It’s Raining, It’s Pouring & Joe Nye’s Perfect Lobster

To say that it has been a rainy summer could be construed as a gross understatement. We are smack dab in the middle of what could become New Hampshire’s rainiest summer ever. Vacationing children get cranky, mildew and mold threaten to attack and weeds are firmly entrenched in the garden.

Throughout the years we have all battled rain during our summer vacations. As a kid I played enough games of Monopoly (or is that Monotony) to last a lifetime. And that was only after putting together countless puzzles of old barns, lighthouses, Bruegel’s landscapes and Monet’s water lilies. Then again, those landscapes and water lilies did inspire an early interest in art.

Eventually, we lost interest in puzzles and games. We’d baked enough cookies or brownies. There was nothing on at the movies and cable was a distant dream of a few media soon-to-be tycoons. That’s when we headed out into the sometimes drizzly, sometimes torrential storm.

I have a very clear memory of splishing and splashing in the street in front of Mrs. Bergenheim’s house on the Cape. We rented Mrs. B’s cottage for the month of August for several years. One year the last vestiges of a hurricane blew through. Bored, annoyed and I am sure annoying, my sister Brenda and I put on our bathing suits and rubbers and went outside to play. Those were the days when rubbers were red and you slipped them over your shoes on rainy days to keep your feet dry. On that particular day we wore them without shoes so they quickly filled with water.

Outside the yards and street were disserted. Quite pleased with ourselves and our escape from boredom, we splashed around and did a little song and dance. I remember it clearly, not because it was a momentous, historic storm but because our parent’s told us it was Hurricane Brenda. At the time I was terribly jealous that my sister had a hurricane named after her. I recently looked it up on the internet and learned it was actually a tropical storm and not a hurricane.

In my head we spent most of the afternoon outside wandering and dancing around in the rain. In reality, it was probably not more than ten minutes, maybe a half an hour, before we were back in the house, bored and clamoring for something to do.

I wish you all a happy August … and hope that you can find a fun escape and something to smile about on the next rainy day.

Bon appétit!

Joe Nye’s Recipe for Perfect Boiled Lobster

This recipe should really be called “some kid on the docks in Menemsha Harbor’s recipe for perfect lobster”. Whether it is in a boat’s galley or at home in the kitchen, my dad has always been the lobster cook in the family. For years the results were hit or miss, sometimes perfect, sometimes under- or over-cooked. After lots of investigation and trials he found this method. His source? Some kid on the docks in Menemsha Harbor at Martha’s Vineyard. It guarantees a perfect lobster every time.
Serves 4

4 lobsters, 1-1 12 pounds each
4 tablespoons butter

Fill a heavy, 8 quart kettle about 1/3 full with water, bring to a boil.

Put the lobsters, tail down, into the pot, cover and return to a boil. As soon as the water is boiling again, uncover and cook for exactly 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Pour the melted butter into 4 small cups.

Remove the lobsters from the pot and serve immediately with melted butter.

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Susan Nye lives in New Hampshire. She is a freelance writer and cook. To learn more about her catering services and cooking classes or to find more recipes visit her website. © Susan W. Nye, 2008

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