New England's Famous Lobster Rolls
Why I Love This Recipe
There was a Splash in the Distance
A mist settled over the blue green cove in the dark of the early morning. It was the perfect combination of hot and cold air rising and falling, mixing together to form the moist, hazy fog that clogged the air and played with your senses. There was no wind, yet the beach grass on the cove’s shore still fluttered gently, as if some hidden spirit were at work. The thick air wafted slowly into my nose and mouth as the salty aroma shot straight toward my brain. The sun struggled up over the horizon, bathing the ocean in a pink light that reflected off the fog and into my eyes. Few lights were on in the city that we had left behind, as the apartments inhabitants still rested in their dense slumber. I stepped forward until the tip of my toe rested in the green blue of the icy, morning ocean…
I woke up in a blur, my air mattress none too comfortable and the air much too cold. The morning wind whistled around the perimeter of my tent, as the sounds of awakening wildlife filled the air. I rolled over to check the battery powered radio/clock that we had brought with us to Rhode Island. It was five in the morning, much earlier than I would have wanted to be waking up on my summer vacation. Today was different though. With the promise of going clamming in the morning, I was up and ready in no time, waiting anxiously for the rest of my family and relatives to arise to the smoky smell of the ashes, still hot, from last night’s campfire.
I didn't have to wait long though. The rest of our “clamming team”, as I considered it, woke up just as anxious as I was and ready for the trip. We drove for a short while, through cities and neighborhoods so dark that they were almost ghostly- ghost towns.
Suddenly, we stopped abruptly near a stretch of long beach grass, but no water was in sight.
My uncle explained that we would have to walk a short way to reach the best clamming locations. I was given a rake and told to carry it with us as it would be crucial later on. Confused and overwhelmed at the speed of this series of events (all of which had happened in a matter of seconds) I had no choice but to follow along and go with the flow.
We trekked for a while through endless waves of grass that tickled at our ankles and hid who knows how many creatures and unknown bugs, hiding from the blundering humans crashing through their home. After coming to a break in the trail, I halted at the majestic sight before my eyes. A sea, reflecting the brilliant colors of the rising sun, stretched out and covered the entire horizon. The water glistened purple and gold in the suns burning light.
“There, that’s where we’re headed,” my uncle proclaimed, aiming a finger at a small cove jutting out from the main body of water.
Again we set off, and it was only minutes before we reached the water. Each one of us children held our rakes like weapons in our short, pudgy little fingers. It was amazing how darkness affected our eyes. A splash was a monster rising from the ocean, a crack was a tree falling on top of us, and the beach grass tickling our legs was crabs scuttling over our feet.
Suddenly, my brother yelped with fear. He had stepped on a sleeping hermit crab, and awoken it. In fright, the terrifyingly ugly, but quite harmless crustacean scuttled off into hiding again.
I treaded more carefully though, frightened by my brothers near demise (so it seemed to a seven year old). We entered the water, all ten of us, and as instructed, began to rake up the floor of the cove beneath us to unearth the clams hiding below.
Following the adult’s example, I scratched at the ground, hunting for the clams whose air bubbles I could see, but shells I could not. I submerged under the water to try and get a closer look at for the clams that I was sure were just below me, but to no avail. In the clear water, I could see the mossy lobster traps that lay on the seafloor, forgotten long ago by fishermen. Running out of breath, I emerged from the water spitting salt from my mouth and resumed my resilient scratching and scraping. But, after just about about five minutes of futile pushing and pulling, I “struck gold” for the first time. I submerged myself in the shallow water and unearthed an exposed clam, its shell clamped firm from the invaders threatening its safety. I kept it under the water so it could breathe and watched air bubbles smaller than the head of a pin drift up to the surface. Its bluish purple shell glistened in the now sunlit water and I knew that even if I were to eat the other clams I was sure to find, I was going to set this one free.
“Goodbye little buddy,” I whispered when no one was looking as my arm reared back and I launched a perfect throw into the watery beyond.
There was a splash in the distance.
Submitted by: "Zach A."
Ingredients You'll Need
8 ounces lobster meat, torn into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
2 hot dog buns
1/2 head butter lettuce, thinly sliced
Combine lobster meat and mayonnaise in a medium sized bowl.
Season the mixture with salt and pepper for added flavor if desired.
Butter along outside surfaces of hot dog rolls.
Heat a medium sized skillet on high heat before placing rolls with one buttered side down in skillet.
Cook until browned slightly on each buttered side (about two minutes per side).
Open the rolls and fill with lettuce and then lobster mixture. Serve immediately.