Monday, January 13, 2014

Lobsters and football

I'm embarrassed to say it, but Damon and I are superstitious.  Not about the small things, like seven years of bad luck, but about things that are Really Important.  Things like the Patriots in the playoffs. And things that work -- eating New England seafood during playoff games.

Chowder used to be our standby playoff food.  Nothing is more New England than clams and potatoes and cream.  Unfortunately, our arteries have grown a bit old for chowder (which must, must be made with cream).  So this past weekend, we prepared for the playoff game by stopping at Harbor Fish Market and picking up some lobsters (little guys and gals).  And as kick off approached, we fired up the lobster cooker and tossed those bad boys in.
I'm a lefty!                                            I'm a righty!

The folks at Harbor Fish were kind enough to give me lobsters that were both lefties and righties.  Lobsters have two types of claws:  crushers, which are full of slow-twitch muscle, not fast but very strong with great endurance, and siezers (or pinchers), which are full of fast twitch muscle, fast without the endurance.  Together they're the perfect combination for catching and eating prey.  Lobster larvae are ambidextrous but juveniles develop a difference in claws soon after they settle to the benthos.
Damon is the lobster chef in our family.  (Dory is skeptical of them.)  He is particular about how they're cooked.  Never boil them. Steam them, best accomplished by filling your pot with just over an inch of water and using a steamer or something else in the pot to hold the lobsters over the water. When the water is really boiling, toss in your lobsters (we leave the bands on) and cover it well. Watch the pot; otherwise it boils over and makes a smelly mess. Leave your lobsters in the pot for 16-18 minutes (depending on how many, how large they are, and whether they're soft-shell or hard-shell).  The real test of whether they're done is their color -- they should be bright red, no brown or green showing.  When done, eat with a bowl of the hot water to rinse off the tamale (the green stuff on the tail), and if your cardiologist isn't looking, some melted butter (but really, lobster doesn't need it).  Serve with beer or Vinho Verde (my very, very favorite wine).

A male.  The very top pair of swimmerets are larger than on females.
The before photo.  Their antennae have been removed (before we got them).
So, does the New England food thing work?  Well, we did win.  And we did score a touchdown the moment we cracked our lobsters open.  Maybe it was a highly skilled coach and quarterback.  Maybe they finally found their rhythm.  Maybe it was just their night to win.  But maybe it was the lobster. Just in case, we're going to have to keep up our seafood habits.  It's our responsibility, isn't it?  (On the menu next week, for the AFC Championship versus Manning and the Broncos:  New England scallop sliders with guacamole or bahn mi marinated veggies.  We're going to need all the help we can get!)

After.  On it's way to ensuring the Patriots' victory.  Like a pagan sacrifice to the gods to bring rain.


  1. Good stuff Janet..this reminds me..time for lobsta' !

    1. It's always time for lobsta! And there is another big game coming up . . . .