Crab for thought

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A little crab for thought…do you know how to tell the difference between a Jimmy (male) crab and a Sook (female) crab? Some will say that they look at the claws and others, the apron. I didn’t grow up on the water nor have I been educated on what either of those terms could possibly mean so here’s a little crab for thought knowledge that I learned from listening, reading and asking!

Sooks (females) have painted red/orange claws while the Jimmy crabs (males) have blue claws. There’s also a very distinct difference in the apron or bottom side- “belly” -of the crab. Turn a male crab over to expose the whiter part and you’ll notice a shape that resembles the Washington Monument.11892250_10156048253035360_741213379064400957_n

In contrast, when you are looking at a female, they have a dome, like the Capital, shaped belly.11896242_10156048252930360_6157231814541284101_n

 

Personally, I’d just look at the claws and not touch the crab but there are times when there are no claws, and looking at the apron is the truest way to determine between male and female.

If you are lucky enough to be out on the water, and then luckier still to be crabbing, and you happen upon a crab with a sponge, she’s a female with eggs – throw her back! Keep the population growing! Support watermen and the crab population by not eating, steaming or keeping her in any way!  11902286_10156048275755360_5286766811872836975_n Throw her back! Throw her back! Throw her back! This J.O. public service announcement has been paid for by the many individuals and crab establishments that enjoy eating, steaming and enjoying crabs with J.O. Spice!

Well, here’s hoping you feel a little more knowledgeable about crabs? Let us know!

One thing is absolute crab for thought: crabs are wonderful with J.O. Spice!

Happy steaming, eating and enjoying a Waterman’s hard labor,

:) Pamela

 

 

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What’s on those crabs?

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What’s on those crabs you’re eating and enjoying? It’s radically assumed to be a great brand named spice but alas, if you are eating at one of the fine Maryland crab restaurants, you might be surprised to learn you are licking J.O. Spice from your fingers! What’s the difference you say? Well, one is a small, family business and the other a corporate business. One has been working hard for 70 years, relying on word-of-mouth advertising and when that word-of-mouth is confused, well, can you understand the frustration?

Imagine if you had been hard at work for 70 plus years, and instead of getting praised for a job well done, when someone answers the what’s on those crabs? question with a nonchalant shoulder shrug and the standard “must be [the brand name]” without realizing there are varieties available, it could get you pretty frustrated don’t you think?! We aren’t bashing or throwing any brand under the bus, we just want credit for manufacturing and producing a great product just like the other guys!

What’s on those crabs? If you are noticing that your salt is nicely adhered to your crabs, it’s most likely J.O. Spice that has been sprinkled to delight your taste buds. Some people can taste a distinct clove taste – that’s not J.O.! We aren’t on the famous fries in Ocean City and correct people when they say that must be J.O.! We are however, used in quite a few famous restaurants in and around Baltimore, Ocean City, New Jersey, PA and Delaware….Captain James, Phillips, Crab Bag, Nick’s, Shag’s, Cravin’ Crabs and more! Some have their own blend so if you like one more than the other, you might like their own custom blend…which is awesome because that is what makes eating crabs so much fun! Conrad’s and Costa’s are both delicious in their own way and yet they are completely different! See how there is room for variety in this big wide world?

When you ask what’s on those crabs? be prepared to get the standard brand answer but dig deeper and keep asking because J.O. has been spicing up crabs for over 70 years…we’ve got to be doing something right (because trust us, you’d tell us if we weren’t and since we are small, we’d listen)!

Happy spicy crab feasts,

:) Pamela

 

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Small family business!

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J.O. Spice is a small family business that was started 70 years ago and because of “HARD WORK, DEDICATION, NEVER QUITTING, BLOOD, SWEAT, and LOTS of TEARS” as Ginger put it on Facebook, the company is standing small, standing proud and standing strong. We thank all of our customers, our fans and our biggest word-of-mouth supporters! Thank you for buying and wearing our T-shirts to spread the word! Thank you for voicing facts and opinions when asked, “What spice is on your crabs?” Thank you for supporting small, local Maryland business.

J.O. Spice has been in business for 70 years because they are willing to put in the work, they stand by the principles set forth by J.ames O.zzle himself: Give the customer what they want when they want it…and it’s been a motto this small family business lives and breathes. The third and fourth generations are running the business and putting in the time, effort and hard work that a small business needs to survive in this fluctuating environment. Crabs aren’t guaranteed but hard work is always rewarded to those who keep putting their best efforts forward – so the retail store was born, T-shirts were created, glassware, cutting boards, picture frames and more than mallets were engraved! Have you stopped in to see the new offerings?

This small family business has been doing business with M&T Bank forever and they made a video of J.O. Spice Company. Please take a look!

Thanks again loyal customers!!

:) Pamela

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A Gumbo and Jambalaya party!

When you think of gumbo and jambalaya do you just think tomatoes, shrimp and Andouille sausage? Do you know how you can make the best gumbo and jambalaya party? Spice it up with a little variety!

Have you ever made Gumbo with J.O. Spice #1 All Purpose Seafood Seasoning? It’s a soup with shrimp so why not?

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Added a dash of J.O. Garlic Crab to your Jambalaya (the hearty, meatier version with rice) along with some J.O. Cayenne and J.O. Cajun? Tried making the sausage for your Jambalaya with any of the J.O. Sausage seasonings we’ve got to add a different twist to your recipe? The Gumbo and Jambalaya party is not complete unless you really spice things up.

Have you ever bought the J.O. Maryland Crab Soup Mix and instead of using the crab, made it with shrimp and Adouille sausage? Always make sure to have some more J.O. #1 All Purpose Seafood Seasoning on hand as you never know if you need to spice it up with your taste!

With a simple twist, gumbo or jambalaya can be a favorite go-to, easy meal to make. It’s tomato based and in the summer, fresh tomatoes are in such demand…and you can only make so much spaghetti, salsa and tomato jam! Stewing tomatoes with J.O. #1 is another twist that will add so much to your chicken cacciatore, beef stew, chili, etc!

Happy Gumbo and Jambalaya partying,

:) Pamela

 

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Spice Up your life!

Spice up your life so you are never bored. Spice up your life so your taste buds are always intrigued. Spicing up meals with different spices creates so many different meals using the same cut of meat! Spicing up your kitchen with fun decor, engraved paring knives, cutting boards or glassware adds a zest of zippity-do-da to your meals, too! How do we know? Because a cute, custom paring knife and cutting board always makes you smile! Spoon and Spork 1butter me up towel2Paring Knives

Spice up your life is just as easy as sprinkling J.O. Rotisserie all over your chicken salad. Or try this trick: Buy a pre-roasted Rotisserie Chicken from your local supermarket, rub the Rotisserie Spice all over the chicken, the cavity and underneath the skin, stick in oven to warm…the smell permeates the kitchen and makes it seem as if you’ve been slaving for hours and hours! Served best with potato salad (did you know the trick about sprinkling some J.O. Celery Seed all over a store bought brand makes it taste homemade?) and green beans.

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Spice up your life by trying something new. Re-decorate your kitchen in crabs of all sizes and shapes. If you don’t want to customize a cutting board, buy one of the tempered glass boards on jospices.com. Something as simple as grabbing a new kitchen towel can make all the difference. We’ve had people come in to add on to their engraved glassware because they love to drink out of “their very own” personalized glass. Engraving takes no time at all to do and yet it makes all the difference in a gift, in a kitchen and in a person’s life!

Spiced up casseroles are an easy go-to dinner. The trick to spicing up your casseroles is finding a spice you love and then expanding on the taste. Garlic, pepper and salt are a given in most dishes but what about marjoram, oregano, coriander, cumin? Adding a spice you’re unsure about almost always guarantees a sure thing or a complete screw-up! How else ya goin’ know unless you try? I don’t like tarragon or dill and that took me forever to figure out because they are in a lot of my families recipes but once I did, whew, what a difference it made to my cooking!

Simply adding J.O. Ginger to soy sauce can make a stir fry so much better. J.O. Oregano, J.O. Marjoram and J.O. Parsley to spaghetti sauce. Don’t forget the J.O. Cumin to your chili! Even a fennel seed or a celery seed can make a difference! It’s so fun to cook! If you don’t know what you are doing, you know you can call “Team Spice” at J.O. and we’ll help you out!

Spice up your life with engraved gifts and kitchen items, a variety of spices and by simply trying something a little different.

Have fun spicing up your life!

:) Pamela

 

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More than SPICE!

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J.O. is definitely More than SPICE! Have you checked out the new products page on the website?  It’s filled with all kinds of custom gifts, personalized wedding favor ideas and new apparel like purses, scarves, Maryland flip flops and hats! J.O. is doing more than just spicing up your breakfast, lunch and dinner. We can engrave and customize a great gift!  There are gift ideas for every holiday, every occasion and if you don’t see it, we can make it -sometimes right there on the spot! We do all of the engraving in house!

In addition to all kinds of gifts, there’s many ways to be spicy at the beach – flip flops, hats, scarves, beach bags, insulated cups and of course, koozies and key chains!  J.O. is making sure to be More than SPICE, but keeping with the crabby, beachy and all things relaxing theme so that when you think crabs, you think J.O.! So just remember, when you are dreaming of the beach, dreaming of crabs, dreaming of relaxing in the sun, think J.O. and be happy!

It’s nice to be More than SPICE ~ especially when you need a gift for that special someone, for that impossible-to-buy for, for that “I didn’t forget you!” moment, we have just what you need. When you stop in, let us know what we can engrave, make unique or add that special touch to so that your gift is perfectly unique!

Gift with fun!

:) Pamela

 

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Got crabs?

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Got crabs? We definitely do. They might not be as ready to be spiced up as it’s only February…but they are definitely available as decorations, as apparel, as napkin holders, as coasters, and so much more. Do you know a crab collector? I am not a crab collector myself but I have quite the collection of crabby decor because I love the blue dishes with the crabs, the crab salt and pepper set, the blue crab bottle topper and of course, the blue crab tray because you never know when you might need that!

Instead of asking Got crabs? what about asking got anchors? got flip flops? got American flag koozies for that special 4th of July celebration? Because if you don’t, we do!

Have you been visiting Maryland for awhile and want a token that will bring back happy memories of your stay here in Maryland or the beach? Because we have many Maryland themed items like hats, shirts, tumblers, stickers and flags. Plus, J.O. supports many small, family-owned businesses and sells their Maryland-made items like chocolates, cookies, and nuts. Then there are quite a few small, family business items that are MADE IN USA like cookie cutters, ties, belts, flip flops, bags and more and more!

Got crabs? is something to be said after shopping at J.O. Spice because no matter your decor, you are sure to find a special something you just have to have! Don’t believe that you will find something you just have to have? Then stop in and we’ll prove it to you!

Got gifts?

:) Pamela

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Dip Dip Dip

Dip seasoning

One of my favorite nephews loves to Dip Dip Dip his food. And that is precisely the way he says it as he’s eating, “Dip.” “Dip.” “Dip.” It’s truly the cutest thing. J.O. is branching out into dip blends in 2015. Our first dip to debut was at Christmas when we introduced the Dill Seasoning & Dip Blend. It’s a delightful combination of lemony spice with just the right kick to it the longer it sits. Combined with mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt and sour cream or a combination however you choose, it’s a wonderful accompaniment to crudites, potato chips, pretzels, chicken nuggets and more.

A regular customer bought one at the Facebook Christmas party and put the Dip Dip Dip blend into her hamburger meat and called the next day to say that it was the best meatloaf she’d ever made! See what a little spice can do? I’m sure it would do wonders to hamburgers or turkey burgers as well! What about spicing up chicken or pork – don’t leave out the “other” meats in your life!

The Dill Seasoning Blend is actually somewhat of a misnomer as I despise dill as much as tarragon and lima beans – all should be wiped from the planet. The Dill is not the front runner of this dip in my opinion. Actually, I know someone who was disappointed that the dill wasn’t the most prevalent taste but I’m actually quite happy that it’s just enough! The other spices deliver such a fantastic complement to yogurt & sour cream that it’s got the right heat, the right “YUM!” that makes any young kid Dip Dip Dip their veggies in earnest! Trust me! I’ve seen it. My young nephew didn’t know what a radish was and he ate it heartily…I don’t think it was because I told him it was a pretty red ball..it was all the dip he ate with it!

Wait until you see all the other fun products we come up with in 2015! The Dill Seasoning & Dip Blend is just the beginning!

Enjoy Dip Dip Dipping your veggies,

:) Pamela

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It’s all in the soup!

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On a snowy day where the roads are covered and the state has declared emergency-only driving and you stay off the roads…remember, it’s all in the soup! There are so many ways to make soup and there are so many versions of something so basic as chicken noodle, that it just takes a spice like J.O. Cajun Seasoning to make it taste completely different!

What special ingredient or spice do you use so that it’s all in the soup? I never stray from J.O. Garlic Pepper because it has the garlic, the pepper and the other ingredients that satisfy the tastebuds and add that special something to everything I am making. Sprinkling J.O. #1 in your soup is another very popular choice – it’s not just for seafood inspired soups – there’s chicken tortilla soup, butternut squash soup, potato soup, creamy chicken chowder, chili and chicken chili just to name a slight few.

It’s all in the soup today because soup is so easy. What do you have on hand? I had leftover beef and I combined that with beef broth and a package of frozen mixed vegetables, added J.O. Thyme, J.O. Marjoram and of course some J.O. Garlic Pepper and voila, there was a hearty meal that catapulted my ordinary beef into soupy spectacular!

Here’s a great soup and one you can definitely say, It’s all in the soup!

J.O. Shrimp Chowder

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Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon J.O. #1 All Purpose Seasoning
  • 2 cups reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
  • 1/2 cup long-grain Arborio rice
  • 1 pkg frozen corn
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional)
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add a handful of the scallions, celery and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and J.O. #1 All Purpose Seasoning and cook, stirring, until the flour is lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add the milk, 6 cups water and the rice. Bring to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Add the corn to the pot and cook 3 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook until they curl and turn opaque pink, about 3 more minutes. Taste. If needed, season with more J.O. #1 All Purpose, and stir in the sherry if using. Top soup with leftover scallions.

Enjoy your snow day cuz really, it’s all in the soup!

:) Pamela

 

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Engraving done in-house!

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There’s a lot More Than Spice happening at J.O. !  We get all the engraving done in house! We do not send out jobs. We can actually do it right here, sometimes right now. In a nutshell, you walk into the retail store, see what you like, if the machines are free you get it within 5-10 minutes* and since you are browsing anyway, it’s a win-win.

All engraving is done right here at J.O.’s house! We don’t have to send out the mallet, cutting board, picture frames, or glass jobs because they are all done here -we have two graphic designers in house ready to work on your unique ideas or brainstorm until a great idea hatches. All of us contribute to a great idea because small family business is what we know, what we do and who we are ~ and that makes the unique, the extra-ordinary and the best gifts happen!

Whether you need pint glasses, jars or stemless wine glasses engraved, oyster or paring knives, medium – to -large cutting boards, ornaments (New for the holidays!) or a mallet, we do it all and we create new and exciting products everyday.

If you have a great idea, we make it happen.

If you have no idea but just a few thoughts, we make it happen.

If all you have is cash and come in with absolutely no thoughts whatsoever… **smile** …we can still make it happen!

I put an * by the 5-10 minutes because cutting boards run longer.

What do you need engraved?

Let us take the stress out of gift giving,

:) Pamela

 

 

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