We made arrangements and returned a few days later to pick up our bounty of crustaceans, happy in the knowledge that these would be the freshest of catches, Kevin having brought them in from the bay the previous evening With coolers loaded to the brim and the lobsters covered in seaweed and saltwater we headed across the province to Chester where we would hold the feast.
Down on the rocky beach by the jetty small logs and kindling were piled high under a sturdy tripod of thick timber. A good squirt of lighter fluid ensured the fire started with a woof and a puff of acrid black smoke. As it settled, a large pot of water was hung from the centre of the tripod and a waiting game began. Knowing the risk to our chances of eating before dark that a watched pot presented, we busied ourselves with other things, tables were brought out, then utensils, more food, condiments and, of course, Champagne.
As the first bubbles appeared in the water fresh sweetcorn was brought over and dropped in. In the time it took to drink a cold beer they were ready, disappearing as everyone did their best to roll the too-hot- to-handle cob in a large block of butter. Conversations quietened to a murmur as we devoured kernels slathered in salty butter, only for the noise to rise again once we had finished, a sign that we were now ready for the lobster.
We took eight of the creatures out of the coolers, removed the rubber bands binding their claws and lowered them into the pot, their mottled brown shells changing to a red hue as they sank to the bottom. 18 minutes later they were pulled from the water, bright orange and steaming hot. The first lot was snapped up by the hungry guests on the jetty and soon the sound of cracking shells was heard all around. More went into the pot, the final six reaching the table just as the sun dropped behind the houses high up on the hill.
With a plated lobster on my lap and a small pot of melted butter beside me, I worked my way along its length. First the tail fins, a small entree gained from pressing and scraping the soft meat out of the ends. The large tail quickly followed – a twist and a crack revealed my favourite part. I savoured mouthful after mouthful, dipping each one in butter and washing it down with dry Champagne. Finally, I reached the legs and claws with the sweetest meat, a seafood cracker and fork ensuring nothing was left behind.
I returned to the fire, its flames slipping away like the light above as the evening took hold. I desperately wanted to eat another one but was more than sated, so much so I thought that once I sat down there was a chance I might never get up. They say Canadian lobster is the best in the world. I reckon they’re probably right.