It'll cost you probably twice as much as it would if you live in New England, but it's certainly worth it to learn a new skill (new in my case) among good friends. I followed along with the experts, but I also had this helpful chart on my plate.
Okay, so the lobsters weren't technically baked, but steamed with corn and seaweed. And served with plenty of melted butter and hot sauce, if so inclined. I'm always inclined towards butter, but I forgot about the Frank's Red Hot. Next time.
Not one lobster "screamed" when it hit the pot, contrary to popular belief and although I mentally prepared for it. I picked up my lobster at a nearby seafood store on my way to our host's house - I decided I wasn't mentally prepared to have a creature ambling around in my fridge, even just over night.
In the case that you are not ready for the possibility of your lobster shrieking or walking away, you can always hypnotize it. We tried it. You rub the little guy in between the eyes and he'll relax. We learned this tip from our lobster-hauling friend who lives on an island in Maine and we had to see if it works.
Supposedly, once hypnotized, you can get a lobster to rest on its head. We had limited success, but I certainly saw the lobster relax before its trip to the pot.
I call that a humane death, but I struggled with the process of eating it. It's impossible to separate the thought of the animal from the thought of the food when I'm dissecting the food I'm eating. I took it slow and engaged in conversation and took deep breaths. I'm not sure if it is difficult because I was a vegetarian for so long or if it's just the way I am. But, it was nice to know that I wasn't alone in this...one of the other participants hit that wall, too.
I find that butter and good company helps with this apprehension. Plus, breaking off the first claw wasn't so bad. And it was delicious.
When I reached the point of breaking the tail off the body, well, that was a little more difficult. That body section is full of not-so-appetizing stuff. I know I should enthusiastically embrace this knowing-what-I'm-eating thing. I do. But with lobster, it may just take some practice. In the meantime, my lobster meals may rely heavily on corn. That's fine, too.
Hey, I even had a little bit of leftovers. Of tail meat. I plan on making that Lobster Mac & Cheese I keep hearing about on television and the internet and at restaurants. And overall, nothing was wasted - one friend gathered up all the remains and is making a wonderful lobster stock as I write this. We're practically neighbors, so I might get in on some lobster bisque!
|That lobster claw is bigger than her hand!|
Now I know how to procure, prepare, and eat a lobster. I cannot think of a better way to say goodbye to summer than having great food and fun with great people on a beautiful Colorado afternoon. I may even feel a little readier for the new season.
***A HUGE thank you to my friend Dan, who hosted and dreamed up the whole idea in the first place. I had such a lovely time! I owe you some baked goods.