Lobster Man

Firstly let me apologise for being out of touch recently.  Was feeling rather under the weather.

Anyway just to get me back in the swing of things I thought I would tell you about buying our lobster.

As you may recall during the bangle fiasco we had driven to a beachside town where we then stopped to give the lodge ‘time’ to find them.

As we were asking around for a man our driver knew, up popped an old man at the car window.  Not seeing the driver he asked Aubrey if we wanted to buy some fresh lobster.  On seeing Osmanu he greeted him like a lost friend – it turns out Osmanu knows everyone!

Anyway he told Osmanu about the lobster and how much they were and I said ok I would ‘take a look’, after all my heart was not really into anything culinary at that stage as it was pre bangle discovery.  We parked up near by opposite a gap in a wall leading to the beach.

The old man disappeared into this gap beaconing me.  Oh, I thought, he has the lobster near the beach.  Now I am a little naive when it comes to lobster.  I have no idea how it is kept.

Anyway I follow him a few moments later through the hole in the wall to discover him stripping off to his bright green oversized y-fronts.  Not a sight I was expecting and for a moment confusing and shocking at the same time.  Only for a split second though as I realised he had to swim out to get the lobster!  Well my decision from ‘I might’ buy some to ‘I definitely will’ buy some changed in that instant.  I couldn’t let the poor man swim out there for nothing.  He looked about 80 but was probably in his 60’s.

Out he swam and hauled in a net full of small local lobster.  I have no idea how many we bought, possibly 18 but it was 18ghc a kilo which is £6.  I also have no idea if that is good or not.  We got two kilo’s.

I learnt a few things about Lobster that day, forgive me if you already know all this.

I asked how we were going to transport them and he said he would just pop them in a plastic bag and they would be fine for a few hours and we could cook them that night. So with a lot of prodding of tentacles into the bag they went and on into the boot.

What I did discover by reading is that you shouldn’t put them in your own salt water solution when you get home as it may kill them.  Something which we didn’t know but did.  The best way to keep them is to put them wrapped up in a wet cloth or seaweed in the fridge or into the freezer.  Which I then went on to do.

Also the whole cooking alive thing.  Well you shouldn’t cook a dead lobster unless it is a dead frozen one because when lobster die they start to ‘eat’ themselves and that’s when they can become nasty and very unpleasant to eat, even becoming poisonous, depending on how long they’ve been dead.  Oh, and if you’re unsure if they are good or not before you cook them, the ones who’s tails don’t curl during cooking are the ones to avoid.

There seems to be a few ways of doing it, from plunging them into boiling water to putting a knife through the back of their heads to render them dead just before popping them in the pot.  Apparently they don’t have a central nervous system anyway and can’t feel pain.  My preferred method which worked well for us was to freeze them and then pop them in a pot of water with lots of salt and then heat them up to boiling.  I felt it was a little more humane as they’d probably been ‘killed’ by freezing.  I, of course, now think I’m an expert!

How often can you go to the beach and hand pick your lobster straight from the sea?  Fantastic!  All in all it turned out to be a very good purchase given the result of the bangles.  A real celebration meal!  Also, no one got ill so that in itself is a result!

And finally:

This week we have been……..

Ochina! x


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