My best lobster story was during my first pregnancy. I was the first one pregnant in my friend circle. No one knew what to expect from a pregnant friend, so I got to make up a few demands—err cravings.
At that time, two of my good friends were scuba diving regularly around the old shipwrecks off of Fire Island and the southeast fork of Long Island scavenging for lost treasures. They claimed that lobsters were always in and around these wrecks. That was when I claimed to have incredible cravings for lobsters. My friends believed me.
During that pregnant summer, a lobster or two was left on my stoop two to three days each week. I’d immediately boil them and call my mom—a fellow lobster lover, to join me. We conducted the carnage at my backyard picnic table. Fresh caught lobster was gloriously sweet and decadent. By the time my husband, Matt, got home, the table and stoop were hosed off and the shells discarded. Maybe there would be half a tail saved for Matt, but typically I ate the lion’s share with no regrets.
My friends continued to bring me a lobster until the end of October, maybe a few times in November. They were good men on a mission.
My daughter was born healthy, happy, round in January. I read somewhere that nursing mothers should not eat shellfish. If there was a ban on shellfish for pregnant women I missed it, or, more likely, ignored it.
When my daughter Sara’s first birthday arrived, I bought Matt and I a frozen lobster tail to celebrate. Sara, who was proving to be a picky eater, ate her favorite food, pastina. A frozen lobster tail is not the same as a freshly caught whole lobster. It was a very cold January in 1984, and a whole lobster was prohibitively expensive.
Matt put a small piece of lobster on Sara’s high chair tray. Surprisingly, she put it in her mouth and ate it. With eyes wide open and little hands reaching out, she called out, “More!” Sara ate the lion’s share of that lobster tail.
Despite Sara’s now grown-up food preferences and limitations, she has never passed up a lobster carnage opportunity.
Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.