An inventive cook, a rogue gourmet, my cupboards spill to the basement with paraphernalia from which to imagine and create delicious culinary treats. Fluted tart pans in several sizes. I can whip up a bread pudding soufflé on a moment's notice replete with bourbon hard sauce and praline cookies. My shrimp risotto with asiago, pignoli nuts and basil is nonpareil. My cabinets are chocked full of grilling pans, steamers, woks of various sizes and griddles. Yes! I have the shellfish picks. The red enamel lobster claw shaped crackers. Even the odd bib or two. But alas I posses no lobster pot. Not until today that is.
A little after ten this morning, the brown UPS truck rolled to a stop in front of my house and out popped the driver balancing a very large corrugated box in his tanned, muscular arms. I love surprises. Adore them. My pulse quickened. Excitedly I grabbed the awkward size carton from his hands, signed a scratchy "AF" on the line and placed the package on the floor of my office to do the dirty deed.
Hurriedly I peeled off the clear plastic packing tape, slit open the corrugated cardboard to reveal white styrofoam peanuts carefully protecting the contents. So many of them. Too many, in fact. Not typically welcome in my home. But this is a gift after all. So my unwrapping continued unabated. Packing materials spilled onto my just waxed kitchen floor. Clinging by centrifugal force and friction to my fingertips. My treasure hunt progressed. Unwinding the thin outer wrapping of cocoa colored craft paper, memories of colorful crepe paper surprise ball favors (ubiquitous 1950s birthday party fare) came to mind.
Wow. The largest shiny black pot speckled white revealed its utilitarian self. Compliments of a darling friend, anticipating a lifetime of visits. Images of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton fluttered across my mind. Lobster races on my black and white kitchen floor were now in the offing. Trophies would need to be made. An internet recipe search conducted. Fast forwarded into the future. A New England foodie came of age as the cold, steely cauldron emerged in its full glory.
Cheers to my generous friend. I also tip my glass to the Maine lobstermen, those stern men braving stormy seas to harvest these delectable treats. And ... to the glut in the summer market lowering the price to a mere $4.99 a pound. Let them eat lobsters fresh from my stockpot with a homemade blueberry cobbler for dessert!