There’s nothing like sensing something that instantly takes you back to your childhood. I grew up in Baltimore. A city that is big enough to feel relevant, but small enough to feel humble. It’s close to New York where energy is bouncing around the crowded streets, but also not far from the country where you sometimes feel like you’re the only person on the planet. My appreciation for my hometown comes more to me as an adult… probably because when I lived there, I was too busy enjoying the environment and had to leave it to understand it’s strengths.
Going back is bittersweet. Things aren’t as I left them… and that’s an eery feeling. New kids fill our old hangouts, different restaurants replace landmarks I had great memories, and friends are no longer as accessible as they were when they all lived with their parents. But, there are moments that turn back the clocks, when senses are overwhelmed by the past and for a split second, you feel that nothing has changed.
UTZ Crab Chips, Maryland Crab Soup
The smell of Old Bay (a classic Baltimore crab seasoning) is unforgettable. So is the taste. And even the feeling of it on your hands. I bite my nails and each time I go to get authentic Baltimore crabs, I try my best not to pick at them so the salty mixture won’t burn my skin. But even if I slip, it’s worth the pain.
Steamed Shrimp, Maryland Crabs
We put Old Bay on everything. Seafood, of course, but also chips, fries, popcorn, etc. It’s a staple in my household. What I’ve realized about growing up is that there is a sweet, indulgent misery in lusting for the time that has passed, knowing it will never come back and you can never recreate it. But the pain comes from the honor of having those experiences and that pit in my stomach each time I think about home? I think it means my parents did a great job. So with that, I settle for a phone call across the country to say hello and some store bought chips with a dash of Old Bay – and for a second… I’m a kid again.
Old Bay Seasoning $7.95