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Delmarva's Flavor: Regional Crab and Chicken Recipes from the Peninsula Pacemaker Magazine

Updated on July 31, 2016

Delmarva's Favorite Little Recipe Magazine


TIMING IS EVERYTHING THEY SAY

In the 70's, when I was a young wife and mother, a little magazine called the Peninsula Pacemaker was always in my mother-in-laws den or kitchen. It was tiny, about 4 by 6 inches, so it could slip in a purse or man's pocket, and featured lots of chicken and crab recipes, as well as blurbs about up-coming peninsula-wide events. Over the years I would pick up a copy and keep it with my cookbooks.

Meanwhile, we moved to the Carolinas. In the late 80's I was looking for something more stimulating to do than selling real estate, and was looking at a recipe in an old issue. Something made me call the publisher, Anne Nesbit, and ask: "Is this magazine something you think I could do here?" To which the she replied: "It's for sale....".

So, starting in March of 1988, and every three weeks for eighteen years my husband and I designed, edited, sold advertising for, and published the Peninsula Pacemaker, or Delmarva's Flavor as we would later rename it after a lot of potential advertisers mentioned they thought it was a magazine about pacemakers.

We changed things up a bit and featured a calendar of events, my gardening article called "Nature Notes", an antiquing guide, and a regional cookbook. The recipes from the featured cookbook were distributed throughout the magazine with the advertisements. Our most popular issues were ones featuring Maryland crab and Delmarva Chicken Cooking Contest recipes.

When we delivered each new issue I would run into someone who would tell me what I would call a "love letter" about how much they looked forward to each issue. It was a very rewarding job which my husband and I loved.

BACKGROUND

The Peninsula Pacemaker was the brainchild of Tom Bradlee, publisher of The Seaford Leader in Delaware, owned by Bi-State Publishing, and Thomas W. Kinsey, Jr., then working as an advertising representative for the Laurel State Register. Mr. Kinsey was most impressed with the Delmarva Peninsula and had a special interest in history.

The first issue dated October, 1971, subtitled "Where to go and what to do on the Delmarva Peninsula" consisted of 40 pages and carried ads from 58 businesses. In the December 1971 issue, Kinsey needed to fill some space. Because he enjoyed cooking, he dropped in a recipe. Within a few months he realized that recipes were what the readers really wanted.

Kinsey died tragically in a fire in 1980 and in 1983 the magazine was sold to Anne Nesbitt, an employee of Bi-State Publishing who had taken the reins of the magazine after his death. Anne instituted the "Historic Structure of the Month" cover format. After 5 years, Anne decided she wanted to "stop and smell the roses" and sold the magazine to me and my husband.

THE PENINSULA PACEMAKER COOKBOOK

For the 20th anniversary of the magazine we published The Peninsula Pacemaker Cookbook featuring the best of the recipes showcased in the magazine. Distributed through our advertisers and museums such as Winterthur, the now out-of-print cookbook, which originally sold for $12.95, was listed recently on Amazon for an amazing $75.00.

WE STOP THE PRESSES

After 18 years of a 3-week deadline my hubby and I decided to retire, and along with us our dear little Pacemaker also was retired.

Publishing the Peninsula Pacemaker was a labor of love and it's legacy still endures.

A Google search of Peninsula Pacemaker, which was distributed free of charge, turned up copies for sale on Ebay for a couple dollars apiece.

The photo on the right shows the magazine in its early years. Later the cover featured a pen and ink sketch rendered by myself or another local artist, of a historic structure located on the peninsula and a little history was provided inside the cover under the table of contents.

How To Pick a Blue Crab

Delmarvalous Crab Cake Recipes

Seafood and chicken recipes were often featured in our little 5x8-inch magazine.


BLACK AND BLUE CRAB CAKES

2 pounds blue crab meat

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

4 tablespoons finely chopped celery

4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

3 tablespoons white wine

2 tablespoons flour

4 egg whites, beaten until frothy

2 tablespoons (heaping) crumbled blue cheese

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning

2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce

Fresh cracked pepper to taste

1/2 cup peanut oil

Pick through crab to remove shells. Melt butter in saute pan, add celery and shallots and saute for 3 minutes. Add wine, stir in flour and continue cookiong, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool slightly. Mix together all other ingredients, except crab meat, egg whites and cracked pepper. Blend in wine mixture, then gently fold in crab and egg whites. Form into 10 cakes. Put peanut oil into pan and get oil hot on medium high heat. Add crab cakes, frying approximately 3 minutes on each side.

Remove from pan, drain on paper towel, top with cracked pepper. Serves 5.

Recipe of Gail G. Koller of York, PA which received First Prize in the Coast Day 2000 Crab Cook-Off.

DELMARVALOUS FRIED CHICKEN

1 (2 1/2 lb.) chicken, cut up

2 eggs

2 1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/2 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed

1 cup Wesson oil

Beat eggs, dip chicken in eggs. Sprinkle with salt, celery salt, paprika, and pepper. Roll in cracker crumbs. Brown in Wesson oil in frying pan, turning frequently until done (approximately 35 minutes). Serves 4.

Recipe of Eleanor Clark of Easton, MD, in the 1950 Delmarva Cooking Contest, Junior Division.




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    • Lilleyth profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Sheffield 

      6 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      Thank you Jeff. I have one of every issue that I have kept for posterity. However, the McKeldon Library in Baltimore has every issue in their archives.

    • profile image

      Jeff 

      6 years ago

      This brings back some great memories of summers spent at the shore in Delaware. My mom always had the Peninsula Pacemaker around and I still have some copies of it from the mid 70's. Still use them for great recipes. Any old issues available?

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