Boston and Cape Cod Holidays

Mothers Day Lobster Dinner Tradition Goes the Distance

Every year  Henry Johnson would take his mother out for a Mothers Day lobster dinner.  But this year, Mom is retired and living 1300 miles away in Naples,Florida.   Getting together on Mother’s Day was not going to be possible.
Johnson said he needed a way to keep the Mothers Day lobster-dinner tradition going.
So Johnson went online to see if he could find a seafood restaurant in Naples offering gift certificates.   But knowing his mother, Lillian Johnson, was a lobster gourmet, he was not sure he could find a restaurant offering the jumbo lobster his mother preferred.
The web search for a lobster-dinner gift certificate delivered a surprising result, according to Johnson. His Google page yielded a Cape Cod, Massachusetts Lobster delivery service that offered to send fresh, live Maine Lobster overnight to Naples, Florida.   And not just any lobster, but jumbo Maine Lobster.  The delivery service – Lobsters-Online.Com — also offered freshly harvested steamer clams and oysters.
Johnson said he was “thrilled” with the idea of sending his seafood loving mother a box of live Maine lobster on Mother’s Day.
After a few minutes of shopping the web site, Johnson selected two four-pound lobsters, a bushel of steamers and the Lobster Trap Co. homemade style Lobster Bisque. The Lobsters-Online.Com service offered a satisfaction guarantee, which was important to Johnson.
“What could be a better surprise,” Johnson said.  “Mom will be sitting at home, and the door bell will ring, and a box of live lobster will be delivered right to her door.”
Johnson said his mother is one of those Lobster aficionados who grew up in Maine, went to school in Boston and raised a family in Connecticut.  His mother’s only complaint about Florida has been that it is difficult to obtain locally fresh New England Lobster and shellfish.
“Mom knows how to cook and eat a lobster like a professional,” Johnson said. “She knows how to make lobster butter with the lobster roe and how to twist the small legs and flippers to get the even the small meat out.”
Sending live lobster on Mother’s Day, Johnson said, will go a long way toward keeping their Mother’s Day lobster dinner tradition going.
Lobsters-Online.Com has been serving up Mother’s Day lobster gift boxes for more than a decade.  Every lobster gift box includes only select-grade lobster fresh from the clean, crisp waters of New England.  The lobsters are placed in boxes with special individual compartments to protect them in transit.  The special box is placed inside a frozen-gel packed cooler and layered with wet seaweed.  The package is then shipped FedEx overnight delivery to ensure the lobster arrives fresh, alive and healthy.
© Wayne Howe 2020

 

 

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A Few Tips on How to Eat a Whole Maine Lobster

Are you ready to enjoy your Maine Lobster? Here’s a few tips on how to eat a whole Maine Lobster and have you looking like a seafood aficionado in no time.

How to eat a whole Maine Lobster

Eating a Maine lobster is easy once you know what to do

First gather up a nutcracker (or pliers), a small fork and nut pick. After molting, a lobster will have a soft shell and be pliable.  If you have a hard shell lobster, a pair of lobster scissors will make short work of cracking the claws and getting the meat out.

Before serving it is best to let a boiled or steamed lobster drain for a minute. It’s a good idea to pierce the tail at the chest of the body with a chef’s knife to allow water to drain faster. Serve the lobster hot.

Twist the lobster claw off

Twist the claw

A bib is recommended when cracking as you can never tell when some water is likely to spray out right onto your shirt. Make sure you have plenty of towels, too.  Melt the butter and slice up some lemon. Put the bib on and you are ready.

Cooked Maine lobster on cutting board

Cooked Maine Lobster

Hold the Body and Twist the  Lobster Tail

lobster scissors

Lobster Scissors

  1. Hold the body of the lobster with one hand and twist the claw off with the other.  The claw will break off where it connects to the body.
  2. Crack each claw along its length with the nut cracker or cut with the lobster shell open with the lobster scissors. Remove the meat from the claws by pushing the meat out from the end of the claw with the small fork or pick.
  3. Grab the lobster body again and twist the tail from the body.  Pull the flippers from the tail. Crack the tail along its length and push the meat out from one end with the fork. Remove the tail meat in one piece and discard the vein that runs along the length.  Next pick the meat from the flippers.
  4. Twist the small legs from the body and remove the meat from the legs with the pick. You can also choose to squeeze the meat from the legs with your teeth.

    Lobster bib and cracker kit

    Lobster Bib Kit

  5. Next separate the shell from the body by pulling the shell apart on the underside. The shell will disconnect from the body exposing the tenderest meat of the lobster. Remove and discard the green substance called the tomalley. Remove the meat from the body and leg joints with a pick.
  6. The rest of the lobster should be discarded.

 

 

Note: If found, the roe (red female eggs) are often considered a delicacy and used to make lobster butter or is used in the stuffing for baked stuffed lobster.

© Wayne Howe 2021

 

 

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Maine Lobster Picnic Made Easy with Portable Propane Steamer

Planning a big outdoor, family picnic with lots of Maine lobster?  Make outdoor preparation easy and fast with a portable, propane lobster cooker.  Working just like a gas grill, the big lobster pot sits outside on a portable burner with stand. The cooker keeps the heat, water and mess outside and away from the kitchen.  And most important, it keeps the lobster close to the picnic tables and guests.

A portable cooker easily allows the chef to deftly pop the lobsters in an out and keep them coming for all the hungry guests. Ranging in size from 30 to 50 gallons, the bigger pots can cook up to ten or more medium sized Maine lobsters at a time.

Two pound steamed Maine lobsters on a plate

Two Pound Steamed Maine Lobsters

There are many brands to choose from, but the quality lobster-pot set ups come with a stand, propane burner, aluminum pot with ridges and an internal steamer basket.  This gives the cook the option of steaming the lobsters or boiling them.  The internal basket is a must if you want to prepare hefty amounts of steamer clams, mussels, crabs or crawfish.  The cook can also use the basket to make a clambake by adding, lobster, shellfish, potatoes, onions, corn and more.

Cooking Maine Lobster with Portable Gas Burner

A good quality unit with plenty of BTUs will get the water boiling fast and keep it boiling (Don’t skimp on the BTUs unless you have a lot of patience). Here are a few helpful hints:

  • Set the unit up away from foot traffic to avoid accidents but close to a water source so you can easily add water as needed.
  • Make sure to buy fresh Maine lobster and keep them cool right up until you are ready to cook them.  A cooler holding just the lobster with plenty of frozen gel packs and wet newspaper is the best solution.  Do not use ice or put them in fresh water.  The lobsters will perish immediately in fresh water.
  • Fill the pot about 2/3 of the way and add two tablespoons of sea salt per gallon.

    lobster pot and portable gas burner

    Lobster pot with steamer basket and portable gas burner makes outdoor cooking easy.

  • Set the burner to high and bring the water to a roiling boil. Place the live lobster head first into the pot one at a time. You may leave the bands on the claws.
  • Leave enough room in the pot so you can stir the lobsters from top to bottom so they cook evenly.
  • After the lobster are in the pot, allow the water to return to a roiling boil, cover the pot and start timing.  A 1-½ pound lobster will be done in 14 minutes.  Do not overcook.  When done the lobster will be bright red and will usually float to the top of the pot.
  • To steam the lobster instead of boiling, add enough water to cover the bottom of the basket. Add salt. Bring water to a boil, add the lobster headfirst and cover.  Stir the lobster a couple of times so they cook evenly. A 1-½ pound lobster will steam in 14 minutes.
  • As the lobster are cooked and removed you can add more to the pot to make it easy to keep them coming. Add water as needed.
  • Allow the lobsters to drain a minute before serving.

A word of caution, these portable units are built to hold the weight of all that hot water and the lobsters.  Don’t go off and try to put a lobster pot on one of those small portable propane burners or stoves you might use to make an omelet on.  The water weight alone will crush it.

 

© Wayne Howe 2021

 

 

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