So the lore goes like this: It was my sixth birthday, and the extended family made a little caravan to a seafood restaurant near my grandmother’s house. Being good part-time Mainers, we had a tradition of enjoying foods from the sea, but I hadn’t ventured far from seared scallops and crab bisque. Because I was the birthday girl, I was to have my first lobster. But because I was such a young birthday girl, I was to share it with my grandmother.
Grandma went hungry that night. Or least she had to go to the salad bar twice, because I ate that whole lobster, down to the tomalley. And after that, I was hooked.
I think lobsters serve a few purposes for me.
1.They’re epic. Having a lobster always feels like an occasion, whether it is or not. The very nature of killing something alive and eating it is not something that we do very often in our culture, so it feels of some greater importance.
2. They take some serious dismantling*. Dismantling takes time, and it’s satisfying, like a difficult puzzle. Each lobster is its own puzzle, and the prize for completing it is especially delicious.
3. It’s competitive. I love competition. I want to win, to be the best lobster dismantler. I want to discover every cranny and nook. This extends to lobster preparation, and even lobster selection. There are truly correct ways to approach a lobster, and I have worked hard to learn them.
4. They’re several meals in one. Claw meat is different from tail meat. Tomalley is in a different universe of taste altogether, and the roe is dessert. You can suck on the legs when you’re having a break.
* for this reason, I also enjoy marrow bones.
Lobsters have been there for me for many celebrations. Here I am at thirty, still going lobster-strong:
And here is my kitchen, replete with a painting David made me for that very same birthday. You see, lobsters aren’t just good to eat, they’re good to look at. Which is important, as I’m a photographer.
It’s important to mention here that lobsters can often be converted/assimilated into everyday design. This year, David got lobster shoes for Christmas. We’re going to help keep you updated here about good lobster gear.
So now we’ll get down to business: recipes, history, gear, stories will abound. Stay tuned!4 com