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The Lighthouse She-Crab Soup

From: terry 
Sent: Friday, April 03, 2015 5:26 AM
Subject: she crab soup

i am looking for the recipe for the she crab soup from the original 
lighthouse restaurant on Atlantic ave on rudees inlet in VA beach VA.
(not the cape henry lighthouse)from 1980-1999 i went to the beach for 
a convention every may. the lighthouse had the best she crab soup i 
have ever had. it had ham and mushrooms in it. i tried and tried to 
get the recipe but they would never give it or sell it to me.
it closed right around the last time i was there and for years i have 
searched the internet but have never been able to find the recipe. 
i have tried to make it from every recipe i can find but it does not 
taste the same and i eat it everywhere i go in the hopes i can find 
a substitute
thank you for your help.
have a great day!!!!

Hi Terry,

Well, I had no success locating the she-crab soup recipe. All I could find were a couple of mentions that it was very good. I did find an article in the Apr 14, 1988 edition of the Gainesville Sun newspaper about The Lighthouse in Virginia Beach. Included with that article are recipes for their steamed clams, crab cakes, stuffed flounder and rum cake, but none for the she-crab soup. See: Gainesville Sun - Apr 14, 1988

There is a postcard with a photo of The Lighthouse here: Card Cow

The owner of The Lighthouse was Robert Herman.

A she-crab soup with ham and mushrooms is most unusual. I could not find and have never seen a she-crab soup recipe with ham and mushrooms.

The only thing that I can do is to post this on my site. Perhaps a reader can assist.


Shadow of a Doubt Maple Cake

From: Christine 
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2015 4:05 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Maple Cake

Hello Phaed,
One other thing … recently I was watching a favorite movie again on TCM, 
Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt”. I was taken by a scene where the mother 
was going to cook her younger brother’s (the evil uncle) favorite cake, 
a Maple cake.  I went out last month and bought all sorts of ingredients, 
found a Maple-Pecan cake recipe online, but still have not found the time 
to make it.  Before I make this concoction, my question for you is this.  
Do you think that a Maple Cake and frosting of the vintage that this movie 
was made (1943) would be the same as a Maple Pecan cake recipe I can find 
now.  Your opinion is valuable to me.

Thanks once again.


Cleveland, Ohio

Hello Christine,

Alfred Hitchcock’s” Shadow of a Doubt” was based on a story written by Thornton Wilder, who I believe also co-wrote the screenplay. The movie was set in Santa Rosa, California, but the original story was set in an unspecified small town. Wilder lived mostly in the Northeast, particularly Connecticut, where he died. Without doing a ton of research, (and probably not even then) I couldn’t say exactly what type of cake he referred to, but since he didn’t say “maple pecan cake”, it might have been just a simple maple cake like this: Maple Cake

In the Northeast, a Maple Cake recipe, if it had nuts at all, might be more likely to call for walnuts than pecans.


Raywell's in Pittsburgh

From: John
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2015 1:40 PM
Subject: Raywells?


I don't know if you can help me or not.  We were discussing a stand up 
grill on Forbes street in Pittsburgh PA. I was at a birthday party last 
week and no one could remember it's name. My search has led me to Raywells. 
Is this the name or is it something else? 


Hello John,

Sounds like it. Raywell’s was on the corner of Forbes and Wood, in the “Skinny” Building. People talk about their hamburgers, hot dogs, and kielbasa sandwiches.

There is a photo here: Skinny Building Restored

There is discussion about Raywell’s on these pages:

Does anybody remember this little hole in the wall fast food place? Raywell's on the corner of Forbes and Wood, had the best kielbasa sandwiches, and for only about 40 cents.

Old Pittsburgh



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