Editor’s Note: Missioner Amanda Ceraldi shares some local flavor from her Maryland upbringing in a meatless meal for Lent. Above is a picture of the river near the house where she spent her summers and first enjoyed Maryland Cream of Crab soup.

Anyone who knows me can attest that I have a slight obsession with my home state, Maryland. Like all good Marylanders, I love our state flag, our football and baseball teams, all the scenery and landmarks, and especially the delicious local food. I grew up on the Chesapeake Bay and my summers were filled with crab feasts and fresh-caught seafood. For my family, Lenten dinners became a great way to incorporate our love of local seafood and meatless meals. One of my favorites has always been Maryland Cream of Crab soup—with plenty of Old Bay seasoning.  

Ingredients

1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter
1 medium onion coarsely chopped (1 cup)
1/3 c flour
4 c milk or half and half
1 T Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 t parsley
1 lb lump crabmeat
3 T dry sherry or cooking sherry (optional)

Instructions

Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add flour, Old Bay, and parsley; whisk until well blended. Whisk constantly and gradually add milk. Bring to a low boil.

Stir in crabmeat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Stir in sherry if desired. Heat 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay if desired.

Amanda’s reflection for Lent: 

Excerpted from the Anima Christi of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (Patron Saint of Maryland)

 Let Us Pray

Unite me to Thyself, 
O adorable Victim. 
Life-giving heavenly Bread, 
feed me, 
sanctify me, 
reign in me, 
transform me to Thyself, 
live in me; 
let me live in Thee; 
let me adore Thee in Thy life-giving Sacrament as my God, 
listen to Thee as to my Master, 
obey Thee as my King, 
imitate Thee as my Model, 
follow Thee as my Shepherd, 
love Thee as my Father, 
seek Thee as my Physician 
who wilt heal all the maladies of my soul. 
Be indeed my Way, 
Truth and Life; 
sustain me, 
O heavenly Manna, 
through the desert of this world, 
till I shall behold Thee unveiled in Thy glory.

Amen