains’ hubris. So obsessed they are, common sense, the laws of physics, even reality itself, lose all influence over them.

        Evil plans, crafted so exquisitely, but falling apart at the last second.

        “And I would have succeeded, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!”

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      50. Ah yes, the superhero “Archvillain’s Hubris” – – or just Hubris for short. Powered by his opponents’ obsessions, his abilities enable him to make people walk repeatedly into walls, fall upwards, or even blink out of existence. 😜

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      51. Of course, superpowers are nice, but they’re really unnecessary when containing the archvillain.

        Such are the bad guys’ (and, sometimes, bad ladies’) egos, all their Brainiac skills never outshine their own stupidity.

        Ah, the countless Evil Plots preceded at the very last second with, “I mean, what possibly can go wrong?”

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    1. Much, appreciated, Mar!

      We both are familiar with everything crab brings to the table. Most other shellfish too, for that matter. Just get us started on the subject, and it isn’t long before we start singing. Yes, the appeal is that irresistible.

      Let’s not neglect avocadoes, though! They’re so versatile, they compliment perfectly both winter and summer meals. In fact, glancing at the list of recipes planned over the next year or so, many feature avocadoes.

      Why not? Thoughts of subsisting on avocadoes only, in all their glorious incarnations, more than once very nearly has made a vegetarian of me… Then I contemplate all the poultry and seafood I’d miss, and I reconsider, Still, you get the idea!


  1. Sounds delish but of course no crab for me… maybe some nice smoked ham or turkey.

    I do believe this is one of the best things you can do with a baguette. 🥖 There have been times in my life when I have been semi-addicted to stuff like this! 😋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, JoAnn!

      Your suggested replacements are worthy choices. Last year’s limited Thanksgiving gatherings meant lots of leftover turkey to package and to freeze. One of which may thaw the next time I buy a baguette. Really, I must try your idea!

      Baguettes are superb with jam, or with a dab or two of creamed butter, but sometimes fancier applications beckon. The entry covered one of them, and you described two others. I predict, in the near future, a run on baguettes in Pennsylvania and in Florida.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s it. If people start hoarding baguettes like they do toilet paper it will be all your fault!

        On the bright side, amazingly enough I have baguette emoji in my emoji stockpile 🥖🥖🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Greatly appreciated, Angela! You’re so kind.

      When you do give the crab toasts a try, I think you (and your family/friends) will enjoy the result. As you know, nothing here makes the menu unless it has great promise. If you think about it, tell me how they turn out, OK?

      You certainly underestimate your culinary skills. Your words, and the photos you select to accompany them, are beautiful. That fact alone tells me you have the style to realize that same artistry in the kitchen too.

      Now all you need is the time to make your dreams reality. Therefore, give yourself a couple hours. In that sanctuary, ignore (if possible) the children, the husband, the dog, the cat, and the ringing phone. I predict you’ll emerge in triumph, Angela!


      1. Ah, I see. Well, I learned a little more today.

        Anyway, no matter the nature of your distractions, they exist in abundance, and your culinary creativity will benefit from rising above the noise (if that’s possible) for an afternoon.

        It’s a simple equation, really – Creativity + Time = Success. You already have the first part, Angela, and if you make room for the second, the sum will be yours. Go ahead and surprise yourself., though I don’t think it’ll surprise me. I already know the formula, after all.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. These look absolutely delightful! I love crab. There’s a tasty breakfast dish with crab that I like to order from a local restaurant. Perhaps I can make my husband make these toasts for me since I’m not a very good cook 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thus writes the person who turned me on to the whole Beetle House cookbook…

      You certainly can identify good food, Jenn, and you know how to continue its narrative. It takes a sensitivity to do that.

      The idea of a breakfast dish featuring crab certainly intrigues. Particularly if it includes eggs, which have an affinity for crab (and vice-versa). One of my favorites is a brunch idea, Crab Benedict. Prepared as Benedict is traditionally, except with crab instead of ham. Superb.

      Anyway, what crab-forward breakfast dish struck your fancy? The crab-egg combination will make an appearance at some point in the future, and your answer may inspire an entry in addition to that, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One of the menu dishes I was referring to is a Crab Benedict! And the other crab breakfast dish they have is the Crab & Cheddar Omelette. It’s making me hungry thinking about it! The restaurant’s name is Schooner or Later in case you want to look it up 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Now you’re talking, Jenn!

        I swear, I’ve heard of Schooner or Later before. Question is, where?

        Little matter, as I’m inspired now to fill in the blanks. Especially after your story piqued my culinary interest. Now I’m on a mission – I’ll search, I’ll cook, then I’ll post!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tamara!

      Don’t worry, I’m enough of a shellfish fan to cover for the both of us.

      As for today’s entry, you always could double up on the avocado if you wished to avoid the crab. For that matter, ground chicken or ground turkey would fill in nicely, too. In fact, maintaining the nautical theme, salmon, sea bass or trout also would work.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All worthy choices, Tamara. Worthy emojis, too! 😋 (This is where I add an emoji that’s vaguely food-related but really, is just a complete non-sequitur.)

        If you like salmon, you’re sure to love brook trout. Have you ever tried it? How about monkfish? Sea Bass is a recent discovery, but a merited one.

        See, it doesn’t have to have a shell, though it does help.

        Liked by 1 person

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