Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lobster longings

Is there a season for lobster, say like there is for raw oysters--we can eat them  in April but then not again until September. The months inbetween have no "r" in them, and that's the rule. Of course, some people won't eat any raw oysters these days, but I admit to giving into temptation occasionally, always with a bit of trepidation. But I digress. Back to lobster.
I'm reading a novel called Town in a Lobster Stew, a mystery set in a small coastal town in Maine. The author is B. B. Haywood, and I think she knows whereof she talks about lobster stew. The small town has a lobster stew cookoff every spring to start the tourist season, and Candy, the protagonist, is asked to step in at the last minute as a judge. As she described the variatioins on a theme, I got hungrier and hungrier--one made with tomatoes and thyme, another with Dijon and white wine, and one with just a hint of cinnamon. I want to try all of them. I think that's a sign of how much I've walked into the world of the novel. More about B.B.Haywood and her small Maine town another time.
Then a new Bon Appetit arrived and I leafed through it, finding a stunning recipe for lobster rolls. So now I have a craving. Next time I'm in Central Market I'm going to look longingly at fresh lobster meat--I'm past wanting to bring home a live lobster and cook it. Maybe I could afford enough for a meal for just one--me!
Years ago there was a restaurant and fish market in Fort Worth called Zuider Zee. Every year they had a lobster two-for-one special. My then-husband and I used to have "bring your own lobster" parties. We'd borrow a huge kettle from the hospital kitchen, fix a salad, and I suppose serve wine. Gosh, do you suppose way back then we served Mateus? Anyway, I remember those parties, in the tiny concrete block house we lived in, were always great.
Another memory of two-for-one lobster: I worked as a secretary to the hospital pathologist at the time, a nice if somewhat unusual guy. He and his wife were both on the plump side, and one night they ordered the two-for-one lobster. The waitperson brought them each a lobster, and he said, "No,  you don't understand. Two for her, and two for me!"
These days a local restaurant, Lucille's, has "Lobsterama," with whole Maine lobsters for something like $13. Betty and I love to order a lobster and the house salad, a bleu cheese vinaigrette, but each time she looks at me and says, "How do we do this again?" I once had dinner with Megan at Uncle Julio's and we split the Cadillac special--a whole lobster and fajitas (to me, sort of an incongruous combination). I mostly took it apart, but she said, "If I'd known it was this much trouble, I'd have never ordered it." But then, that's the child who, when I splurged on fresh raspberries (they're dear in Texas) said, "If I'd know they have all those seeds, I wouldn't have eaten them."
I'm ready for lobster and raspberries. Hmmm, gourmet delight.

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