My husband and I have been hosting our Annual Family LobsterFest the Saturday after Labor Day for almost 20 years. I keep meticulous notes after each one so as to correct mistakes, e.g., “cooked 20 potatoes, cut in half and only 5 whole potatoes went!” Or, “ditch the bread and the salad.” We think we’ve gotten it down to an (almost) exact science. We used to buy and cook the lobsters ourselves and at times when there were upwards of 20 adults, that meant cooking 40 lobsters. Imagine the preparation but more bothersome, the cleanup! Sometimes, we’d even pay for our son, Lew, to fly in from CA to help us with the entire process.
We have a rule that only family can attend, no friends! When our offspring were younger, they would ask if a boy/girlfriend could come and we had to grill them as to the seriousness of the relationship. If an engagement ring was imminent, we said OK, otherwise the answer was NO. One of my friends really wanted to come and I told her she could only attend if she married my son.
In 2009, a total of 25 family members attended. This year, we’re down to 11 adults and 6 children, the population dwindling because of school activities and sports. We also have gotten the mess down to a science so we we’re not finding lobster bits, mushed potatoes and spilled butter all over the house as we had in the past. Pretty much, we place lots of “Wet Ones” around the room and don’t let children leave the table without cleaning their hands and faces!
Here are some photos from 2 different years that give you a sense of the day. Everyone contributes to the meal, some bringing appetizers, some fondue dippers, others beer, etc. It’s quite amazing:
We start off with appetizers outside:
When we used to cook them ourselves, it was fun to choose your own:
Family members try to “dress up” for the occasion, wearing lobster-themed apparel:
Corn is husked:
Sometimes, we ask that groups be formed to come up with an entertaining skit, song, or dance:
Marty had the tools, the perseverance and the skill to cut up each lobster:
Most children bravely tried to eat the lobsters. For those who wouldn’t touch them, we had chicken nuggets:
Here, Ava wears her Uncle’s shirt, the back of which, like everyone else’s, lists the history of his lobster consumption:
A Family Photo is always taken with our special t-shirts:
The meal ends with chocolate fondue and sparklers on the roof of our earth-sheltered home:
So, Saturday we’ll do it all again …. looking forward to it!