HOW A LOBSTER DINNER BECOMES ART
If you enjoy good seafood, you’ll no doubt partake, from time to time, in eating lobster. Before the mid-nineteenth century or so, lobster was thought of as trash food for lower-class members of society and was often used as a fertilizer in gardens. It wasn’t until New York and Boston started developing a taste for lobster that the industry took off. It’s now valued in excess of $1 billion annually.
I grew up in Cape Cod, so my family had a deep appreciation for this scrappy crustacean—the kind with two big, mean claws in front, not the wimpy blue-tail variety you find down south. In fact, like many Cape Codders, we could dissect a lobster so well that we were able to get every last ounce of meat out of any nook or cranny inside of that hard, boiled exoskeleton.
If you didn’t grow up in Cape Cod, you’re about to discover a surprising bonus. As a kid, I learned from my mom that you can get more than just a meal out of a lobster. OK, perhaps you consider me a real Capey redneck now, but hear me out on this one.
First, clean those claws of lobster meat really well, and be careful to not crack the shell below the arm joint. Keep the claw shell intact as much as possible, including that all-important single hinged finger. Get a small bit of cloth, maybe a piece of a cool-looking bandana. Tie that bandana around the top of the claw at the opening where you separated it from the rest of the arm. Glue a gold loop underneath on the side to fashion an earring on your emerging scallywag. You guessed it: You’re making a pirate!
Now, see the side hinge of the claw? Paint that with an eyeball. Use white and black paint, and then get a little red and paint a scar or two down the side. Before you know it, you have a cool, gnarly pirate to hang on the Christmas tree or in the den as a conversation piece. While that pointy ripper claw makes a good pirate, the larger crusher claw, with a little imagination, can make a great Santa! And to think, years ago they threw these things out as trash. My, how far we’ve come.