Thursday, August 2, 2012

Code for the Day: Fate Worse Than Death for a Baltimorean Z91.013

I have a client who sends me pictures of food.  It all started when he began on a series of business trips and he wanted to sample the local fair.  Having traveling quite extensively myself, he asked my advice on what and where to eat in the cities of Baltimore and Chicago. 

Oh, Baltimore.  I'm a Colorado native, but I owe a lot to Baltimore.  My grandmother grew up near there and had it not been for a fateful night in the early 40s at a Baltimore bus stop, she never would have met my grandfather and fallen in love.  My first trip to Baltimore wasn't until 2009 when I went to the AHIMA ICD-10 Academy but it was instilled in me from an early age that Baltimore is all about the crab cakes.  And there's nothing quite like a Maryland crab cake.  I've had lots of crab cakes over my life, many times in the presence of my now 92-year-old grandmother.  She will inevitably go for the crab cake and fries over the baked chicken and salad (love her!).  But there's nothing worse than giving a Baltimorean a non-Maryland crab cake.  I can see my grandmother now, nose turned up, "That's not a Maryland crab cake!  Too much filler and not enough crab!"  A few years before I ever got to Maryland, I contacted a cousin who still lives in Baltimore and asked her for her best crab cake reference and had some shipped out for Mother's Day.  Wow.  Best thing to ever come out of my oven (except maybe for prime rib).  And every trip to Baltimore since, my cousin takes me to that same restaurant that so lovingly shipped shellfish to Colorado.

Now that we've established my love of shellfish - I do hold the distinction of being one of the fastest crab crackers my former coworkers had ever seen, which was particularly amazing to them because I live in a land locked state - you can guess what I told my client.  Crab cakes.  You must have crab cakes!  And so he sent me a picture the next day.  And the day after that there was a picture of the crab mac and cheese. That was in April.

And just when I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief and get back to my salad, the Chicago pic came through last night.  When he asked me where to go and what to eat in Chicago I was stumped.  There are simply too many good places to eat in Chicago.  I did recommend Chicago style pizza, though.  I see he went with the thin crust.  Hmm.  I like thin crust, but really, it's Chicago!  I do see that he paired it with a glass of red wine, though.  Excellent choice.

But again, I digress.  His email last night got me thinking about the crab cakes again and about people who are allergic to shellfish.  To me - and I'm sure to countless Baltimoreans - this is a fate worse than death.  And like pretty much everything else, there's a code for it.  Today's code for the day is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy because, oh, there's nothing better than a Maryland crab cake!
  • Z91.013, Allergy to seafood