How to DIVE IN to an ADVENTURE:
WINTERS IN MAINE ARE LOOOOOOOONG . . . In January I look out the window at the snow and long for some color! We locals really earn our warm summer months around here! That's why I love me some summer festivals! Every town has a little summer celebration. But the biggest "clam in the pot" is the Old Port Fest in Portland.
Every Summer in Portland Maine, our already bustling Old Port hosts the annual "Old Port Festival". The festival has live music, puppet shows, sidewalk art and lots and lots of food. Last year the festival attracted over 50,000 visitors. It was once notoriously rowdy in years past but now it's become much more family friendly. Locals and tourists get to celebrate all the wonderful things our city has to offer. Like... Lobster!
Lobster is very special to Maine. As a local, it is never something I order at a restaurant unless it's on a roll. Most "Mainahs" consume lobster at backyard parties. As a child, I would be treated to a boiled lobster dinner once a year when my Grampa came up to visit from Florida.
This was EVENT eating! I would go with my dad and Grampa to pick out the lobsters from the "Lobstah Pound". I would sit in the back seat of the car with our bounty packed loosely (and still alive) in a paper bag over ice. I would catch glimpses of the paper bag moving and listen closely to the crinkling sounds.
Then we would arrive home to a huge boiling pot of water on the stove! The pot was so big "you could cook a toddlah in it!" But mercifully, we boiled alive lobsters instead. I know, I know, it's not the prettiest sight. But it is how they are cooked.
I would sit at the table with a small bowl of melted butter and a lobster cracker in my hand anxiously waiting for my crustacean. When it finally landed on my plate, the real adventure began. It's part dissecting the coolest constructed invertebrae EVER, plus eating the most delicious mouthwatering morsels my childhood tastebuds had ever savoured.
Lobsters are just incredible to look at. First, they have ten tiny legs with tiny little claws at the end. And then, two MEGA claws!!! One for pinching and one for CRUSHING!!! The tail can bend and slap just like my Slap Bracelet Ruler!!!! (Kids... ask your parents...) Lobsters have so many cool bells and whistles that could easily be the inspiration for a fighting robot action hero!
Even though they can look so intimidating, I also love the idea of a friendly lobster. One that is a little shy and wary of the other sea creatures. A lobster that needs to "come out of its shell." I wondered how lobsters and the other local sea creatures in the Maine harbor would celebrate the summer on the ocean floor. An "Under Sea Festival" seemed perfectly seaworthy to me! Hope you enjoy this very special podcast episode and don't be afraid to "dive in" to a celebration in your hometown!!!