Posts Tagged ‘Maine’

Homage to Le Homard

Monday, September 26th, 2011

In the lead up to visiting my second and third cousins in Maine (I don’t really know the relationship, I just call them that), I had been told I would eat the local specialty – lobster. This scared me. I don’t particularly enjoy seafood outside of non-fishy-fish – prawns are alright but I’d never order them in a restaurant; scallops make me want to vomit; I don’t touch oysters; and anything with tentacles just creeps me out (although I have tried some very good octopus in Greece.) I can see half of you rolling your eyes right now in a “How can she say this? Seafood is wonderful!” kind of way and all I can say is that my decision to avoid eating it just means there is more for you! So honestly, the idea that I would be eating a large cockroach of the ocean didn’t particularly appeal but I was determined to give it a go.

My first encounter with lobster came in the form of a lobster roll purchased from a local gas station. We were out exploring and in need of lunch and the most obvious option was to grab a lobster roll. They are sold everywhere and are of varying quality but all contain REAL lobster, picked out of the shells by local de-lobster-meaters.

Lobster roll

It's a lobster roll

Our lobster rolls were made in front of us and were apparently a “good price” according to our local tour guides. The problem I found with the lobster roll wasn’t the lobster, but the highly sugared bread that had then been dipped in butter and “grilled” (I’d prefer to use the term “fried”) on one side, and the excess amount of mayonnaise added to the lobster. You couldn’t really enjoy the lobster experience and I don’t think I would choose to eat a lobster roll again.

The real experience came one evening when Bob (my second cousin-in-law) purchased 10 lobsters from a local fisherman for an astonishingly low price and then cooked them in sea water for dinner.


That's a lot of lobsters

Less than four hours had passed between the lobsters coming out of the ocean and them being thrown into boiling, death-inducing water so they were remarkably fresh. This is what faced me for my first attempt at lobster eating:


Hello food

After donning a lobster bib, taking deep breaths and being run through the basics of lobster dismantling, I attacked my little red friend. Her claws were the first to go. Tough little creatures with their hard shells and evil pointy bits just to make eating them more difficult. But once you’re in and you dip their flesh into molten butter and pop it into your mouth you discover a whole new world of shellfish. I couldn’t believe how good it was. I have never wanted to eat a sea creature more than I did with Pinchy-Lee. Her body meat was a bit more ‘fishy’ than the claws but I still eat every last bit. And when the offer of another claw came along I couldn’t say no.

I think part of the joy of eating lobster is the mess – we put down a special plastic lobster-eating table cloth and everyone was wearing colourful bibs around their necks. It soon became obvious why this protective gear was necessary as juice and sea water were squirting everywhere.


Super-sized corn cob

We ate the lobster with some locally grown, organic corn which was the biggest, yellowest and sweetest corn I have ever eaten. It was a dinner for the Gods and I think we were all quite disappointed when it was over. A big thank you to Bob, Marijke, Catrina and Nick for delivering one of the greatest meals of my life. And thank you, Pinchy-Lee, for being so damn delicious.

Mackerel in Maine

Monday, September 12th, 2011

A very quick post just to inform you of my brilliant fishing skills. We are currently in Georgetown, Maine, visiting my second cousin and her family. The past few days have involved a fair amount of fishing as this area of the world is fishing heaven. Tom is beside himself. However, today while out on the boat we fished for mackerel and before starting Tom and I declared it was a competition to see who could catch the most (it started off as the biggest but all the fish were about the same size so it turned into quantity over quality.) Final score? Tom: Two. Marijke (my second cousin): Two. Me: Eight.

In other news, we eventually made it to the airport in New York to catch our flight (Tom got stuck in a water-clogged underground for a while) which was then delayed and then cancelled for a second time as we were sitting on the plane being told the safety instructions. The crew had clocked off the number of hours they’re allowed to do and decided to tell us when we were already on the plane. We were going to have to wait until the next day to fly but then they decided that another crew flying in on another plane could take us so we had to get off the plane, wait for the new crew to prepare the plane (again), get back on, be re-told the safety instructions and then finally it took off. We were supposed to leave New York on our original flight at 3.30pm. We actually left at midnight. We weren’t very impressed. Tomorrow we are placing a lot of hope and trust into Delta once again to deliver us back to New York in time for us to transfer airports and then fly to Paris. If they fail I will be REALLY REALLY MAD.

So hopefully next time you hear from me I will be very sleepy but in Paris, waiting for my brother to arrive.

Stuck in the Big Apple

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I’m glad I wasn’t in New York when Hurricane Irene hit – this city must have completely shut down. I am supposed to be thousands of metres into the air at the moment, flying towards Portland, Maine. Instead I am still in New York, I am still in my apartment and it is raining. I received an email from Delta this morning, about 30 minutes before we were about to head out the door and go to the airport, to tell me that our flight had been cancelled. We had been rescheduled onto the later flight at 9.45pm. We called Delta to ask why exactly it had been cancelled and they said it was due to the weather. We looked out the window…

Yes, it has been raining all day but it has just been a constant drizzle with no threatening qualities apart from making my pants and shoes wet. I could have quite easily flown a plane in this weather. No other airlines have cancelled their flights – just delayed. Why we had to wait an extra 7 hours until we could leave, I’m not sure. I am suspecting an undersold flight. Not happy. This means we’re getting into Portland after 11pm and hence missing a dinner organised for us by my family who we are visiting. I don’t know if I can claim “personal disappointment” on my travel insurance but Delta owes me a family gathering.

I am now just hoping that our next flight leaves on time. I already feel bad enough that Marijke and Bob (my mum’s cousin and her husband) are driving to Portland to pick us up and now they’ll be doing so late at night. Curses to you, Delta! In addition to all of this, they’re probably going to charge us excess luggage because we decided to only bring one suitcase and it is going to be over their 23kg weight limit by about 2kg. There will be words, if it comes to that. And they won’t be nice words.

P.S. New York was AWESOME! Check out some of my photos here.