I cannot, in good conscience, say the word “lobster” normally. I need to enunciate it in a whiny, high-pitched Brooklyn accent since that is where I’m originally from. So you can imagine the delight (er, irritation) of my friends Eileen and Vinny when they invited me to their house for Memorial Day for LAHB-STAAAAHHH Fest. I’d like to think they enjoyed my repeated outbursts of the word LAHB-STAAAAHHH, but who knows? Anyway, as far as overall enjoyment went, that day is going down in the record books.
Those crazy kids flew in two dozen succulent crustaceans from Maine, along with tons of little neck clams and jumbo shrimp that were bigger than my head (talk about your oxymoron). And Eileen never skimps on making things from scratch with herbs from her lustrous garden, such as a killer GUAC – yet another word I tend to say loudly and obnoxiously – and fresh cocktail sauce for the shrimp.
Mid-day a few of us were assigned to corn shucking duty, but no one seemed to mind. We were enjoying some Jamesport rosé and full of well-paced noshies, such as grilled clams with onions, before dinner. In the evening, the tikki torches were lit. Finally, the lobsters were steamed and served with clarified butter, grilled corn, sliced marinated skirt steak, purple potato salad, and Vinny’s special baked beans. So, amidst festive shell cracking (who needs fireworks?) and contented sighs, it was leisurely, delectable sit down dinner for 20.
Aside from great food, wine and company, the one thing that pleased me most was that they actually decorated their yard for the occasion. They took the time to set a cozy, fun atmosphere and made the most of the space with various shellfish and festive lights hanging in fishing nets off their fence. American flags were placed here and there. Vinnie donned a huge Uncle Sam hat. These guys are a home entertainment system not available in stores.
So E & V, I hear Arbor Day is coming up. Maybe you should throw another party! I promise I won’t bellow LAHB-STAAAAHHH. That is, unless you’re serving it.