the night I cooked a lobster

23 Dec

A few weeks ago, I was looking back at my Food Goals for 2010. I realized there was a big one in the mix that I had not yet completed.

I needed to cook a lobster.

That may not sound frightening to some of you, but to me it was a big deal. So in order to make it easier on myself, I invited 4 other people to join Brette and I in lobster fest 2010. Ahh!! What if it didn’t turn out? These suckers aren’t the cheapest protein on the market and as a rule, I don’t like serving bad food.

The research commenced. This research led me to my friend Susan. Susan is the lobster whisperer. Seriously. I remember her mentioning once that she hypnotizes her lobsters and it makes the whole process a heck of a lot easier. I made a date to go to her place immediately after picking up Larry the lobster and his 5 friends to be hypno trained.

The pick-up:

I ordered my lobsters from Coastal Seafoods. I didn’t want to take any chances that they wouldn’t have any when I arrived – talk about a buzz kill.

The nice young man that helped me happily obliged my photo-taking. Apparently it happens a lot.

He even asked if he blinked. I didn’t know if he was talking about himself or the lobster. I’m suck a dork.

Off I went with a box full of lobsters.

The hypno training:

Next up was my lesson in hynotizing Mr. Lobster.

Susan and her lovely assistant, Katie, were wonderful teachers.

By hypnotizing the lobster, it will have a much more pleasant end of life experience. There will be no flailing about, no screaming, and no adrenaline rushes that will sieze up it’s meat.

It also just seems like a nicer way of doing things, ya know? Plus, I couldn’t wait to have all of my lobsters lined up in a trance!

Susan picked up the lobster by the back, flipped it up on its head and started stroking it’s tail.

Within about two minutes there was no movement coming from the lobster. It was completely still and his eyes had gone soft.

Larry the Lobster demonstrating downward facing dog.


It was so easy! I gave the lobster a few strokes – which was the first time I have ever touched a live lobster and I left feeling very confident that I could pull this off. Now, I just had to make sure I didn’t overcook them and that I had enough butter on hand.

The Main Event:

This dinner party involved group participation. Luckily we had very willing participants and we had 2 additional guests than planned – 2 more lobsters! No worries, they did not go to waste.

We started with some appetizers….

One must be properly fueled in order to put lobsters in a trance.

All went according to plan. I think we were all amazed at how easy it was to put the lobsters into a zen state of mind.

We only had one that took a little more coaxing.

This guy wanted to party and was most definitely not a fan of yoga. Eventually he caved and you know he was the first one into the pot.

I think these pictures tell the stories better than I could.

How cute are these lobsters? They can do crow pose way better than I can. All 8 went into a trance and just sat there. No movement whatsoever. So cool!

After we stared at them for the longest time; taking picutres and sharing our disbelief, it was time to get on with it. Stomachs were growling.

I had brought two very large pots of water to a boil (one was a 16 qt stock pot and the other a water bath canner). I salted them both heavily – like a 1/2 cup salt in each. Then the lobsters went in for a dip. There was no struggle, no screaming – it was all very peaceful.


hot-tubbin' it

almost done

Once the water came back to a boil, we let the lobsters swim for about 9 minutes. Now the real battle was about to begin.

Eating the lobsters:

Eating a whole lobster is an event itself. You have to work for your meat!

Participating in this year’s adventure (complete with protective gear)….


Arnoldo and Willa


Jose Ygnacio and Silvya


The hosts.

I love that all of us just dug in and went for it. I don’t think we left any piece of that lobster unturned.


the aftermath

I had not laughed that hard in a long time. There were bits of lobster flying all over the place. Fact: I found a piece of lobster in my hair the next morning – a definite sign of a good time. The lobster itself was delicious. I thought they were perfectly cooked and a dip in some butter and a spritz of lemon made them fit for a queen. Or in this case, 6 lovers of food.

We all agreed that we’d like to do this an outdoor setting. That way we can really get crazy with the flying bits of lobster.

A huge thank you to Susan, the lobster whisperer, and our dear friends that participated in such a fun evening. I can’t wait to do it again!

What has your experience been cooking lobster? Any good stories?


10 Responses to “the night I cooked a lobster”

  1. Tes December 23, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    I am a lobster fan…but we wont get it here very often! You did a wonderful job with those amazing lobsters. What a wonderful feast :)

  2. Willa December 23, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    We had a lovely time and feel very fortunate to have participated in this extraordinary evening! Great pictures and wonderful memories.

    As an aside, your homemade crackers were also divine.

  3. Brette December 23, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    A great evening for sure.

    It should also be mentioned that we enjoyed a very nice Scotch courtesy of Arnoldo.

  4. anne December 23, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    poor little lobsters

  5. Kate December 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    That is bizarre!! Sorry for implying that you got them drunk first. Love the picture of them all lined up.

    Susan, you’re a font of culinary wisdom. And Jen, you’re fearless! What are the 2011 goals? Probably the topic of a future blog post.

    • jen December 25, 2010 at 9:32 pm #

      Yes – coming soon! Suggestions welcome!

  6. Jackson December 23, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    I would love to participate next time you do it?:) I think Tony would enjoy it also.

  7. Trout Caviar December 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm #

    Jen, that is one of the damnedest things I’ve ever seen! How did your friend learn that amazing hypnosis trick?


    • jen December 25, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

      I believe the trick was passed down from her father. I will double check that though. Isn’t it crazy?


  1. a year in review « She said. She said. - December 30, 2010

    […] me you’ve read the lobster post. It’s one of my all time favorites. This was one of the most fun evenings of my year and […]

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