In the middle of December, Neil came back into town to visit for Christmas. When Neil is not around, I miss him. We got very close in the months leading up to his departure to spend a year in Vancouver. We saw each other several times a week, often on consecutive days, often with him not bothering to go home in between and just sleeping on the futon. It was a big change to go from wondering if I should put him as a part-time resident of the apartment on my census form to only occaisionally talking on the phone. I miss him when he's gone. I realize exactly how much I've missed him whenever I see him again.
While on prior visits Neil has all but moved in with us, this time I only saw him a bit, largely due to the fact that I was working ALL THE TIME and Neil was finishing his book ALL THE TIME. We did manage to have some breakfasts and nights out at the KP, and, when Tara got back from Ontario and Neil was about to go back to B.C., I had the chance to cook the four of us dinner. For this important occaision, I decided to try and make something I'd always wanted to try, but never managed to pull off: spaghetti with lobster sauce, a la Gordon Ramsay. It was a challenigng recipe, but really very simple: a fresh tomato sauce with cream and lobster meat. Surely I could handle that.
Ed and I went to the superstore for supplies. I was pumped. I blithely asked the man behind the counter for a 2/12 - 3 lb lobster, turning one away because it was limp and almost dead already. Then, I met Pinchy. This lobster thrashed around when pulled out of the tank and looked at me with pure hatred, as if it was thinking "So you're the one who things she's going to eat me, eh ho-bag?" My heart sank. It was perfect. I said so. Pinchy was loaded into a bag with holes and given to me. It was still now, so still I tapped it between the eyes to make sure it was still alive when we got to the check out. Oh, he was alive alright. He was just biding his time, it seemed. I started to ger really worried.
I carried the lobster top and from the car very carefully. I fretted over him being in the plastic bag, wondering if a bowl with some water would make him more comfortable.
Ed: "Didn't we just buy the lobster to eat it?"
Me: "Yeah, but shouldn'y his last hours be comfortable?"
Ed: "What, it's a POW now? Just imagine it's a big bug."
Me: "But...I like bugs. I don't want to kill a bug."
Ed: "Hoo boy."
Me: "I just think Pinchy deserves better than this."
Ed: "Please don't name dinner."
My problem, really, was the fact that there was NO WAY I could put a living, vigorous creature, one so clearly insulting my parentage inside it's head, inside a pot of boiling water. I had to kill it first. But I'd ahve to KILL IT FIRST. In the end, it was Neil who rescued me. Neil has no problem killing things that aren't mammals, so he neatly cut through the crosspiece on the lobster's head before I popped it in the water. Strangely, as soon as it was no longer moving, I had no problem cooking it, segmenting the body, extracing the meat, etc. Neil, however, was freaked out by the "dismemberment" portion of the cooking process. But as long as he does the killing, I'll do the body disposal. Because that's teamwork.
So I lost my lobster virginity, and I was really, really happy with the way dinner turned out. I bought fresh pasta as oppossed to making it myself, which made me feel a little guilty, but the texture was still right. The sauce was awesome and so easy, barring the lobster part, I am beginning to wonder if I should just buy fresh tomatoes and make the damn stuff myself more often. Tomato sauce has been one of the last things I have kept buying pre-prepared. I bought into believing it was really hard. This sauce had maybe six ingredients and took maybe 15-20 minutes to make. And was AWESOME. Oh, Evil Food Industry, you're hold over me is depleted every day.