05 May 2012

Good grades, Great food

   I haven't set up any interviews yet, so I pulled this one from my own experiences. I was born and raised in northwest Pennsylvania during the 70's & 80's. A time when candy cost a penny a piece and you knew it was time to come home for dinner because the street lights were on. As I hope this blog shows, the connection between food and memories links us all, one of my earliest food memories that turned into family a tradition came when I was only around 6 or 7 yrs old.

   I would say school was a problem for me, only in the sense that I didn't apply myself, learning was easy for me, but I felt that if I knew the material then why did I have to do homework and assignments, just give me the quiz or test, if I pass then my grades should reflect that. Well, they did not, I would say I was a definitely an average student pulling strong C's the occasional B but teetering into D's at times. Every year my parents would reward my sister and I with a " special " dinner out, if we had kept our grades consistent and passed to the next grade level. We always chose the Old Express restaurant in Sharon, Pa. It was a converted railroad depot with a steam engine and dining cars, we always sat at a table where you could look through the glass and underneath the rail cars.

   So, what does a youngster of 6 or 7 choose when out for this one-time a year meal, LOBSTER !! I wanted to crown my achievement with the most expensive and luxurious item I could get my hands on. I loved them probably because they were a curiosity I mean what boy doesn't like bugs, animals & amphibious creatures, we hunted them in our play time, kept them in shoe boxes under our beds away from a mothers keen eye, so why not eat a creature as strange as this, besides they are delicious, succulent, sweet and they turn red when cooked, awesome to a boy. I always named my lobster George, but then again as a kid I named everything George. poking eyes, pulling antenna, cracking claws seemed an appropriate way to eat something. I always tried to convince my parents that it would be beneficial to let me keep the claws, I was never allowed.

                  Tully's Steakhouse formerly the Old Express / Seafood Express in Sharon, PA

  When I had the chance this past week to get some live Maine lobsters from friends that own a lobster co-op in Scarborough, ME I jumped at the opportunity. I guess being a truck driver has it's benefits. Gary and Tim run the Pine Point Fisherman's Co-Op. I hope to see them often. Incidentally Gary has a son that goes to school about a half hour away from me here in WI. He plays hockey for Lawrence University and I will be taking him some treats from WI next week when I make another trip to Maine. Cheese curds and bratwurst anyone?

                                         Pine Point Fisherman's Co-Op in Scarborough, ME

   And so this week I shared and re-lived memories with my family of being a boy that was rewarded for getting Good grades with Great food.

                                    Lobster's that were brought back from Pine Point this week.

   Who knew that a food item that was considered to be food fit for servants and lower class members of society and often relegated to the fields as fertilizer would turn out to be the King of the Ocean.


salted water
melted butter


   In a large pot boil salted water with lemon slices, put your lobster in head first ( lobster do NOT scream when put in boiling water, that sound is steam leaving the body ), start timing immediately 8min for a 1 lb & 12 min for a 1 1/2 lb lobster, increase 3 min per lb.


   Thanks for the memories mom & dad.

   Want to see your family food history on this blog contact me at my email link & don't forget to follow me on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. "I felt that if I knew the material then why did I have to do homework and assignments, just give me the quiz or test, if I pass then my grades should reflect that."
    Jim, you should have been homeschooled :o) You would have whizzed through like a champ!
    Fun blog! Such a great idea.
    - Kristen in WA