I’ve heard some people say they adore lobster, but they’ve never actually eaten one—not really. These people have been served a lobster tail in a restaurant, sometimes alongside a hunk of steak. This is referred to as “surf-and-turf.” The surf is eaten with a knife and fork under a cloak of melted butter and perhaps a squirt of lemon juice.
Jude's Culinary Journey
Although Philip Hone became a symbol of upper class New York City, his life began in 1780 as the younger son of a poor carpenter. At the age of 16, he joined his brother’s auctioneering business. By the time he was 35, it had made him a very wealthy man, enabling him to retire at the age of 41.
I was in my early teens when my mother took to wearing a pendant around her neck that read, “War is not healthy for children and other living things.” Around my own neck, I wore many strands of “luv” beads that I had strung myself, some of them made of apple or watermelon seeds.
It was the roast suckling pig at a tiny tapas restaurant that did me in. Believing meat to be less healthful than other options, I had not tasted pork, beef, or lamb for over 30 years. There were no moral issues involved for me; I just tried to eat as healthily as I could.
Why not get right to the point? I don’t like winter. It’s an annual refrain anyone who knows me has heard. The beauty of newly fallen snow aside, there are myriad reasons for my ill feelings about this season. I’m scrawny, with little body fat. Wearing layers of shirts and sweaters indoors, especially when cooking, is cumbersome.
For the 20 or so years that my sister Janet and I were weekenders in this area, we found the time to entertain our little circle of friends on a somewhat frequent basis. I was cook and bartender, and Janet always did a bang-up job of setting a beautiful table and washing the many dishes at the end of a long night.
I have been thinking lately of how my Thanksgiving celebrations have morphed over time.
My sister Janet and I met Mimi in the winter of 2017 when she was occupying the room next to ours at the hotel Las Miraposas in Oaxaca, Mexico. Our rooms opened onto a small cement terrace complete with a fountain surrounded by potted flowering plants.
In late August, a friend and his partner sent out invitations for a Labor Day fete on Sunday, September 2. They had thrown a lovely outdoor gala for a couple dozen people two years prior at which the main event had been, amazingly (and generously) grilled lobster tails.
My parents, raising three children, weren’t able to swing a trip abroad until their 25th anniversary. In anticipation of this milestone celebration, my mother bought herself a handsome, bound journal and, though it was not exactly a diary of their daily adventures, she did jot down the names of interesting shops and wrote of special sojourns.