Submitted by Jennifer Raulin, Chesapeake & Coastal Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
My grandmother, Elaine Heaps, or Marme, as we called her, won the first crab soup cook off at the Maryland Seafood Festival in 1988, beating out several local restaurants and other competitors. She was the only individual that has ever won the crab soup cookoff as after that year the contest was only open to restaurants. Family lore has it that it was because the restaurants were salty about losing to an old lady, but it was probably most likely due to health code regulations. Marme was awarded a beautiful silver bowl and the recipe was included in the publication, “Why is Your Crab Soup An Endangered Dish?: Recipes & Interesting Information About the Chesapeake Bay.”
The accolades did not stop there. In 2004, the year Marme died, my mother entered The Capital Gazette's poetry contest and won. The title of the poem? "Mom's Crab Soup." My mother, a former English teacher who has a way with words, fittingly won tickets to that year's Maryland Seafood Festival and her poem was published in the newspaper.
Now, as a 12 year employee of DNR, I could not think of a better way than to keep my grandmother's crab soup legacy alive than to include it in the upcoming cookbook.