Friday, July 30, 2010

Good Thing We Don't Get Our Lobsters From the Gulf

It's taken three months, but someone (in this case in an article for The New York Times) finally asked where our outrage over pollution in the Gulf of Mexico was before the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. In the time that the broken-off well has been gushing oil into the sea, no one (at least among the publications that I read) had made the comparison to that other, infinitely larger horizontal pipeline, the Mississippi River, that's been discharging its filth ever since we first began fouling it up a century or more ago. The Mississippi constitutes the largest drainage basin on the continent, meaning that every bit of runoff - the fertilizers and pesticides from farms and golf courses, every drop of oil that drips from a car onto a parking lot, and even the pharmaceuticals (human-filtered and otherwise) that get flushed down the toilets - between the Rockies and the Appalachians ends up discharged straight into the Gulf, creating, according to the NYT article "a zone of lifeless water the size of Lake Ontario just off the coast of Louisiana." You know the saying- "Every time someone pees into a storm drain in Pittsburgh, a fish dies in the Gulf." Okay, you've never heard it before, but it happens to be true. We've capped the oil leak (for now), but as of yet nobody has suggested we plug the mouth of the Mighty Mississippi with shredded tires and golf balls. Boy, that would sure ruin Mardi Gras next year.


In other news, the lady and I are taking a trip to New England about a week from now and it may include some camping on the Maine coast. Knowing that we'll have to feed ourselves at some point, and not being too excited about the idea of eating the same old camp fare, I came up with another possibility: Since most camp food involves a boiling pot of water anyway, and since we'll be in Maine, why not... and you're probably way ahead of me on this one... go ahead and shout it out if you know it... think Maine, the cold waters of the Atlantic, dinnertime... LOBSTAH!

Courtney thinks this is a terrible idea.

I just figured since cooking a lobster is no different than boiling a hot dog (except the hot dog died long before it hit the water, and probably in a much more gruesome, unsanitary fashion), it would make less sense to not take advantage of the fresh, local (and oh so delicious) catch. One of the campgrounds I've been looking at even sells the large crustaceans in its camp store, along with bug spray, postcards and marshmallows. Sure, it has the potential to be a tad messier than the average hot dog, but that's part of the fun.

And no, this is not one of my patented schemes to save money and deprive my lady friend of a romantic dinner. On the contrary, what could be more romantic than watching the sunset from a rocky outcrop over the sea with a bottle of wine or a bucket of cold local brews while tugging the meat from the steaming, splayed-open carcass of a crustacean while it looks up at you with its beady, lifeless eyes?

Yeah, that's what I thought, too.

By the way, if any of you have been to Boston or Maine or really any part of New England aside from Vermont (we won't be making it there on this trip unfortunately), now would be the time to tell me about anything that we absolutely must see while we're there. NPW can abstain from this part of the discussion (or not, if her enthusiasm simply can't be contained), since she will be sharing her local expertise in person.


The Modern Gal said...

Just don't pee in the Atlantic Ocean.

Valid points on the Mississippi River, but you know good and well that the natural order of things is disaster first, outrage later.

I say go for it on the lobster, but maybe not every single night for dinner. Even lobster can get old.

Courtney said...


Someone back me up on this, please.

Sid said...

Courtney is right. You could just BUY the lobster.

Unfortunately I've never been to the USA so I can't really be much help. But have you tried Google?

Traveling Em said...

Totally backing Courtney up! Any of the places you can buy fresh lobster will also steam it for you for an extra $0.50/lb. So if you each get 1.5 lb lobsters, that's only an extra buck fifty. Thus avoiding the need for all the extra crap.

By the way, you generally steam lobsters, not boil them.

Also, be sure to have some sort of large bowl when cracking open your crustacean as they end up with a ton of liquid inside. My dad loved the green stuff in the belly. Revolting, in my opinion.

Also, I know you've got NPW in Boston, but if you want to go for dim sum, I highly recommend Winsor Dim Sum Cafe. It was delicious and I liked being the only whitey in there.

Julie said...

I agree with Courtney, although I may be a little late to the party. I've heard the lobster is so cheap it wouldn't be a hardship to pay the extra money for someone else to cook it.

nancypearlwannabe said...

I need to know if this grand scheme of campsite lobster cooking actually came true. I'm thinking there would also be photographic evidence.

You have to admit, though, that lobster rolls are much more delightful than boiling live creatures and digging out their insides. You know. Just my opinion.

jdisco said...

Now you just need to start saving up to take a real vacation, to Korea. Free place to stay and things are CHEAP here.