Wright and I had the house in Maine to ourselves this weekend so we decided to be adventurous and cook up some live lobsters. I'd been eagerly anticipating this activity for a few weeks, excited to try something so drastically different from anything I'd done before. I pictured us cheerfully picking out the liveliest lobsters at the pound, laughing as we had lobster races around the kitchen, and gleefully popping them into the pots, only to pull out beautiful, bright, red dinners.
For some reason, it hadn't occurred to me to be all that nervous. I'm not exactly someone who thinks lobsters are cute, nor did I have any real issues with the killing factor. I loved the farm-to-table idea, and pictured a rather idyllic time as we listened to the ocean crashing outside the window, thinking about how these guys were out there just that morning.
This was not, I repeat not how it went. The minute the man at the lobster place put our two lobsters into our pot, I panicked. And not just silly, oh-boy-they-are-really-moving-in-there panicked, but full on went white and felt my entire body start to shake as I grabbed the pot. I walked about two feet out the door, felt something move and started screaming for Wright.
He, of course, could not have found this funnier if he tried. He immediately staged a photo-op in the parking lot while I tried my hardest not to cry and/or drop the pot and run. There was something so creepy about having these live crustaceans in the back of the car... at one point I literally put my feet up on my seat, imagining them escaping and crawling under the chair to attack me.
One thing I forgot when I was thinking about how non-cute they are was how ugly and scary they are! When Wright pulled them out of the bag I felt like I was six years old - they were big and black with all sorts of arms and legs and pinchers and feelers and they were moving like crazy. Literally, going nuts (which apparently is a good thing - you know they are not only fresh but healthy). My earlier excitement was long gone as I watched Wright try to control the two lobsters as they flapped their tails vigorously. Again, he only found this funny and proceeded to chase me around the kitchen, until I finally ran into the bathroom, closed the door and locked it.
All plans of back-rubbing, freezing, cutting through the head between the eyes, etc. were completely out of question as I barely completed my role as Official Pot Lid Slammer. Wright put the wriggling lobsters into the pots of boiling water and I immediately slammed on the lids. Voila! Look at me go! Thank goodness there were no screams from the pots and barely any movements. Larry and Linda Lobster R.I.P.
To settle down, I quickly set out to make guacamole and set the table. My shaking hands were visible and I was called out for being a complete and utter wuss many, many times. But that's okay. When we pulled the lobsters out about 15 minutes later, they were absolutely gorgeous. We ate with excitement, and the taste of the fresh lobsters was indescribable - even with all of the disastrous stress levels during the cooking (that, let's be honest, took years off my life), there was something so cool about this dinner. And we could taste it.
To boil live lobsters, pick them up right before you are going to eat them. If you are near Ogunquit, Maine, we'd recommend Brass Plum Farm, right on Route One. We got two 1 1/2 pound lobsters. Fill the pot(s) up about a third of the way with water and a lot of salt, and bring to a hard boil. Place lobsters in, lid(s) on, and let boil for about fifteen minutes (longer if they are bigger lobsters). Serve with melted butter, lemon, and celery salt. Wash down with a Maine beer and enjoy by the ocean.