Monday, November 14, 2011

Cooking a Live Lobster

OH man!!! You guys are going to die laughing after reading this. My little sister, Jesse, is here guest posting for me about her experience cooking a live lobster. Her cooking blog, Diaries of a Cookaholic, is so fun. If you have a second, go show her some love!!! Take it away Jess.....
The other day I was in Harvard Square, enjoying the lovely weather.  I randomly decided to stop by the farmers market.  I came away from the market with a bag of delicious chocolate nuts and a live lobster.  Yes, you read that right... A LIVE LOBSTER!!!  And boy do I have a story for you!  It started out as an exciting, spontaneous purchase.  The lady that sold it to me was a fisherman's wife.  He caught the lobster, and she sold them.  The lobster I bought had only been caught the day before.  She showed me a picture of their boat and everything!  It was a true New England experience.

I made several mistakes following my purchase.  First, I called my Mom.  Thinking she would be proud of me, I excitedly told her what I had just bought.  Then she asked me, "So are you going to cook it, or take it to the bay to set it free?"  That's when the panic set in.  For the rest of my walk home I was agonizing over that question.  Was I actually going to kill a lobster, and then eat it???

My second mistake was that I kept my purchase a surprise for Levi.  Once again, I really anticipated that Levi would love the idea that I bought a lobster on a whim for dinner.  Well, when I came home and showed him my big surprise he was less than impressed.  He said, "I'm not touching that".  My lobster enthusiasm was completely deflated and the guilty conscience kicked in to full gear.

My third mistake was this.

We became friends with the lobster.  We named him Poseidon.
p.s.  I mopped my floor before and after Poseidon touched it...just in case you were wondering
That night we went out for pizza.  The next 24 hours were an absolute hell as I stressed about what to do with the thing.  It was awful.  He was in an insulated bag that was kept in my refrigerator (that's what the lobster lady told me to do if we didn't cook it that night).  All night and the following day I couldn't stop thinking about the fact that there was a live lobster sitting in my fridge.  I felt sick to my stomach.  Twice when I opened my fridge I could hear it squirming around in the bag.  It was horrifying!!!  I consequently avoided opening my fridge for most of the day.

So here I was, about 24 hours after I bought my lobster, still trying to figure out what to do... be the real chef that I want to be, or return the lobster back to the sea.  As soon as Levi got home from school I asked him what we should do, and he said that we should cook it.  He made it clear that I needed to finish what I started.  He was right, and I knew it. 

Everything looks great and under control in the picture right?  It was... and then directly after it was taken all hell broke loose.    
I am not joking when I tell you that my lobster got an adrenaline rush.  He knew what was about to happen to him (Levi read about this online and apparently it's a normal thing.  Of course Levi conveniently forgot to warn me about that until it was too late).  I had never seen our lobster so lively up to that point.  He was slapping his tail up and down so hard that he whipped my hand and I dropped him on the counter.  It was wiggling all 8 legs like crazy, trying to get away.  It scared the heck out of me!!!  This lobster was ready to pounce.  I seriously thought it was going to jump off of the counter and attack me.  I could have sworn that it was hissing at me.  So all the while, I was screaming at the top of my lungs!  Levi was yelling at me to pick it up and throw it in the pot.  Poor little Woods was sitting on the kitchen floor bawling because he was so terrified.  So I was screaming, Levi was screaming, and Woods was screaming.  It was total chaos.  My heart is pounding right now just remembering that crazy moment.

Finally I swallowed my fear, picked the lobster up, and threw him into the pot just as fast as I could.  This was proceeded by slamming the lid on as hard as possible.  I did not want this thing jumping out of the pot and attacking me.

Here are some pretty sweet action shots.  It shows the sequence of events perfectly.  Thanks to Levi for being the photographer, and my mentor.

Throwing the lobster into the pot.

I am freaking out in this picture, because the lobster was still moving in the pot!!!!!

I did it!!!  I was about to drop dead at this point, as you can see.  

 It was such a relief to have it over with.  I killed a lobster.  That sounds awful, but it was a huge burden that was lifted off my shoulders.

This is all the meat we got out of it.  Not much...
 We really did eat it and here's the proof.

 It tasted like any normal lobster.

Cooking a live lobster is not for those with weak stomachs.  Not only is cooking it traumatic, but trying to figure out how to eat it is almost just as bad.  As you may have read in a previous post, eating a lobster is disgusting.  There are numerous surprises that you will find inside.  After all is said and done, I am feeling mixed emotions.  I am proud of myself for doing it, but I did have a sick feeling in my stomach for the next two days.  I contemplated becoming a vegetarian for about a day...but I had signed up to bring pulled pork sandwiches to a potluck the following evening.  Now I am just feeling grateful for those who are willing to provide meat for me.  It takes a certain kind of person, and it's not me!  I won't ever cook a live lobster again, not in a million billion years.  But I will say that it was one of the main events of my year.  I will never forget our lobster experience.  It will always be a fun Boston memory to look back on.

Levi and I also decided that we probably won't want to eat lobster ever again.  In the words of my Mom, "We've had our lifetime quota".  



p.s.  Our lobster pooped all over my kitchen in his crazy rage.  It's hard to see because we have speckled counter tops, but it was every where!  It was slightly disturbing, especially since I still had to eat the thing!  Not the most appetizing way to prepare to eat a lobster.

P.s.s.  You'll notice that I never used the lobster's name, Poseidon, through out the post.  Before we cooked him, it was fun to refer to him as Poseidon.   After I killed him, it was just too sad to call him by his name.


I've had a few people ask me how to cook a live lobster.  Here's my recipe:

Recipe for cooking a live lobster
Boil a full pot of water (salted so that your lobster feels safely at home, before he returns "home")
Throw lobster in
Slam the lid on tight
Run for you life

But seriously, you can just look it up online.  That's what I did.  Good luck!


  1. That was hilarious! Your sister kills me-- so cute!

  2. Oh my goodness. You are stronger than I. I would have ended up setting in free in the middle of the night when hubby was sleeping. haha.. :) I bet it was delicious, though.

  3. This is hilarious! I love all the pictures documenting it all! Super cute post! And that little guy is pretty adorable as well!

  4. I love Jesse! She told me about your blog the other day so I thought I'd check it out. I am going to add you to my google reader. :)

  5. Great story! I remember going to Maine with my Dad when I was younger and picking out lobsters to eat. He ended up with a female one with eggs inside! Totally creeped me out. Next time try steaming mussels. They don't poop and don't try to escape!

  6. This is awesome! I would never be able to do this. For sure a memory she will have forever.

  7. Hahahahahaha. Okay, this was hilarious and Im finally over Poseidon. It was so gripping!!! And Im very much left here with mixed emotions- happy and sad.

    This connection is a problem you know. Name a chicken miss whatever and you'd never want to eat it. Probably this is what makes us human as well.

  8. haha. this was a funny experience. Suddenly, I remember my experience cooking a crab. I badly want to experiment making chili crab. So I bought a live crab from the wet market. When I got home, I was suspended for a while, thinking how I should kill the crab. It did not occur to me at the time to just put in a boiling water. I told my husband to kill the crab. he said its easy. he stab the crab it front of my 2 eyes and the crab was wiggling. it was like begging for my help and it eventually died. I cooked the crab and continue with my experiment. But the memory of killing the crab keeps on flashing back. To make it worse, I have to eat it alone co'z hubby is allergic. It was a traumatic experience and I vow not to buy and cook a live crab ever again. thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  9. Too too funny. You Hinkson girls are awesome.

  10. I loved your thumbnail pic on the linky party! Your story is a gripping read. I could never cook a live lobster--I cringed during Julie's description in the Julie & Julia book (she's not as sympathetic as you).

  11. I so enjoyed reading this post! lol I love lobster but never want to cook one myself and in restaurants I refuse to pick one..the waiter can pick it for me. Good for you being brave and thanks for sharing your funny story!

  12. Oh my gosh I LOVE this! Thanks for sharing this great story :)

  13. Stopping by via EisyMorgan link up! Seriously this was great! The action shots killed... Great story!

  14. This is a great post! I've been in the same situation, then I saw a special on lobsters and it turns out they have the same brain capacity as roaches. This made me much more at ease with the killing of it! (and they taste so darn good) Super cute pictures! I will have to follow her blog now!

  15. This is hysterical! Thanks for making me smile! following both blogs now! I can totally see how it would freak you out to have him in the fridge getting at your other stuff!
    I would love a follow back if you have a chance. Come see me at

  16. I really like your blog. I am your newest follower!! I am new to blogger, but am excited to share my New boutique that is coming soon with the latest trends on clothing at affordable prices. I also will be selling Mineral Makeup. I will be giving a lot of free giveaways here shortly for our grand opening! I hope you will stop by my blog and follow me back and like my facebook... And Look out for free giveaways on makeup and clothing :)

    -B. Haven

  17. Oh, my. I used to go crabbing with my ex-husband. Loved crabbing but he had to be the one to cook them! I haven't done that since we split over 10 years ago because I cannot be the one to put them into boiling water :-(

  18. I love this story :) The action shots are perfect! and the baby... OH MY GOODNESS what a cutie!

  19. EEeeewwww! I'm never going to cook a lobster now. Thanks for the warning!!! i tried being vegan - but missed the meat!

  20. OMG!! I was cracking up the entire time I read this. You are hilarious. I don't think I could have done It. Hope to see you at DIY Home Sweet home. I'm your newest follower. Cute blog

    P.S. I have a linky every Monday. Would love for you to stop by and link up.

  21. Haha~too funny! Thanks for linking to Things I've Done Thursday!

    Sew Rugged @ bear rabbit bear

  22. Hahahaha this is hilarious! I have not yet been brave enough to cook lobster. This post made me curious though. ;]

    Julie Ann

  23. Ha ha, this cracks me up! I was just thinking about doing something different for christmas dinner and told my hubby I want to do steak and lobster (never cooked it before) Hmmm, maybe not the best way to spend christmas day?

  24. That is too funny! I love the action shots! I'm thinking a live lobster in the fridge might be a great way to stick to a diet:) Stopping by from TT&J.

  25. Oh, too funny! This has completely convinced me to never try to cook a live lobster.
    And that baby is TOO CUTE!

  26. oh my goodness...too funny! I love the "live" shots...they make the whole post!

  27. Oh my gosh those pictures are so funny! I love to eat lobster but refuse to cook it, I just can't do it. I love the picture of the lobster on the floor with your baby like it is just a regular old baby with his pet picture! LOL Thanks for the laugh tonight!! Stopping in from TT&J

  28. First of all your baby is absolutely adorable! Cute, cute!

    LOL at the lobster. I don't think I could do it either. I'd make my husband and I'd take the pictures or hide in the closet.

  29. found your blog on TT&J thru the link. this is HILARIOUS. i just know i would be the exact same, i dont even think i would even touch it, youre brave! haha!

  30. That was so funny!! Glad it turned out ok! I have always wanted to try that. I have heard if you put them in before you get it boiling and just raise the temp up slowly they will not get all crazy and jump! :D Looks like it was quite the experience! :D

  31. Safe to say I'll live vicariously through your sister on this one. Noooo thank you! :-) I'll just order one at the restaurant when the urge hits me.

  32. Hilarious, she is braver than me!

  33. Oh my gosh that is hilarious! This post also reminded me why I am not a fan of sea food ;)

  34. I just wanted to let you know that I am featuring this story tomorrow on my post...I love it that much!

  35. Oh my this is really funny! Glad your sister is ok after that experience :)

  36. that. is. hilarious. my kids would be crying if they saw him alive then eaten. I may just buy them dead and fresh at the grocery store.


Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H