Wednesday, April 20, 2011

#4 He Doesn't Think Cooking a Live Lobster is Murder

After reading the book and watching "Julie and Julia" I became possessed with the burning inspiration to cook a live lobster at least one time in my life. I must confess that I also almost instantaneously bought Julia Child's, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". However, I could not see the sense in cooking my way through such intricate and incredulous recipes--there are so many variations she has on just one type of dish! (Now, if a "Mastering the Art of Italian Cooking" existed, I just might be interested!) I did make a few of the recipes and while the product sufficed for the meal it was purposed for, I was more impressed with Child's detail and passion for her craft than the actual recipes themselves. The lobster recipe was one I turned to within moments of getting the book and was then intrigued with more desire to try it out simply because reading about it made it seem something that I had to do in order to have a purpose in my life as cook of our household.

My brother's girlfriend, was the one that pushed me to do it. She got this burning idea for the grandchildren of my family to host a lobster dinner as a way to celebrate my grandmother. But by lobster, she meant lobster tail. My mind instead automatically went to Julia Child and LIVE lobster.

I am pretty much the complete opposite of a vegetarian. I recently tried to endure a fast of just vegetables and fruit and could barely make it through a 24 hour period because of my sheer need to have chicken or beef (*Side note, I endured three days of it*) (Side side note, I do consider eating chicken or beef a need). Therefore, I don't have a problem with killing animals for eats. However, when you are the one who is doing the killing it changes things just a bit. It takes the whole concept of "out of sight, out of mind" and brings it into perspective.

With that said, I made sure to grow no attachments to the two victims that I bought at Shop Rite for $8.99 a pound. (By the way, my Wall-E fish cost $8.99, and he can't possibly even weight 3 ounces).

I knew that I could feel a little remorse for the task I was about to complete, so I did my best to treat it as simply what it was: cooking dinner. It was exceptionally simple, even up to the moment that I had to pick up the lobsters to put into my pot of boiling hot water. (Now you may have read that it is "nicer" on the lobster to have them in the water as it begins to boil, however, when I cook a meal, I carry out the recipe to its exact specifications.) And by the way, there is no "nice" way to kill a lobster. Julia says, " may be killed almost instantly just before cooking if you plunge the point of a knife into the head between the eyes, or severe the spinal cord by making a small incision in the back of the shell at the juncture of the chest and the tail." Why yes, that seems so much more nicer than throwing the lobster into a boiling death.

As I placed the first lobster in the pot, I felt my one and only pang of sadness for the lobster that would soon be cooked, then ate, then digested. Julia tells the cook to put the lobster into the water head first. After doing so, the first lobster flailed his tail rapidly, practically flying out of my hand into the water, then banging against the side of the pot on his way in. My stunned reaction was to scream, "He didn't like it!" and run away from the pot. This then sent a shaking sensation throughout my body of the realism of what I was doing. The second lobster went in much easier, he appeared in a more comatose state than the other one. He went it without any reaction, however, his tail stuck to the rim of the pot, causing my continued freak out.

Here is what amazes me about cooking live lobster. These creatures were composed of a bland and boring assortment of brown and bluish colors when alive. Within minutes after being placed in the pot of boiling water they were transformed to a lively red coloring. Of course I had read that this would happen, but to see it live and in living color was an experience. And that is what this whole venture was: an experience. I probably won't ever do it again, and not because of the burden of taking a lobster's life. Simply stated: crab is better.

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