This next state was among the top 5 states that we were looking forward to. A cheer rose through the house when we pulled Maine. We licked our chops when we pulled Maine. Friends were jealous that we pulled Maine. Seriously, we have a friend who is in love with Maine and everything that has to do with Maine—-including the food.
Which is, of course, LOBSTER. We visited Maine a few years ago and had some of the best food there…especially the lobster.
This was one state food dinner that no one wanted to miss, so it took us a few weeks to arrange it. We debated about how to get the lobsters. Do we take an hour ride and go to the fishery? No, we didn’t have time for that. Do we buy them frozen? Hubby pooh-pooed that idea, heaven forbid he eat previously frozen seafood—he’s such a diva.
We decided to get them from our local supermarket, steamed on the day that we chose for our Maine dinner. Unfortunately, the day we decided on was the day before the most recent Nor’ester hit us. Which meant…the grocery store was Armageddon.
I debated putting this dinner off for another few days rather than face the grocery store, but we needed to eat dinner anyway and who knows when all four of us would be available for dinner at a reasonable hour again.
Since I was going anyway I made a list of other staples I would need to survive the storm…just like all the other bread and milkers. Hey, don’t judge—based on the snowfall predictions by the talented and inaccurate weather service, I was potentially going to be stuck in the house anywhere from an hour to fifty-two days with a teenager who needs a feed bag strapped to his face.
I braced myself for the onslaught of other desperate shoppers and boy, I was not disappointed. I had to park a half mile away and hike to the store. Shoppers were savagely ransacking the bread shelves and loading their carts with enough bottled water to fill a swimming pool. Women were pulling each other’s hair out for the last gallon of milk. Men were stabbing each other for frozen pizza. It was pandemonium.
Fortunately, there was no one on line at the seafood department. I was about to ask the woman behind the counter for four lobsters, but then my son texted me to tell me that his girlfriend was coming over for dinner. I asked him to be certain that she ate lobster because while I didn’t mind getting an extra one, I didn’t want to waste it. He assured me that she did indeed like lobster. Fine. The more the merrier.
I asked the woman behind the counter for five lobsters, steamed. She looked at me like I had said lobsters crawling out of my ears. “You having a party or something?” she asked. “Nope. Just dinner.”
I realize now that sounds a little stuck-up-ish. After all, most people in the store were stocking up on canned goods and other non-perishables for their dinner and here I was getting lobster.
But I really didn’t have time to explain the whole concept of The Bad Mommy Cooks Around the USA to this lady. I had to get on line with the hundreds of other cattle. When I say the lines stretched down the aisles, I’m not exaggerating at all. I literally was standing in the cereal aisle as I waited for the line to move. (I also picked up a couple boxes of cereal while waiting—why not?)
The line moved forward painfully slow. I was also lucky enough to have a little old man in front of me. He not only flirted with me for twenty minutes, he thought he was a stand-up comedian as well. I considered jumping lines after awhile, but I knew I’d regret it—I’m notorious for doing that and the original line moves ten times faster than the new one.
I finally got to the front and was out of the store after an hour. Yeah, I should have just taken the ride to the fish market. I would have taken just as long. After that long in the store, you would think I had everything I needed for dinner, right?
You’d be wrong. This is me we’re talking about. I planned to make a mushroom butternut squash risotto with the lobster—yes, I know what you’re thinking, you’re gonna make risotto??? Isn’t that too fancy for you? I assure you that this recipe is super easy and actually one of the few things I cook well.
Unfortunately, the butternut squash that I bought on Sunday (I got it cut up because it’s time consuming to cut) was rancid already. I opened the lid to the container and it smelled like it was pickled. I was extra annoyed about this because I just bought it and I was just in the store.
Nevertheless, I made the risotto, sans butternut squash. There was nothing I had to do with the lobsters since I had them steamed at the store. All we needed was some drawn butter and we could get cracking. I opened up the bag of lobsters and discovered they had not given me five lobsters like I asked for, they gave me six. And yes, they charged me for all six. We did not need six lobsters since I wasn’t even sure if the original five were going to get eaten—oh yeah, we discovered that my son’s girlfriend does NOT like lobster. My son is a moron, ladies and gentlemen.
Anyhoo, I put the lobsters down in front of the kids: …and they gasped in shock. “I prefer the way restaurants serve it,” my son said. “I don’t know what to do with all this shell.” We had to walk the kids through the process of eating lobster, only to discover that the store had not steamed them thoroughly. Sections were rubbery and under-cooked. We had to pop pieces of lobster in the microwave just to eat it.
I was very disappointed and the kids gave up on eating the lobster very quickly. Even when I had nothing to do with cooking the meal, I somehow screwed it up. Normally, I would have marched the under-cooked lobsters back to the store, but remember all the people that were there earlier? It wasn’t worth it.
Instead, we picked the lobsters apart and froze the remainder of the meat. Such a disappointment. Maybe we have to go to Maine for a proper “Maine” meal next time.