Monday, August 29, 2011

lobster travels

With Hurricane Irene's arrival at the Eastern seaboard and wishing everyone there stays safe, I've been thinking about our previous trip to Prince Edward Island, a beautiful island on the east coast of Canada.  When we landed, I knew our family would be in for a real treat. The culinary offerings of seafood, specifically lobster, was everywhere, and to watch the boats come in to deliver them while we were waiting for our dinner to be made, was a wonderful experience, especially for the kids.

Climbing light houses or catching a glimpse of the world far away over magnificent red clay cliffs. In awe with the large bridge, running and listening to the “singing sands”, finding lobsters and other creatures in the ocean, and just smelling the salt air…nothing can match the experience.

And nothing can match my first time getting lobster right off the boat, scratching it’s way through a brown paper bag to the cottage we rented, where I had my first foray into lobster cooking. Finding oysters and mussels right on our beach during low tide, and eating a seafood feast from our very own pickings…now that’s fresh seafood!

Sometimes I wonder if the kids would have rather gone to Disney than to this place known as the “gentle island”, but with all the amazing experiences with the ocean and natural surroundings...

...I doubt it.

How to cook a lobster
The best way to cook a lobster is by steaming or boiling. No sauces, no spices. Just dipping the juicy crustacean in simple melted butter. Here's the proper method the lovely cottage owners left behind for us.

"Lobster should be cooked either in clean seawater or salted fresh water (add 2 tbsp./25 ml of salt to each quart/litre of fresh water). Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the lobster and bring it to a boil. Grasp the lobster firmly by the back just behind the claws and plunge it head first into the boiling water. Cover, return the water to a boil and then lower the heat to a bubbly simmer. Lobster will cook in 12-20 minutes depending on the size. Canners will cook in 12-15 minutes, while large lobsters will require up to 20 minutes of cooking time. Timing should start only after the water has returned to a boil. Once cooked, the lobster should be drained immediately, They can now be served hot or chilled quickly by being dipped in cold water. It is important to cool the lobster quickly so that they do not remain in the temperature range in which bacteria multiply rapidly."
(source:  PEI Tourism)

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