Lobster for Mother's Day

I live in the land of lobster - literally. All week, it's been particularly obvious, with today being Mother's Day. It is tradition, for some reason, for Mom to get a nice feed of lobster for that special May day in Nova Scotia. I'm not entirely sure if it's only a Nova Scotia thing, but my husband, who is from next-door New Brunswick, says he never heard of 'lobster-for-mother's-day' before moving here. It is the start of the season though, so really, any excuse to indulge can be made. 

Funny thing, a lobster is. Although most people associate the large crustacean with five-star hotel restaurant cuisine,  it used to be the food of those less well off, not too many years ago. My father used to tell me stories of being made fun of for taking lobster sandwiches to school for lunch. (I know, what a travesty!) For most fishermen of that time, lobsters were considered a nuisance that 'gummed up' their nets. Alas, many a poor lobster were fated to become fertilizer in the rolling green hills of this fair province. 

Nowadays, lobster is more popular than ever, and lucky for me, now in my refrigerator. We managed to pick up a couple of 'canners' that are already cooked:

Canners are fully mature Atlantic lobsters that are small in size, about half a kilo or a pound in weight. They are small because they are from the warmer waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, thus maturing faster than their cold water counterparts. The name 'canner' refers to the canneries that these little lobsters would inevitably retire to. Personally, I find a canner just enough for me, as a market size lobster is a lot of very rich meat. 

For my Mother's Day feast, I prefer lobster quite simple: freshly cracked out of the shell, dipped in melted butter and lemon juice, and eaten with my fingers. There is only one way to really deal with a lobster; cover your table with newspaper and just 'give 'er'. That's it.
Seeing how this really isn't much of a recipe, I thought I'd share one for another favourite shellfish of mine, the mussel. Last week, I took advantage of a great sale on mussels, getting 3 pounds (or 1.5 kilos) for four dollars! With a deal like that, how can one refuse?

After soaking, scrubbing and de-bearding the mussels, I made a Provençal wine sauce so so good, we could drink the bowl afterwards. (We could have, but didn't. We did, however, soak up most of this sauce with some hearty country bread.) To make the Provençal sauce, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a deep stockpot. Sauté 4 cloves of garlic for about a minute, then add a can of diced tomatoes, and 3 chopped green onions and cook until tender. Add a cup of white wine, and add 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup of fresh thyme, and a tablespoon of Herbes de Provence. Bring to a boil, and reduce for 15 minutes. Last, turn heat down to simmer, and add 1/4 cup of cream. Blend this with a hand blender until smooth, then add the mussels. Cover, and steam the mussels for about 10 minutes, until shells are open. Serve them on something pretty, and pour the sauce over the top. 

I hope all you Moms out there have a wonderful day - whatever you're having!


  1. Hi Carrie - I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day with your family :) Your recipe for mussels sounds fabulous and I'm gonna try it your way the next time I cook mussels. Usually I either gratinate them in the half shell or make Moules Mariniere.

    I won't even say anything about lobsters - having them in my fridge on any given day *sigh* it's just a dream for me!

  2. Can we indulge in mussels next time we visit?? Maybe I'll bring some bacon wrapped scallops...


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