Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Feasting With Friends

This summer really slipped right through my fingers. Only made it to the beach once. Don't think I got any kind of a tan to speak of. Quite sad.

The one thing I couldn't let pass me by however, is summer lobster. Maybe it's cheesy, maybe it's cliche, but ever since moving to Maine six years ago, I refuse to let a summer go by without totally gorging on lobster with good friends at least once.

Last year, a fantastic little seafood place called Nancy's popped up right down the road from us in downtown Westbrook. Recently while driving past I noticed they were advertising five lobsters for $25. This just seemed like a sign from above. So, while the kids were away for the weekend, the hubby and I decided to bring an impromptu feast up to our good friend's house, trading the joys of messing up their kitchen in exchange for some fantastic food.

Luckily I had made a trip into Portland the day before and picked up a fantastic sampling of foods from Mucucci's, my very favorite food shop in the entire world. Toting my bag of delicious goodies with me, I was able to put together a yummy sampling of meats, cheeses, bread, olive oil and fresh basil and cherry tomatoes from my modest container garden.

Everyone there did total justice to the spread by devouring every crumb in short order.

Next on the menu was steamers and corn on the cob. To me, these are an essential part of any lobster feast. The table was well stocked with bowls of melted butter, and rinse water for the steamers, which we had already cleaned out hours before with a diet of cornmeal.

The huge pile of halved corn cobs (from a local farm) disappeared quickly, and my husband gave tutorials to the uninitiated on how to de-beard and eat a steamer. Fantastic. With the addition of some Dark and Stormy's mixed up by the hubby, everyone was gorging contentedly.

After letting the first courses settle for a few, it was time for the main attraction- lobsters! Ten bright red, sumptuous, soft shell chixs graced out table that night. They were fresh and extremely feisty going into the pot, and several people agreed that they were the best lobsters they'd ever had. Say what you will about soft shells, but I'm a firm believer that they're sweeter and more flavorful than hard shells.

While indulging in our heavenly lobsters, the port came out. It was cheap, it had a horse on the label, and it went fantastic with with the lobster. Claws were cracked, tails devoured, and glasses were emptied.

Well stoked on port and great food, we pulled out Apples to Apples, and giggled and argued while my good friend served us not one, but TWO of her phenomenal homemade desserts. First came the strawberry shortcake featuring buttermilk biscuits, had whipped cream and strawberries with a touch of orange zest. And, just when we were sure we couldn't shove down another bite, she brought out her famous key lime pie, also topped with hand whipped cream, and fresh raspberries. I don't know how we did it, but we all ate that too.
Satisfied with this bacchanalian lobster feast I think I'm finally ready to let go of summer...

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