lobstering and rugby

For possibly the first time in his life, NS has taken at interest catching his own dinner. He's a late bloomer on this one, as we grew up in a rural part of Pennsylvania where hunting and fishing are hugely popular activities. Kids get off school for the first day of hunting season. Neither of us were into it, but we're probably in the minority.

Since coming to Grand Cayman, however, NS has discovered lobstering. Lobster season started on December 1 and continues through February 28. Our friend WH (co-host of Thanksgiving #1 this year) is borderline fanatical about lobstering and has been known to go out at 12:00 a.m. on 12/1 to have prime pick. Anyone with that much enthusiasm is bound to rub off a bit.

On the afternoon of NS' firm Christmas party (somewhere between buying suspenders and donning a French mustache), NS went lobstering with WH and JS. Using the other guys' gear, the three of them snagged a pretty sizeable catch! The guys let NS keep it, since it was his first time out.

As I was prepping for the party, I knew NS was out in South Sound somewhere, but I couldn't be delayed with doing the whole hair/makeup/nails/dress routine. When NS got home, all I had left to do put on my shoes. He was carrying a large yellow shopping bag, which he plopped on the kitchen counter. 

"Did you catch one?" I said.
"Yep!" He replied.
"Where is it?"
"In that bag."
"Oh cool! Is it still alive?"
"Of course!"

I had one tiny peek in the bag and took off for the stairs. Good thing I wasn't yet in heels.

The lobsters here are spiny but clawless. You just have to handle them delicately.

New pet? Unlikely
 In his final moments, hanging out in the kitchen sink:

He looks upset. I still feel badly.
 So the lobster-killing technique is not a pretty one. It either involves twisting them in two to separate the tail from the torso, or (per our selected method that evening) doing surgery.

My apologies, little fella!

Right after the above picture was taken, I took the role of surgical assistant and held the tail (in a flapper dress, no less) while NS performed the amputation.

Why didn't we boil it? people kept asking. For one thing, lack of time. The 1920s would only wait so long. For another thing, we have been told that lobsters' brains are so small that they don't feel pain no matter the method of death. Is that possible? Since the topic is unresolved, I'll comfort myself with its possibilities.

And this is what remained:

Since his first successful experience, NS decided to explore additional unfamiliar territory: The DIY world. He waffled between buying lobster nooses and making his own. He chose the latter, toured the local hardware stores, found some online directions, and popped out three of these babies:

photo credit: iPhone

He's gotten a decent amount of attention at work over these. Although mass production sounds tempting, I think he's keeping his day job.

Okay: One more first. Rugby (with a side of grilled lobster).

After the Cayman Islands Marathon, we met up with runners (and non-runners) at D&A's place for another braai. It was a gorgeous day, perfect for grilling and a bit of "touch rugger."

First, a rundown of the rules:

Then, some action:

The rest of us got the braai started. NS prepared his prize lobster tail (butter, garlic, yumminess), and on the grill it went.

I have no pictures of us eating the lobster. It was too good to slow down for a photo-op.

I do have this picture of NS enjoying a traditional (and delicious) South African dessert (compliments of MT) called Peppermint Crisp Tart...

...which, in original form, looked like this:

It was a great way to end the race day: With people we like, eating food we (he) caught, soaking up the vitamin D. Here's to eating more lobster without paying "market prices."

Oh, and by the way, this guy is still hanging on my fridge:


  1. why does uncle nate FOREVER have that knife in his hand? has he not learned from the "fruit" incident? how did he get that out by the way? ha ha. love the post!

  2. oh i was cringing through the whole part about the lobster! my weak stomach can't handle that kind of thing! but the picture of him on the floor was awesome. i also love the picture of the swimmers through the green leaves. awesome shot!

  3. Great collage of playing rugby - what great pictures! The lobster catching/killing looked fun and scary at the same time! Hope to hear more lobster stories in the future!