On Eating and Loving Food

Oh! I was so high, on the Fourth of July

I’ve been having fun. Sort of.
Posted:  Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 10:00am
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The Thayer clan and cousin Rich have a lobster feed at the cottage on the Fourth of July. SUZI THAYER/Boothbay Register

The Fourth has come and gone. How'd that happen? It was snowing a few weeks ago, wasn't it? Time flies when you're having fun.

And I have been having fun, sort of.

My sister and mother came up from Ft. Myers a couple weeks ago to stay at the cottage in Cushing. Hard to believe those two weeks have flown by, too. Wendy left on the 12th to fly back, and mum is staying for a couple more weeks.

We were having fun, until last Friday night, when we arrived back at my house in Edgecomb after having dinner with my brother Pete and his wife Kerry, and cousin Rich, at Schooner Landing in Damariscotta. My mother tripped on my top step and hit her head, and injured her leg. We were in the emergency ward at Miles til midnight.

She's okay. It would take a lot more than that to get her down. She's a trooper.

Anyway. Needless to say food has been of utmost importance while Wendy was here. She, unlike me, has a waist. A small one. But she may have added a couple inches over the past couple weeks.

Having grown up in Maine, and now living in Florida, when she's here, she tries to have some Maine seafood every day. Lobsters are at the top of her list. We had them at the cottage on the Fourth of July, as we do pretty much every year.

We went down to Olson's wharf for lobsters. We're not always lucky enough to catch John Olson and his son, Sam, there, but we lucked out that day. It's always fun to get lobsters and catch up with lifelong friends all at the same time.

John had been out setting some of his traps, and was back at the dock, and Sam was there giving the guy who worked for him a break to look for his lost dog. I hope he found him.

We have one of those outside gas burners with a big pot to cook lobsters in. That's usually Pete's job, as neither Wendy nor I like murdering them. He doesn't either, but he, too, is a trooper.

One thing we do is remove the elastic bands around the lobster claws before plunging them into the boiling water. Those things will leave a taste you don't want in lobster. It's a simple matter to just cut them off, so please – just do it.

The Fourth was a beautiful, sunny day, and we set up the old picnic table in the back yard. As I've said before, that's kind of a Maine thing. Why don't we set it up in the front yard, overlooking the ocean? You've got me.

While the lobsters cooked, Pete and his daughter, my niece Sophia, played home run derby. That's a Thayer tradition that has been going on for as long as I can remember. Our neighbors, the Wissemanns, and various and sundry cousins have gotten in on the act over the years, too.

I rarely participate. I'm a sissy when it comes to hitting balls with bats, even when they're plastic bats and wiffle balls. (Insert trepidatious emoticon).

We had an arugula salad and some good bread with the lobsters. I've told you about the arugula salad I make, and if you like arugula, you should try it. Simple: Arugula (duh), sliced almonds, grated Parmesan (or blue) cheese, and my favorite dressing: Good Seasons Italian. I sometimes throw in some halved grape tomatoes and/or some avocado too.

The beer and wine flowed, as did the Orange Crush that is a family tradition whenever we have lobster. Pete is a traditionalist, and always makes sure to get a bottle of it for a lobster feed. I have become rather fond of a glass or three of Champagne or Prosecco with lobster too, but I forgot that.

There was no whiskey or bourbon, or sweet vermouth, or maraschino cherries at the cottage either. That was kind of a bummer, but I got over it after a few glasses of wine.

For dessert we had my famous strawberry rhubarb cream pie. It totally fell apart when I tried to slice it, but it was yummy nonetheless.

So another Fourth of July has come and gone, along with the fireworks that are breathtakingly beautiful if you can stay up late enough to watch them. For the past several years I’ve been in bed trying to sleep through them, with my little pooper, Elliot, shaking and panting beside me.

And the summer continues to speed by. It will be Christmas before we know it. That just came out. I could delete it, but sadly, it’s true. Sorry.

By the way, I wasn’t really all that high on the Fourth of July. That was something my mother used to sing in the good old days. We always thought it was a real song, but have since come to the realization that it was of her own making. My mum: A trooper, and the most eternally optimistic person ever.

Anyway. The blueberries are going to be ripe in a few weeks, and I’ll be pilfering them from the blueberry field we’ve been pilfering them from since my mother was a wild young thing. Next week I’ll give you her recipe for blueberry banana muffins. They’re wicked good.

See ya then!