The Lobster Adventure

The Big D has an interesting job. He works for a local company and truly he is one those people who cannot be replaced. In other words, he has job security. He handles contracts, negotiates them and such (amongst all the other hundred things he does in one day). I got a sense of how he works when he spent the first three weeks of Pumpkin's life at home with us. He works in transportation and it was fascinating watching him get up to speed on Chile's situation just hours after the recent earthquake.

In the year before the economy tanked, he got lots of perks from those who wanted his company's business. He refuses many of the things that are offered to him, but occasionally we will head to a basketball game (9th row!) or a hockey game (4th row!) or dinner.

Without a doubt, this was one of the oddest gifts he has received:



Technically, it is not a gift. He put his name in for a drawing and won the lobster dinner. But, this is the second time this has happened, so I'm starting to wonder if the contest is rigged in his favor.

He works hard and does his part in reducing his company's carbon footprint. But then when I think about how far these lobsters came to be with us, I think that the flight to quickly ship these lobsters from the East Coast to the Midwest undermines the purpose of his job.



These lobsters were flown in from Boston on Friday morning. This box was sitting outside our doorstep before I even got up in the morning. Last year when he got these lobsters, he did not think it was live lobsters that were sent. I knew otherwise when I heard one of the lobsters bang its claw up against the side of the box. Me and the cats jumped.

The first time I had a whole lobster was that time, here in the Midwest. Strange, huh? Eating my first lobster in the great state of Minnesota - thousands of miles from the ocean.



Never ever saw seaweed that looked like this until it was in my dining room. Wasn't that nice that they sent a lemon along with the lobsters?



The lobster dinner also came with clam chowder. Yum. And, they sent claw crackers. Nice.



By the time the Big D came home from work, I was way high in anxiety land, having spent what seemed like the last 6 out of 9 hours with a small baby attached to my breast. I wanted to put together a pizza and throw it in the oven, but no, the lobsters needed to be eaten. Did I mention I started that day having completely forgotten that the lobsters were coming.



Eventually after downing a beer, I got myself pulled together enough to face what was awaiting us in the kitchen sink. Grabbed my camera and distracted myself with thoughts of a photo essay on adventures with lobster. Suddenly, it seemed nice. I didn't have to think about pulling out my breast only to stuff it into the mouth of a baby bird of a little girl. I didn't have to consider the dust balls taking over my house. I just grabbed my camera and focused on lobster.

Lobster #1: mine.



Lobster #2: his. His was a little blue. Loved the color.



As he grabbed the bigger lobster to put into the pot, I suddenly had flashes of an essay I had read last summer. David Wallace Foster's "Consider the Lobster." Not good. My mood which should have been ecstatic over a free lobster dinner was now overrun with paragraphs and sentences from that essay.



I started that essay hungry. I ended it just a tab bit horrified. Have you read it? It was written for Gourmet magazine and apparently caused some controversy. The essay recounts his experience and thoughts on attending the Maine Lobster Festival where people gather to boil and eat live lobsters. Imagine, Foster said, herding cattle into a field, slaughtering them and chopping them up into steaks for the barbecue grill. That's essentially what is happening at this festival except it's lobster hauled in live and dropped into water live. The verdict was out on whether or not the lobsters screamed when dropped into the boiling water.



Thankfully these did not; scream that is.



They did start turning a lovely shade of red. And the redder they got, the more relaxed I got, the more thrilled I got, actually, as my mouth started watering thinking about succulent lobster meat.

And then, I saw the last bubbles of their lives rise to the surface.



The thoughts of death did not leave me until I cracked open this lobster's claw and forked out the sweet, tender meat. I dipped it into melted butter and forgot all about the death bubbles.



One thing I have to admit is that I also had visions of omelets the next morning, omelets with lobster meat and smoked gouda cheese. I'm always disappointed when eating a lobster because I don't feel like there's a whole lot of actual meat to eat. The body that seems so big in the pot is surprisingly lacking in actual tasty bits to eat. Or am I eating it wrong? I consulted the internet just before eating and there were only instructions on eating the claws and the tail.

So, no leftover meat for omelets the next morning. Why? Because I ate every last little, tasty morsel of lobster!



While I felt somewhat like we had committed murder in our kitchen, the baby slept blissfully through it all, never the wiser that death bubbles had risen to the surface of a gigantic boiling pot of water just a few feet away from her own little precious self.



That's what life is like these days. Peaks and valleys. Death bubbles and sweet succulent lobster meat. Mommy anxiety and blissful baby sleep.

Adventure is knowing when to turn back. That's what a trail guide told us in Moab the day before we headed out on our first Jeep trail on our own at the end of December. I stopped eating when I got to the green digestive track. That was my turnaround spot.

Comments

  1. Let's face it we are meat eater which means something has to die for use to eat. I guess we are just not used to killing our own food so lobster seems a little closer to home. But oh what a treat!

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  2. You are right, Kat! It was a tasty treat! We have plans to get a deep freezer and I wonder how that will be when I visit a farm such as the one where you got your pork. I think it's good for people to consider where their food comes from, maybe it will lead to some more responsible and nutrional food habits.

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  3. As a Maine girl, I really enjoyed that story! One of my favorite things was listening to the tourists eating a lobster for the first time. Exclaiming over the juiciness or the shape or the color or finding the green stuff...The most entertaining was the teenage girls. OMG so funny!!

    I'm happy you enjoyed your dinner.

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  4. Hey wonderkindred! I thought of you when we ate the lobsters. I even imagined your gentle amusement as I got the green bits! Are you one of the people that savor the green?

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