welcome to our blog!

This blog tells the story of our 22-month sailing journey from Oakland, California, to Bristol, Rhode Island, aboard our beloved Bristol 32 sailboat, Ute. Please feel free to browse through the archives (partway down the sidebar to your left) to see pics and read stories of our adventures in North America and Central America . (Sorry the first 3 months of the trip are missing - they vanished somewhere in an internet cafe in Mexico - but all you're missing is CA, Baja and Western Mex).

If you're trying to track us down now that we're landlubbers, try us at uteatlarge at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Friday, January 12, 2007

F.A.C.Q.'s (Frequently Asked Conch Questions)

Q. Is it tough?

A. No. it is tender. you tenderize it by soaking it in lime juice and/or whacking it with something hard like a winch handle or a bottle (the whacking method is way more fun than just passive soaking, of course)

Q. Is it slimy?

A. When you first take it out of the shell, yes. but by the time you cook it and eat it is yummy, and tastes more or less like very tender calamari or clams (in other words, it tastes just as yummy as its more widely available molluscan cousins, if not more so).

Q. How do you get them out of the shell?

A. Trick them with promises of wealth and fame. If that doesn't work, use a screwdriver and a hammer to make a slit about an inch wide between the 2nd and 3rd whorl, which detaches the muscular foot from where it is anchored on the inside of the shell. Then grab their "claw" (I think it is actually an operculum, technically) and pull out the whole critter.

(The third Q/A was for mostly for Katy and Elan's benefit - they will be on a charter boat in Belize next week and may need to know this stuff).


Rick Carey said...

Shall we add New England lobstah techniques to this molluscan reprise?
1) Roughly 3 minutes per pound in boiling water, less for the little guys and a bit more for the thick-bodied biggies. The "pull the antennae" test is wrong: when the antennae pull off the lobstah is overdone by a factor of at least 0.5 and antenna pulling makes not a whit of distinction between a 1 1/4# baby and a 10# Jabba The Hut.
2) Boil the babies. The "steaming" thing is completely ineffective unless you have a pressure cooker. It's all about Hot Water.
3) Butter.
4) Butter.
5) More Butter.


Rick Carey said...

And for you non-New Englanders:

Big lobstahs are tough, sinewy, chewy, tasteless lumps of carrion-eating bottom-feeders.

Buy 1 1/4# "chickens" and leave the lumpy 4+ #-ers for us Yankees to make lobstah roll with. You don't want them. Got that?

Big lobstah bad.

Big lobstah bad.

Big lobstah bad.



Lightstation said...

Thanks for the conch instructions!! Can't wait to try it. 23 hours and 22 minutes until vacation!! Does the vacation officially start when you get on the plane , or when your toes first touch sand? When you crack the first ice cold central american beer? Anyway, it's soon

Ute said...

thanks for the lobster info Rick....and yes smaller IS better when it comes to lobsters. in fact I found out that the reason I love Roatan lobsters is they are illegally harvested at a very small size. mmmm, Veal of the Sea.

p.s. hate to be nerd patrol Rick, but lobsters aren't mollusks. they're crustaceans. just for the sake of our scientific integrity here on the ol' blog.

Anonymous said...

So funny there miss smarty smarty pants, you just couldn't let that slide could you? -Mike

Ute said...

well, you know Rick wouldn't let it slide if it was grammar or cars or history or something like that. so....I'm just doing my civic duty as a daughter in law.