Preparations of Lobsters Crayfish and other Crustaceans

By Barbara A. Robinson

No, this is not another cookbook. Not even close, lucky for you. I share this story to exemplify the kindness of friends, the curiosity of a seven-year-old and how a vegetarian can be led astray.

I am blessed to have a very dear friend, Linda, who is kind beyond words, generous and totally into adventure, especially if it involves animal rescues. My tale is not about the time she nearly got me drown in the Caribbean on a sailing ship, nor about the time we went cross country skiing (my first time), got lost and almost froze in a city park in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we were rescued by a couple visiting from an Israeli Kibbutz. No, this is from a much less daring experience, unless of course you are a crayfish. Here is my story.

Linda and her parents Della and Wilbur Kronholm came to visit us in Adrian Michigan. Linda had just returned from a trip to Maine and promised us all a surprise. Drue, Tasha, Trevor, Arianna and Anne of course were overcome with anticipation because aunty Linda always brought the best surprises. During one extra snowy day she had actually given them all childhood size plastic skis to use on our overly steep driveway and then there was the Christmas of the fireman’s hats with the built in oscillating red headlights and alarms. Della and Wilbur even brought extra batteries to keep the party going.

Linda, and her folks gathered in our kitchen armed with mysterious brown boxes from which strange scraping noises were being emitted. Linda called Drue the eldest sibling over as she opened one of the boxes very carefully. As the box was unsealed and its contents displayed four of our five kids stepped quickly back with squeals of alarm while they watched two, foot long lobsters wiggle in Linda’s hands. Drue was totally mesmerized by the creatures as Linda placed them back in their traveling box.

“How do you cook them?” Drue questioned while watching the enormous claws swinging around their cardboard cages?

The guys, Grandpa Wilbur and Dad Terry had already gotten an enormous pot I used for making spaghetti and filled it with warm water and placed it on the stove.

Now you are thinking surely, they didn’t, but yes, we did. Is this child abuse? Allowing my grade school age kids watch as we dropped the large greenish crustaceans into boiling water? Worst of all as they dropped, they turned a red/pink color, and a squealing note was heard as our dinner succumbed to the heat of the water. I know, I know, they say that is just steam escaping from the lobster’s shells and this maybe so, but now as a vegetarian I have my qualms. Back then however it was “bombs away” and yes fresh Maine lobster can’t be beat.

Children are really little tape recorders with an enormous capacity for storage. Little did I know our eldest was absolutely enthralled with not only the taste of the lobster but the cooking process. It was several months after our lobster treats that I was confronted by a little hand holding a crawdad by the claw and in a pleading voice I heard, “Momie cook this.”

No, this child did not grow up to be a serial killer and ironically is a fairly good vegan cook, an extremely kind person, and a whiz with computers.

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