“Irene Blows”- church sign on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

As I fled Irene-frenzied-New-York like a wine drunk carpetbagger, my hometown was getting thoroughly pummeled. Trees as big around as sewing circles crashed through living rooms and flipped Volvos, taking out power and phone lines like so many cobwebs. My family (much like we did when we heard the Civil War was coming) retreated. To meet them in exile, I found myself cruising down the verdant Eastern Shore down to the Southside via the bay bridge tunnel (drive: recommended). To give succor in times of trouble, I turned to the bounty of my fair Virginia, via a sweet farmstand with a handsome farmer, fresh sweet corn, luscious peaches, and (ohmygodohmygodohmygod) just caught Virginia Blue Crabs.

And, of course, if you’re going to have Chesapeake Bay Blue crabs you also must have Old Bay, a big peppery pot, and plenty of old newspaper.