A group of friends and I recently took it upon ourselves to serve up some lobster as a prelude to UAA’s Homecoming Dance. It was Homecoming after all, we reasoned, and what better way to warm up for dancing than tearing into some buttery seafood. As poor young college students, we weren’t about to go to a fancy restaurant and pay “market price” (the polite term for “if you have to ask, you sad little peasant, you have no business being here”) for a bunch of boiled shellfish. So live lobsters were purchased from New Sagaya and brought to our apartment to be cooked.
Note: Be careful eating lobster while wearing a suit. Or a dress. Or any sort of expensive clothing you want to avoid getting splattered in lobster juice. It’s ironic that lobster is considered such a high class, fancy meal when eating it becomes one of the messiest endeavors on the planet; akin to going into battle with a boiled Creature from the Black Lagoon dripping in butter.
Four lobsters sat grumpily on our counter. We named one Winston Churchill. This was probably because of the fat cigar sitting in his mouth. He kept making a V with his pincers, too.
Someone had mentioned if you stab the lobster in the brain before dropping it in the boiling water, the meat doesn’t toughen up as much, and the little guy goes out much more peacefully. So we put a knife through their heads, which it turns out is much easier said than done. This is where the first bouts of screaming ensued: IT’S NOT DEAD, IT’S NOT DEAD, PUT IT OUT OF ITS MISERY!!
Which ended up being done by the only other option available, dropping the twitching creatures into a pot of bubbling doom anyway.
Fifteen minutes later, there sat Winston, all mottled red, looking thoroughly disappointed about the fact that he had just been stabbed and boiled to death.
Killing him had been one thing, but now it was time to rip him to pieces. This poor guy, who earlier had been waving his bound claws around all feebly, and twitching his antennae; was about to be reduced to a pile of broken shell and strips of buttery meat. Oh, the inhumanity!
But we were hungry. Sorry Winston.
There are certain technical approaches to opening up a lobster and getting at its meat, thoughtfully illustrated in step-by-step diagrams that resemble some strange form of gory hand-model porn. Most recommend beginning by pulling off the legs and claws with a gentle twisting motion at the first joints, and then using a nutcracker to break off the tips of the pincers and expose the claw meat, which is easily pushed out with the forefinger. The tail portion comes next, twisted into two separate portions and then slit down the middle to reveal all the lovely tail meat. Simple!
This was not our experience at all.
OH GOD, WATCH THE PINCERS! THE PINCERS, MAN!! RIP ‘EM OFF! PULL THE MEAT OUT! LOOK OUT, IT’S FLYING ALL OVER THE PLACE! SHELL FRAGMENTS! DUCK! DUCK!!
To lighten the mood after devouring the poor British statesman, we also had crêpes. They were fantastic.
And then it was off to Homecoming Dance, to rhythmically gyrate to Top 40s pop music and other loud and catchy beats, with slaughtered lobster bouncing in our bellies and Winston Churchill rolling in his grave.