In writing Supper Club menus you have to take into account that some things you think are easy can be really challenging for others. I once wrote a menu that including steamed lobsters. I grew up on the east coast where boiling a lobster was considered simple. For others it was a real challenge.
I knew I was in trouble when I saw my friend Kathy having a panic attack in my kitchen. Our neighborhood Supper Club is large and involves 5 dinner parties of 4 couples each. To make it a little easier I ordered the 40 lobsters and arranged for the hosts to pick them up at my house.
Kathy stopped by to pick up the lobster and her anxiety started to show. Let me say that Kathy is a very clever lady. She grew up in Kansas City and had never cooked a lobster. Seeing the squirming lobsters in the bag set off a look of panic that reminded me of a lady I had seen having a panic attack in the Shannon airport in Ireland. Fear of flying is a real phobia. Fear of cooking lobster was apparently just as real.
I felt really bad. Kathy is one of my favorite people and I was the cause of her anxiety. My initial answer was to offer to cook the lobster for her. She would never have to see an uncooked lobster again.
Somehow we talked Kathy down off the panic level. I took her through the simplicity of boiling water. Dropping the lobsters in head-first. Cooking for 7 minutes. Checking for the lobsters to turn red. Explaining how lobsters have built in doneness devices. Sort of like the pop-up device in Roasting chickens that pops up when the chicken is done. Lobsters turn bright red when done.
She got through the evening and her Supper Club was a huge success. Has she cooked a lobster since? I wouldn’t bet on it.
When faced with a Supper Club challenge, do a little research. You can get a video on YouTube or several “How-to’s” via a Google Search. Another tried and true method is to invite the person that suggested the menu and tell them: “It was your idea so you can cook the Lobster”.
If you enjoy this blog and similar other stories/supper club lessons subscribe to get future blogs at www.impromptufridaynights.com/blog and be on the look out for my book Impromptu Friday Nights a Guide to Supper Clubs due out from Morgan James Publishing on January 30, 2018.