Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Boiled Alive

When I was a kid, I remember that you could swim out about a hundred yards at Dania Beach and in 6 - 12 feet of water, take a big breath and dive down and snag a fresh lobster. People cooked them right on the beach. 20 years later, we used a string mop in Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys and entangled lobsters in the mop heads. Effortless, free lobster. I wonder if they are still as plentiful? Here in North Florida, we have to buy them at the seafood market.

We usually buy just the lobster tails and cook them on the outdoor grill but once in a while, a nice whole Maine lobstah is a special treat. Before we cook them, we ice them to slow their metabolism. We bring them home in a cooler and then add a bag of ice and keep them that way until the pot is boiling and we are ready to cook.

Bubba Eyeballs Lobsters
The Bubba, fascinated with live lobsters about to be iced.

A very cold lobster is a lot less rambunctious. I used to just plunge them into boiling water but now, I spike them first, down through the skull with a filet knife while they are lethargic. While I am no pansy when it comes to eating animals or fish or anything that was alive, I surely don't want anything to suffer. The cold makes them numb and the spike severs their nerves so they can't feel the boiling water. Once you think about boiling something alive, it isn't very appetizing, is it? Read more about the humane way to kill a lobster.

Lobsters also have a pretty interesting love life. You will be amazed when you read how they have sex. Here's the book that tells all: "The Secret Life of Lobsters."

Our daughter Kaitlin will eat almost any kind of seafood. She'll suck crawfish heads but she won't eat lobster. When she was younger, Kait always said she could hear the lobsters "screaming" from the boiling pot and refused to eat them. In reality, what she heard was the air escaping from their shells in sort of a high, squeaky sound. She knows the truth now but she still won't eat lobster.

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