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This is the story of love and lobster. Of being open to chance and to magic and to opportunity when it presents itself. Of grabbing on to a glimmer of love even when you’re wearing pink dishwashing gloves in your cousin’s little yellow kitchen. This is the story of my cousin Myriah, born almost exactly to the day 10 years after me. I can remember vividly standing at a payphone in Lincoln Center with my mother during intermission at The Nutcracker, mid-blizzard, hearing the news that she was born. My blond, curly-haired, green-eyed baby cousin who now towers over me at 5’11” but hopefully, still looks up to me while she looks down.
It was in our little yellow kitchen back in 2009 that Myriah met her future husband and fell head over heels in love at first sight (or maybe it was lust) while making lobster salad side by side with me. Did I mention that it was at my boys’ shared birthday party? Two summer babies. Madden turning three and Dexie turning one. Much to celebrate. We had a perfect summer day. The sky was a deep, piercing blue, the breeze was gentle and smelled of lilacs and freshly mowed grass. Our backyard was filled with music, buckets of ice cold rosé, and bright red lobsters pulled dripping and sweet from massive steaming cauldrons.
*Hot Tip: When they’re little, plan the party around the adults ;)*
When the guests started to depart, and just the closest of family and friends still remained, my babies napped, freshly bathed, smelling of lavender, exhausted from cake and teetering around their small petting zoo.
The magic hour of a party.
Cold glasses of wine in hand, Myriah and I retreated to the kitchen to turn lobster into lobster salad. Piles of the earthy red crustaceans lined the cool soft yellow counters. We dug out the pale coral flesh like treasure seekers, salted it to remind it that it was born of the sea, bathed the pieces in cold white blobs of eggy mayonnaise, and chopped sprigs of tarragon finely, until the kitchen smelled fragrant and green. We laughed and talked about the tall handsome stranger, (a friend of a friend) who I watched from the kitchen window. He lingered, waiting for an opportunity to talk to my stunning cousin. When he entered the kitchen, a little shy, his face flushed red like the roe we scooped from the delicacies we handled, I quietly exited.
There was magic sprinkled in my kitchen that day. I might even go so far as to say that the energy was forever changed in our home.
Magic. Love. Lobster.
Hopefully a generous handful of lust too.
A wedding followed in 2013, and now they have two babies of their own. I hope that every time they bite into lobster salad they think of that day. Maybe you will too. After all, there is no ReciBEE more delicious in my opinion, than one that makes you think of falling in love.
To read more about lobster salad and falling in love in my little yellow kitchen, click the image above. Oh yes. “The New York Times” covered it. And if you look in the background, you’ll see a mini Madden and Dexie Doodle dancing their J. Crew clad tushies off.
*Lobster might feel fancy but one of the few perks of COVID is that the price of lobster has plummeted. While lobster fishermen might not be happy about this, those seeking to create this ReciBEE for a lunch at the beach or a decadent one at home certainly will be. It’s not a weekly treat in my house, (it wouldn’t feel special if it were) but a few times every summer is just the Bee’s knees.*
Love & Lobster Salad
- Lobster Pot (if cooking your own lobsters)
- Citrus Press
- Mixing Bowl
- 3x 1.5 pound lobsters, boiled, cracked and picked over, removing all shells and cartilage (you can do this yourself or ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- 1-2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tablespoon Sir Kensington’s Avocado Mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon Hellman’s Mayonnaise (I know this is very high maintenance using two brands, trust me on this step)
- Approx. 1-2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped finely
- Sea salt to taste
- Pepperidge Farm Hot Dog Buns. YES. The specifics here are that important.
- Fill a large lobster pot with fresh, cold water, bring water to a rolling boil. Carefully add the lobsters, covering pot with lid and cooking for approx. 12-15 minutes.
- Allow lobsters to cool slightly, crack and pull meat out of shells, placing picked over meat in a mixing bowl.
- While still slightly warm, season lobster meat with fine sea salt, enough to remind you that it came from the sea.
- Roughly cut lobster meat into bite sized pieces being careful not to shred.
- Squeeze lemon juice over lobster meat, removing any rogue seeds. See below for Jule’s favorite citrus squeezer. It’s a game changer.
- Add both mayos and then drizzle in the melted butter, continuing to stir gently after each ingredient. NOTE: You do not have to use all mayonnaise and all the butter. Taste as you go, look for your desired texture and consistency and adjust accordingly. I personally detests a goopy lobster salad. The mayo and butter combination is not meant to create a messy, wet salad. It is, however, all about the silken, luxurious taste and feel that cannot be achieved using only mayonnaise. Trust me on this one.
- Fold in the chopped tarragon and TASTE.
- Season again if needed.
- Toast hotdog buns lightly until crisp and dry (there is nothing worse than a doughy bun).
- Pile high and sigh…
Shop my favorite picks below for a perfect beach meal and feel! I am obsessed with the hat I am illustrated in and have worn Helen Kaminski’s chic pieces for years. They are adjustable, most have a UPF 50+ for sun protection, and even better than that, you’ll feel like a movie star when you put one on.
Have a question for Jule? Dating getting you down? Friendship in a frenzy? Mother-in-law making you mashugana ?? Nothing is off-limits. Everything is anonymous! Ask The Bee HERE!
All illustrations by @courtneycoloring
*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click a link and purchase one of my recommendations, I may get a small commission from it at no cost to you…don’t worry! I only refer top-of-the-line, Bee-approved items so you’re in good hands.