Summertime, and the less Mama cooks, the happier everybody is. Last night, for dinner, I had mango sherbet and honey Dijon almonds from Walgreen’s. Yeah, baby.

Today I’m back to more or less real food. Surimi, to be precise. Louis Kemp brand bought in a four-pack from Costco. They say not to freeze it. I freeze it.

The Japanese have long worked many ways to extract different kinds of food from the sea and soybeans, there being not a lot of arable land in Japan. One of the things they’ve come up with is surimi, a paste made of pollock which is then flavored with artificial crab or lobster flavorings and formed into crab-like and lobster-like textures. It’s delicious, cheap, and low-fat. The Costco packages have recipes on them  that sound delicious for somebody who feels like turning on the stove.

I prefer not to.

Hence, insta-crab salad for an East Coast girl far away from home, dreaming of Vineyard lobster rolls. The key is celery, lots of it, and buttered grilled hot dog rolls. Louise Tate King, the goddess of all food Vineyard style, calls for 1/2 cup celery per two cups lobster per Mrs. Grieder’s Gay Head luncheonette formula. Lemon juice, a half cup of mayo and a touch of curry powder complete Mrs. Grieder’s awesome minimalist recipe. You may add grated onion as you please.

I lightened 1/4 cup mayo with 1/4 cup yogurt, added Tabasco and the absolutely crucial lemon juice and let the curry powder and the grilled hot dog rolls go. Maybe next time. Lots of really good organic celery makes this special.

Louis Kemp Crab Delites, aka surimi.

We love Louise Tate King here at the Rancho Atomico not least for the wonderful tribute she pays to the Portuguese, who are the world’s greatest sailors and whose delicious food can be found in ports the world over. The Martha’s Vineyard Cookbook has recipes for Holy Ghost Soup,  Portuguese sweet bread, linguica concoctions and the immortal Caldo Verde kale soup which probably kept the Portuguese sailors’ teeth anchored while all the limeys’ teeth fell out. In addition, there are ancient New England recipes and lore, including one of my favorites – it reminded me of the civil rights hero John Lewis’ preaching to the chickens as a boy – of an eccentric New England spinster who loved her chickens and wrote poems to them.

All this you can get for one cent off Amazon. Bawk BAAAAWWWK.