While I was out

As my regular readers (both of them!) know, our lobster pots have been languishing at the bottom of Cape Cod Bay for over a month. We’ve been prevented from retrieving them by a combination of bad luck, cowardice (mine), and an inexorable north wind.

Yesterday morning was a window of opportunity and, since I’m in Albuquerque, Kevin recruited our friend Bob to go out with him and take the traps in for the season.

You know who your friends are when you start asking for help pulling lobster pots. You have to haul them up from the murky depths, pile them precariously on the boat, where they take up all available space and constantly threaten to fall overboard, and then motor in with a boat so heavily laden that the water comes much closer to the gunwales than any reasonable person would be comfortable with.

It’s hard work, and it’s dangerous. The water is cold, and the motion of pulling a 50-pound trap out of the water and into the boat is just the kind of thing that can send you tumbling overboard. Lucky for us, Bob is both a true friend and an excellent seaman, and he and Kevin got the job done before yesterday’s weather turned dirty.

I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I don’t like to have Bob do what should, by rights, be my job. On the other hand, I’m delighted to come home to pots that are high and dry. What tips the balance and makes me wish I’d been there was the catch.

I expected empty traps. The bait was long gone, and I couldn’t think of any reason anything edible would wander in. But Kevin came home with fifteen crabs and two lobsters, one of them blue.

The lobsters had Bob’s name on them, and not just because he earned them with back-breaking labor. Back in the spring, Bob and his wife, Mad Dog, gave us not one but two whole striped bass, which means we’re running a significant seafood trade deficit. A couple of lobsters wouldn’t bring us back to even, but it would be a start. Bob, though, refused them, on some flimsy pretext of going out of town.

Kevin and his daughter, Fallon, who’s visiting us, ate the lobsters. The crabs, though, will still be there when I get home tomorrow, and I’ve been thinking about what to do with them. Since I’m in New Mexico, I’ve got chiles on the brain, and I’m thinking of roasting some mild green ones and cooking them with the crab and some shallots in smoked chicken stock and coconut milk. I’m not tied to it, though, so if anyone’s got a better idea, pass it along.

I missed the adventure, and I missed the lobsters, but I certainly can’t complain about what my husband does when I’m out of town.

8 people are having a conversation about “While I was out

  1. I’m not sure… Did you say you went away and your husband came home with the crabs?
    (I couldn’t resist)

  2. How about feeding the crabs chiles for a day or two before cooking them? A friend of mine in France, whose family was from Martinique, used to swear by this method.

  3. I’d pressure can some of it, for one. Crabcakes, one of my favorites. Eggs Benedict, over crab instead of ham (too bad asparagus aren’t in season); crab salad with arugula. Crab is also great in a souffle. Tacos! but with a mild salsa verde. Okay- now I’m hungry.

  4. Alexandra — What an idea! I would have tried it if the crabs hadn’t been cooked already.

    Paula — I’m beginning to think a pressure canner is in my future. I ended up with the coconut milk concoction, which was a variation on mild salsa verde (I roasted mild green chiles). It was very nice.

  5. Hank and Judy says:

    It was great talking to you on the flight from Houston to Boston on Saturday. I’m delighted that your husband was able to pull the pots in your absence and get a “blue lobster”!
    Loved the article in “edible Cape Cod”. Do you have a secret spot for scallops?

  6. Hank and Judy — Funny how you have to go across the country and get on a plane to meet your neighbors.

    The secret scallop spot is the $64,000 question. As it happens, I don’t have one. But if I did, I just might have to keep it secret.

    You got one?

  7. I’m thoroughly impressed with all the fishing you’re doing. Or, in this case, doing while “you’re away.” I think I might have squealed with delight if I discovered a pot filled with those delicious creatures. I have a great Maryland crab soup recipe I developed for a crab fest, if you want it!

    Can’t wait to read more of your food foraging adventures.

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