3rd Day of Christmas: Lobster-Eating Lessons
As New Year’s eve approaches, expectations abound, pressures mount and kids yearn to stay up until midnight. For Bob and me, ringing in the New Year in style means staying home, building a cozy fire and sharing a delicious feast with great friends.
With family on the East Coast, trips to Boston are frequent, as are the opportunities to enjoy fresh lobster, steamers, clams and the like. To our great surprise, as we were planning the menu for last year’s New Year’s Eve dinner, we realized that the Truckee Albertson’s was featuring fresh New England lobster. We couldn’t pass it up, and, wow, what a treat!
As New Year’s eve approached, we gathered up the seafood crackers, chilled the champagne, pulled out the lobster pot, made sure we had plenty of butter and got ready to celebrate.
To ring in 2007, we were lucky enough to be joined by our friends Frank and Cynthia and their two girls, Alexia and Isabella, as well as Cynthia’s cousin from Peru, Vivi. The kids were just young enough that we were able to feed them an early dinner, read stories and tuck them snug into bed before we sat down to enjoy our feast. Well, Alexia, the four-year-old party animal at heart, didn’t quite fall for the bedtime thing and realized she was missing out on a good time so we had several visits from her during our lobster feast.
The evening was a first for Cynthia and Vivi, who’d never before eaten an entire lobster. The ever-patient coach, Bob took great joy in educating our guests on the best way to eat a lobster. Step-by-step, he taught them how to enjoy this large shellfish that was sitting on their plates staring back up at them:
Step One: Twist off claws and attached knuckles, crack both claws and knuckles, remove the claw meat.
Step Two: Twist the tail off of the body, pick off each tail flipper and squeeze/pinch the meat out.
Step Three: Insert a fork into the tail opening and the entire piece of tail meat should pop out.
Step Four: Pick off each leg and squeeze the meat out with your teeth.
Step Five: Insert the head into your mouth and suck to get the last remaining meat.
Not sure if it was the champagne, her trust in Bob, or if she just got caught up in the moment, but Cynthia fell for it, to our great amusement, and she made the move to stick the lobster head into her mouth. Of course, we stopped her just in time, and to this day, we still have great laughs over the dinner.
This year, Bob’s kids will join us for New Year’s eve. Native New Englanders, they’re sure to enjoy the fun as we teach our friends Julie and Mauricio along with their daughter Mary, how to eat lobster. As we’re enjoying the last few hours of 2007, I’m sure the kids are going to devour their lobsters, anxiously waiting for their dad to walk our guests through the lobster eating steps to see if someone falls for step five again this year.