In the spirit of a Friday day off, I'd like to remove the glistening political gauntlets for a moment and turn to preparation of our favorite late summer/early fall feel good food: stew de Callinectes sapidus or Maryland Blue Crab soup. Having just finished off last night's chicken parmesan, and with the fiancé safely in her office, it's time for cooking with Benny Goodman. As long as the kitchen is squared away by her return, we'll be golden. Kingston Crab Soup 1 1/2 dozen steamed (cold) XL blue crabs 1 pound large steamed (w/ Old Bay) shrimp (no onions) 1 dozen cherry clams (in shell) 3 pound chuck roast 1/2 dozen ears of corn (shucked and halved) 4 fresh beef streak tomatoes 4 russet potatoes 4 large fresh carrots 2 cups lima beans (raw) 2 large celery stalks 1 dozen fresh string beans, halved 1/2 large sweet onion 1/2 small white onion 2 Maryland wild onions/onion grass bulbs 2 stalks lemon grass 4 bay leaves 1 fresh lemon, halved 2 cups medium egg noodles Garlic cloves or (ground) to taste 6 tablespoons Old Bay (more/less to taste) 2 tablespoons salt 1 tablespoon ground black pepper 1/2 tsp curry powder 1 tablespoon meat tenderizer (papain) 1 tsp turmeric 2 tablespoons paprika 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 cup Kagor red wine Add 2 gallons of water to a 20 quart stock pot. Place on burner over medium heat. Add bay leaves, sliced sweet and white onions, crushed Maryland wild onions/onion grass bulbs, lemon grass, diced celery (or celery salt), garlic (ground or fresh crushed cloves), black pepper, salt, curry powder, turmeric, paprika, meat tenderizer, and cayenne pepper. Slowly bring to boil. Stir but avoid removing spices/herbs with spoon. Coat chuck roast with oil of choice, wipe off excess. Rub with kosher salt, black pepper and a slight dusting of curry powder/papain mixture. Slice into four sections. Place sections directly on top grill rack, with a skillet beneath to catch drippings. If cooking indoors broil/bake chuck roast, but you will need the grease produced for your stock. Grill meat until browned--frequently dripping lemon/vinegar water on all sides or Worcestershire sauce in a pinch, to keep meet juicy and tender. When finished cooking, dice meat into I inch cubes and place aside, covered, in fridge. Keep grease liquid on low heat. Remove claws from steamed crabs and set aside. Pick crabs to remove meat. Refrigerate in covered bowl. With stock pot water at a slow boil, add ears of corn, chopped carrots, lima beans, diced potatoes, string beans and two tablespoons of Old Bay. Slow boil vegetables until between soft and firm. Remove ears of corn, slice off useable corn and return to pot, or keep them in pot for eating on the cob. Add shrimp after dicing into quarters. Add clams after thoroughly scrubbing outer shells. After clams open reduce water in stock pot from boil to simmer. Remove clams and shuck, or leave whole opened clams in soup. Add diced fresh tomatoes, halved fresh lemon, egg noodles and grease leavings from chuck roast. Stir. Add picked crab meat and claws. Add Kagor wine and the rest of the Old Bay to taste, depending on how spicy you want to go. Stir and season to taste as needed. Simmer for a minimum of two hours up to two days.