How to Find and Eat Every Morsel of Lobster

27 Nov

Do you know how to crack open a lobster and find every piece of meat? Whether my mom enjoyed the challenge or just loved lobster, she was never satisfied until the lobster was completely cleaned out. Actually, this obsession was typical of her Type A, perfectionist behavior. When she took on a task, she made sure to complete it-with great attention to detail and outcome.

When she was first diagnosed with lung cancer, my dear friend and her fiancé sought a  way to cheer her up, to get her mind off her illness for at least a few hours. I can remember their insistence on going out for a seafood dinner with my mom. How thoughtful! They told her that she had to take them up on her offer –they needed better lobster-eating techniques. While the impetus was to distract and entertain my mom, there was also the desire to learn how to eat lobster Phyllis-style. So, the four of us drove south to Bahrs Seafood Restaurant in Atlantic Highlands. My friends still talk about that wonderful night and important food lesson!

Recently, I had the good fortune to pass this great lobster talent along to my son. While my family has eaten many pounds of lobster both in restaurants and at home, I had never demonstrated the proper clean-out/get every drop procedure. I usually just take over the eating when they think they are done (selfishly wanting those few extra pieces for myself)! A few weeks ago, my son and I were enjoying a weekend away for his soccer tournament and found ourselves looking for a restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland. He, a seafood fanatic, spotted Freddy’s Lobster Restaurant and soon after, he was ready to dig into a beautifully steamed red lobster. Since we were alone and chatting about all sorts of things, I started to reminisce about my mom’s lobster eating. One thing led to another and soon he was enjoying every single piece of meat, from the tail and claw to the tiny walking legs. I am fully confident that he will continue to find every morsel of meat in lobsters and, hopefully even pass the technique along to his own children!

I am grateful for all of the big and little things my mom taught me. I vacuum and dust in crevices and corners, fold towels in thirds, use a spatula to scrape batter from the bowl, spin lettuce dry and even eat the white part of an orange (she was right—great nutritional value in the pith). What special or even ordinary techniques do you employ because of your mom’s instruction?

I often think back to the dinner my friends and I shared with my mother about 20 years ago and I am flooded with warm and sweet memories. Despite the underlying reason for our dinner, I have a vivid picture of us enjoying the evening—watching boats pass in the bay while we ate, laughed and savored each moment and each morsel of lobster.


4 Responses to “How to Find and Eat Every Morsel of Lobster”

  1. lori pitkowsky November 27, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Larry and I so often remember the details of what was a very special night with life lessons taught and lasting memories made. You’re mom was a great lady, Shar. xo

  2. Lori November 28, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    I was also the recipient of a treasured education,” eating lobster Phyllis style.” I think of her fondly whenever I eat lobster.

  3. Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson December 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    So funny! My mother once offered to “share” her lobster with my brother and me.

    We were so excited to taste the exotic crustacean from the sea.

    She gave us the shells.

    You know, after she had eaten every morsel of meat out of them. 😉

  4. Steven Berr April 8, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    Now this one was fun to read! My mother in law did essentially the same thing. We would visit her in North Carolina and there was always a night where we had lobsters for dinner. And she would sit at the dinner table literally for hours after picking every bit of lobster meat from the “bones” as she called them. The next day? Well that’s when we had her delicious lobster salad made from the tiny morsels she painstakingly harvested the night before.

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