Sign of the times

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The horoscope offers a certain charm: Gaze at the dark sky, pick out stars and see the future. Even if science insists that those specks of light have traveled from the past.

I'm willing to gaze at the gray newsprint, pick my pictogram and see my future. If it's good. If it's bad, I assume it applies to someone else.

Still, I hate my star sign. If you're going to join a club and march under its banner and mascot, who wants Cancer? And The Crab?

Presumably, these ancient names once meant something besides "dread disease" and "snappishly ill-tempered." Perhaps they still have secondary meanings, like "painful annual screening" and "scuttles sideways."

I guess making the best of the dreary or surprising is the whole point. If the daily omen predicts: "Things are heading downhill," I dress for sledding. Whereas if it says: "You're in for a delicious evening," I veer literal to crab.

If you're willing to dispense with the snappish and ill-temper-inducing project of prying the meat out of the shell, crab promises many a delicious evening.

Start with a heap of the sweet white lumps, gently mix with something surprising — like ginger, cilantro and coconut — pat, coat and crisp. It's all good. And no arrangement of the stars can claim otherwise.

Ginger crabcakes

Prep: 30 minutes

Chill: 1 hour

Cook: 4 minutes per batch

Makes: 8

Ingredients:

1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1/4cup finely chopped cilantro

1/4cup finely chopped scallions

2 tablespoons grated ginger

1/4teaspoon salt

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