My birthday is tomorrow. In light of this, I walked over to our town's fish monger to order what I believe to be the best tasting creature in the sea-- lobster. I grew up summering in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It is from this area of the U.S. that lobster boats descend upon the cold, Atlantic waters to retrieve the fierce, bottom-feeding critters. My family would have lobster probably six times a summer-- I would have eaten it everyday for every meal, if I could have-- truly. And although cooking and eating these giant sea bugs was fairly common, lobster dinners were always held in the highest of regard at our house.
We celebrated and relished every bite.
And prepared them as simply as possible-- steamed with warm melted butter, maybe corn on the cob and a salad. We laid the table with newspaper so that after dinner, we would simply fold everything up (shells, corn cobs and all) and stuffed it into the trash. The casual atmosphere and sense of anticipation made these the happiest of dinners.
So, I guess lobsters play an emotionally significant part in my memory, as well as a gastronomic one-- those two are so often tied together, aren't they?
The last time I had lobster was three years ago-- my last visit to the Cape. We were there with dear friends and their children. We bought a 10 pound lobster-- it was almost as big as my then one year old twins. So delicious; it was simply steamed and served with melted butter. I think we skipped the corn and salad that time.
Last night, I savoured again the lobster of my youth. It was perfect.
A few hours later, as the mister and I were watching a movie we enjoyed just a bit more of that luscious, lobster flavor-- I remelted the butter we had dipped our lobster chunks into and poured it over the freshly popped popcorn. Believe it or not, it was out of this world!
This morning, I boiled up the lobster bodies and shells to make a broth that I turned into Crab Saffron Bisque for lunch. It was to die for.
Now, I am out of lobster parts and accompaniments. Not a scrap left, I must savour only the memory of the steaming, red ocean beast. And hope that is not three more years until I can once again revel in the flavor of my favorite crustacean.