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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Nellie's Lobsters

Yesterday, I went shopping and on my way out of the snaggle of a rat race known as the parking lot, I saw a guy in a truck who was selling lobster. So I squealed and screeched my tires and bought some, naturally.

Up until yesterday, I had never cooked lobster on my own. I was always part of a cooking experience, and mostly I was the audience member.

My 'cooking lessons' mostly went to the extent of my uncle getting drunk on Christmas Eve and trying to teach me how to make a boiled dinner. We usually got as far as cutting up the onion (i.e., the first step) before he forgot to continue to speak due to his drunkenness, and then the lesson would deteriorate slowly as he would peel vegetables and resolve to do the rest later. Then the party would continue, and the dinner would be cooked on Christmas Day.

The only thing was, he wouldn't let me practice cutting onions because every year he thought he was teaching me this technique for the first time. So... same 'new' lesson, every year. New onion, new lesson, no practice.

Y'see, I wasn't really allowed to do anything around our house (or anyone's house) while growing up. I was the bookworm, not the hands-on kid. I heard the statement, "Karen got her ruined!" more than once (Karen is my mother) because I didn't know how and didn't want to do 'house stuff.'

But I'm ok with the house stuff and with the ruined comment, because I do what I want. Always. That's what my mom gave to me and I am thankful for it. I am ruined, alright!

At our house, my mom did everything because she was kind of picky and liked things done her way. I don't know why people get like that *shaking my head here* :P but you know, that kind of thing is important to some people.

Anyway, my mom didn't let me do things like cook. Or clean the house. Or anything, really. She cooked our meals. She cleaned our house. I think she thought I couldn't do as good a job as her, but in my defense, she had been doing it for years and I had no practice.

Really, it is her fault I am lazy today. I am used to being waited on. It's all my mother's fault that I am the way I am. And there is no use to say that I am an adult now and I should know better - you are what you are. And I do what I want.

My mom's nickname for me is Nellie.

... as in Nellie Olesen, that spoiled-brat girl from Little House on the Prairie. Swear to God. She has some other ones as well, but that's the one we will talk about today.

As I said, she did it to herself - it's her fault I was a brat. Secretly, I think she loves it. She could have made different choices, but she made this happen, right!?

There I was, dying to learn how to cook (do you believe that?) and clean (HA!) and there my mom was, telling me off, saying I shouldn't be wasting my time with such menial chores.

Oh my God. What a parent. Absolutely ridiculous.

Honestly though, my job was to go to school. That was it. Mom did everything else. She said I didn't need to learn anything else because she was taking care of it. Somewhere along the line, we both forgot that eventually, I would leave her house.

So today, I am figuring things out but I often call her for advice. Which she also loves, I can GUARANTEE that. She loves busting out the old recipe box.

(I haven't asked her about plants yet because I am afraid of the amount of excitement. And when I have kids, that's it. She tells me off now about Harley stuff, so I can only imagine about kid stuff.)

Like yesterday, when I called her about lobster boiling. She loved it.

I was worried sick because it was so warm and the traffic was unbelievable, and I thought my lobsters were going to die before I got them home. You can't cook dead lobsters!

Finally, I got home and called her and the first thing she said was, "Don't let Harley get near those lobsters! They will hurt him if they pinch him!"

Well, it's a damn good thing she told me that! I was going to put them all together for playtime! Sheesh!

Harley was terrified of them, though, because once she said that, I had to see what he actually did think of them, so I brought him to them. He sniffed, then turned around completely in my arms so that his back was to the lobster. This is a defense mechanism of his: if he doesn't like something, he turns his back to it, and it no longer exists. Problem solved.

I got the water boiling and the lobsters ready to go for a dip. Worked up my courage to pick them up... and when I did, the buggers started flopping and moving and squirming, which I forgot that they do. Ugh, ugh, ugh... into the pot they went!

Then of course, the pot boiled over, the smell was too intense for my small apartment, Harley was terrified, my rice was cooking too fast, I had to call mom to see if I should take them out in 16 minutes or in 20, my whole sink was full of dishes that I had to get washed so I could rinse the lobsters...

... what a poo-storm.

I got everything under control after another call home. Then out came the lobsters and off went the rice.

Then the shelling...

... and the hand-scalding.

But it was SO worth it.

All the mess, all the smell, the white fluffy dog panic, all the cleaning up afterward including all the shells :S... so worth it.

I was able to make two meals of course, so coming home today to lobster again was just fabulous.

Nellie on

Just what a spoiled brat would want - a luxurious meal, already cooked and waiting for her.

My mom taught me well.

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