This post was originally written in October 2008. I figured that re-posting this might remind the folks who organize the lobster dinners, that there are people who count on this happening each year. I am looking forward to the first advertisements of this year's festivals.
There are foods that come with special association in your life. Lobster has particular meaning to me.
My first meeting with a lobster took place in the fall of 1967 when I went off to college in Boston. I remain convinced that my first lobster was eaten in Union Oyster House near Faneuil Hall.
I went on to eat several more lobsters during college. Some of the best were ones we cooked ourselves along the shores Maine. We would eat them almost like cavemen, needing only the handle of a Buck knife to crack the shells and something to hold the melted butter.
I can remember having some in fancier surroundings like Anthony's Pier IV where I remember taking a few dates during my college years.
Of course in New England lobster was not just a meal available in fancy restaurants. There were plenty of less expensive spots to get one of the tasty creatures of the deep. I can remember stopping at the reasonably priced Valle's Steak Houses for inexpensively priced lobster dinners.
Then there is also Legal Seafood which started out as a humble restaurant, and I remember enjoying lobsters in their spot near Cambridge.
After college, I moved to Nova Scotia, and lobsters were even cheaper during certain times of the year. When the lobstermen had filled their quotas for the year, you could get lobsters for a couple of dollars a piece.
While this might sound like I ate lobsters at every meal, that certainly wasn't the case. However, in those early years of the seventies, I probably had a lobster at least every three months. I even got very good at cooking them. I can remember the simple recipe, cook lobsters for 16.5 minutes after coming back to a boil.
Probably the most memorable lobsters were the ones I cooked for my wife on our first date in 1973. I was visiting Mount Airy, NC where my mom lived. In an attempt to keep me home for another few days, my mother arranged a blind date for me. Having just come from a college roommate's wedding, I was in an accommodating mood and said yes.
I ended up driving 70 miles round trip to get the lobsters. I had a great time instructing my date on how to eat lobsters, and 35 years later I am still cracking the claws for her and making sure she gets her lobster properly eaten.
The picture in the post came from a Lobster fest that we attended in Salter Path, NC Saturday, October 25, 2008. It's an annual event. The lobster was as good as any I have had recently. I am down to two or three lobsters per year now.
That Saturday, my lunch date, which was my wife of course, and I had another memorable lobster meal.
Last year I wrote more about the Saint Francis by the Sea Lobster Fest.