I could lie and tell you that I made these lobsters from scratch. Better yet, as long as I’m lying, I could tell you that I woke up at 4:00 AM, took my rowboat out on the water (the choppy, cold water at that), hauled my lobster traps from the sea, rowed home, steamed them, and then created this dish.
But instead of pretending to be a hugely impressive person, I’m going to tell you what really happened: I called up my grocer and asked him to steam some lobsters for me. Wah wah wahh. OK, that was utterly and dramatically underwhelming. But at least I haven’t made any of you feel like underachievers! We’re all in this together, right? My father, over one of our many dinners together, told me, “Tell the truth; it’s the only way you can learn.” Done and done. Because, oh boy do I want to learn! Gobs and gobs and gobs.
As I type this, I can see several scrapes across my hand from how many times I stabbed myself working the lobster out of the SHARP shells. So, even though I didn’t make the lobsters from scratch, I did scratch myself. To make up for the unscratched lobster, I did make these hot dog buns from scratch! I have tried making my own version of egg-free mayonnaise and let me just say, Gak! I have not been able to replicate the delicious taste of Vegenaise (my favorite brand), but I am working on it. If you make your own mayonnaise go ahead and substitute that for the Vegenaise. And if you do, share your recipe and bravery with me. I just can’t bring myself to eat or make anything with raw egg. However, I am working my way up to it. This blog is going to push me to eat outside of my self-imposed limitations, one recipe at a time. But for now, I’m loving my Vegenaise.
My issue with scratching and live animals is this – I’m not grown-up enough. Pretty simple. If I had brought home live lobsters this weekend, they would have been named in ten minutes and I would have had them moved into their own rooms after twenty. Just writing that sentence I started naming imaginary lobsters and working out where we could actually keep them. This is a problem.
Somehow, I am able to disassociate myself from this dilemma when I buy pre-killed animals (that sounds horrendously unattractive). I don’t know if this disassociation is a good or bad thing. As I am writing about this, and actually thinking about this for the first time, I am leaning towards bad. It seems a bit “keep my hands clean and let others do the dirty work,” which is not a particularly attractive perspective. However, killing the lobsters myself certainly seems to have its pitfalls. If I am to take the perspective that killing a living creature is “bad” (for lack of a better word), then isn’t it supremely selfish to ask someone else to do it for me? This is the first time I have really seriously thought about this, so bear with me. I don’t have it all figured out yet. Lots of good questions and very few, if any, answers.
Something that is starting to occur to me however is this: consistent with my philosophy of scratching, I believe that I would experience a greater degree of gratitude and appreciation if I participated more fully in the process of acquiring my food. If I were the one responsible for ending the life of the animal that was now providing my meal, better yet, if I had raised and nurtured this animal and then also killed it for my meal, I strongly believe my experience of that meal and the entire preparation process would be stronger, richer, and ultimately more satisfying.
I have certainly found this to be true with my vegetable garden. Harvesting our food is immeasurably more satisfying than buying it from the grocery store. I believe participation, whether it be with our food, our family, our friends, our jobs, or with anything, increases the degree of our satisfaction. I think of participation as the opposite of resignation. Which reminds me of yet another brilliant thing my father told me (What can I say? He’s really smart.) “Resignation is like death by carbon monoxide. First it puts you to sleep; then it kills you.” When I sit in bed at night and recollect my day, the questions that occur to me are, “What was my level of my participation in each and every moment of my day?” “How engaged was I?” And, “Where could I have engaged more?”
My assertion and reason for starting this blog is to exalt self-expression. My method of doing this and hopefully inspiring this in others, is to analyze more thoroughly how and when we remove ourselves, our ideas, our expressions from what we are doing day-to-day. Do you tolerate or put up with things that remove you from an experience of full self-expression? After writing this, I think that I limited myself from having a deeper experience of gratitude and a fuller sense of self-expression by having the lobsters steamed for me. And please don’t hear this in a “right way to do things, wrong way to do things” framework. For me, it is all about learning. I want to be fully present in my life. Every moment is an opportunity to experience more, access what is in me and is yearning to be expressed, express that, and inspire those around me to do the same.
Well, if you’ve managed to stay with me until now…thanks, and I hope some of what I have shared is applicable to more than just me. I add these questions to my endeavor to continue pursuing and living my life from scratch, which is my way of saying, living my life as a pure expression of myself.
Let’s get to the recipe!
This one is definitely dedicated to my father. He is a lover of all things lobster and secondly, he thinks the most perfect flavor combination is ginger and scallions. He inspired me to make this and I think it came out GREAT!
And these scallions! I tried to photograph them so that you could gauge their size. They are HUGE! I pulled up the last of them from my garden to use in this salad and they were over 20 inches tall! A few of them had the girth of about a dime. They were delicious!
- ¾ Cup Vegenaise*
- 2 Teaspoons freshly ground ginger (about a 3" size chunk of ginger)
- ¼ Cup fresh chopped chives
- Generous pinch of salt
- Large bunch of scallions (5-10 depending on size)
- 4 Lobsters (1½ pounds each. This leaves enough for leftovers.)
- 1 Teaspoon tomalley (the green stuff in the lobster)**
- Homemade hot dog buns
- Remove all the meat from your steamed lobsters and cut into bite-size pieces. Reserve some of the tomalley to add into your dressing.** Cover and refrigerate.
- Slice your scallions into rings and sauté briefly. You could also leave them raw. I can't eat anything in the onion family raw without regretting it later, so I always give my scallions a flash frying (3-4 minutes).
- Slice chives into rings. Set aside.
- Peel and grind your ginger (if you don't know how to do this, click the link and scroll down to see ginger grinding tools and instructions). Set aside.
- Mix together your Vegenaise, ground ginger, salt, and tomalley (if using).
- Mix in the chives. Taste and make any necessary adjustments. (I don't eat garlic, but I think it would make a nice addition to this recipe.)
- Slowly add your dressing into your chopped lobster, stirring throughly until your ideal mixture is achieved (I had leftover dressing). Set aside while you toast your buns.
- Pre-heat a grill pan. Butter both sides of your hotdog bun and place buttered side down onto the hot griddle. Cook until the buns are hot and nice grill lines have formed.
- Abundantly fill your toasted lobster buns with lobster.
- Top with scallions and devour!
**The tomalley functions as the lobster's liver/pancreas/intestines. These act to filter out toxins. Because of this, there is concern over the safety of eating the tomalley. I leave it to you to decide what is best.
Plan on making these lobster rolls? Interested in what I wrote about? Let me know. Post a comment. Ask a question. Or just say hi. I’d love to hear from you. Love the photos or quotes? Pin them to one of your Pinterest boards and/or follow me on Pinterest. Thanks for stopping by.