celebration dinner

We sent the book into our publishers.

Oh, what a sweet, sweet sentence.

On Friday, at noon, three fingers pressed down on the mouse to hit send: mine, the Chef’s, and Little Bean’s. I’m sure she had no idea what she was doing, but we did. We sent our cookbook off to our editor, all the recipes, techniques, headnotes, and hard-won essays.
We’re proud of it, even though it will need editing. (It took me years of writing to realize that a first draft is never genius, and a tough editor with a red pen is a gift indeed.)
We can’t wait to see it in print, with the gorgeous photographs, even though it won’t be published until spring of 2010.
We cannot believe that we wrote an entire cookbook in 9 months, when we had our first child in the midst of it and sometimes wrote in the middle of the night when she woke up at 3 in the morning and didn’t feel like going to sleep for an hour. And the last three weeks, I have been living on the computer for nine hours a day, trying to write when Little Bean was asleep, but sometimes having to turn my back on her while she played with her papa.
It seemed, at times, that we would never finish that book. But we did.

We did it.

Better than that, my mom is doing great. I made some allusions here, last month, to someone we love not doing well. I can tell you, now that we have a happy ending. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, just before Christmas. We were all terrified. Writing a book didn’t feel that important. We set it aside, for a time, to focus on her. Wonderfully, joyfully, now we know ย— she is fine. Two weeks ago, she endured surgery, and she’s still recovering from the brutality. However, the doctors got it all. A few days ago, she relayed to me what the surgeon told her: “You’re cured.” I cried harder than I did when we finished the book.

So, it seems, we had a few reasons to celebrate around here. And celebrate we did.

We had lobster for dinner on Monday evening.

I first watched Annie Hall when I was 11 years old, and I fell in love with Woody Allen’s neurotic nebbish, the witty quips in movie lines, the dirty streets of Manhattan I saw buzzing by Diane Keaton’s car as the two recited droll dialogue. Sometimes, when I park the car in a sloppy fashion, I look at the sidewalk and say, “I can walk from here.” Imressionable as hell, I wanted to fall into the middle of that movie and never come up for air. So of course, I adored the scene where Alvie and Annie chase lobsters around the kitchen, thwacking brooms behind the refrigerator, Annie grabbing her camera and the two of them laughing so hard they immediately fell into bed after trapping the lobsters underneath the lid of a pot of hot water. That, to me, looked like good love. (Never mind that they don’t work, in the end. He lurved her.)

On Friday afternoon, with Little Bean bouncing in her seat in the kitchen, I grabbed my camera as the Chef pulled the live lobster from the box. Oh, we took a few funny photos, with him raising the claws to his lips, balancing it with a lemon in the other hand. But it turns out that killing a lobster isn’t nearly so funny as it is in the movies. (Damn movies. They disappoint me again.) At a certain point, I turned my back and blocked Little Bean from seeing the crazy flailing tail of the lobster just after it had been pithed. I stopped taking photographs. We weren’t laughing.

So I thanked the lobster before we ate it (in beurre monter, with steamed artichokes, roasted potatoes and cabbage, sparkling pear cider, and warm apple crisp). And I remembered again how complex life is ย— mortality and celebration all mixed up together, side by side, unexpected, all the more beautiful for being so complicated.

And then we fell into bed. To sleep. Oh lord, we are tired. But happy as hell.

Now, we’d like to know. What do you eat when you truly want to celebrate? And if it’s lobster, what do you do with it?

73 comments on “lobster

  1. Diana Lee

    If it makes you feel any better, some scientists believe that lobsters are neurologically incapable of experiencing pain.

    I’m a steak girl, so nothing says celebration to me quite like a great steak. Prime rib also rocks my socks off.

  2. Angela@spinachtiger

    Congratulations on finishing the book and good news about your mother. I recently heard another similar story about a culinary success for someone while their child was going through a serious illness. She does chocolate and she referred to it all as bittersweet. Often the glorious travels with chains.

    When we celebrate, we eat a memorable meal we had on our honeymoon, that I have recreated many times. Shrimp, scallops and a pesto. We returned to Half Moon Bay recently and the waiter gave us the secret ingredient.

  3. carol

    congratulations on getting the book in, love how the three of you clicked 'send' together, so fitting!..i've marked my calendar 'spring 2010' to remind me to get it once its out… great news on your mom's successful surgerie, will keep her in good thoughts thru her recovery…

    i'm not a lobster girl, but a nice dungeness crab with lemon butter & champagne will get me feeling celebratory!

    enjoy some relaxation & play time together, you've all earned it tenfold…

  4. Palmer Public Library

    Oh lobster would do it. It’s probably my very favorite celebratory food. I grew up on the coast in New England, and never realized how fortunate we were in regards to lobster. Now I live in Alaska, and lobster is usually a “when I go back to New England” kinda thing. King Crab can’t be scoffed at however. It too is truly wonderful – and much more available here. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like them both boiled/steamed, with melted butter, lots of bread (sorry Shauna), a good salad, and a great white wine. Mmmmm, I must need to celebrate something.

  5. erita

    much joy on the big finish!

    celebration to me has always been a great steak–though a little surf with my turf is welcome to party, too.

  6. Julia Rogers Hamrick

    Lamb. When I was growing up, we had roast leg of lamb for special occasions, and to this day, I love lamb with mint jelly (I know, bourgeoisie) because that’s how my dear mom served it.

    Congrats on getting the book turned in. My editor just finally sent me her notes today after receiving my manuscript Jan. 14, (she loves it–yay!) and I’ve been happily chopping my book down as per her request. Like you, I have a lot of respect for a good editor’s judgment!

    We’ll have lamb for dinner when the rest of my advance arrives!

    Happy to hear your mom is fine!!!

  7. Pamela

    I could not cook a live lobster. That is such a hypocritical statement because I eat meat and fish but I can’t do the killing. I used to cook mussels until the day I noticed them shifting in the colander waiting for the water to be ready. But celebration meal? A huge baked Red Snapper with rice, lentils, spinach bouillon, green mango salad, surrounded by family and friends. Yeah, that would do it for me.

  8. Julie

    I’ve been a regular reader for ages but I’m not sure I’ve ever commented before. However, reading that you use the “I can walk from here” line made me stop and comment. I too loved Annie Hall and I use that line on a regular basis.

    Congratulations on finishing the book. What an enormous accomplishment. And that’s wonderful news about your mother.

  9. kjersti70

    Congrats on all the good news ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m in the middle of your first book and find it very inspiring! And about that poor lobster: I find it interesting that many hunter-gatherers ask for foregivness after they have killed an animal. They sort of explains why they did it; that they did it because the needed the food, and that they will treat the animal in a decent way and make a gorgeous meal, and honor it. I like that!

  10. Jenn

    If I eat lobster, I eat it plain. Just the lobster. I have never had it with any type of sauce that I liked.

    As for celebration, I really don’t know. Isn’t that silly? I am not really a fan of meat, I just don’t like the taste. So something light, anything that doesn’t make me feel full.

    I hate that feeling.

  11. LD

    That’s fantastic about the book, and your mom!

    I was just at our local Whole Foods’ annual chili cookoff, and one of the teams came up with a SMOKED LOBSTER chili. It was REALLY wild.

    I’m with Diana Lee: steak is always a good celebratory food. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my family for the first time this year, so I’m also partial to roast turkey.

  12. Adrienne

    Oh I am SO SO HAPPY to hear that your mom is doing well. And congratulations on the book! We had missed you here, but it’s wonderful that your back with so many pieces of good news. To me, lobster means summer in Maine where I grew up – and it ALWAYS tastes better outside on the table in the yard.

  13. milhan

    For some reason for me it’s sushi, or Japanese food in general…not really sure why though? It’s especially delicious with a good bottle of champagne!

    Congratulations on finishing the book, and so glad to hear your mom is doing well….lots to be celebrated for sure!

  14. Lauren Denneson

    Congratulations on sending off the book! I am looking forward to reading it in 2010 ๐Ÿ™‚ I just turned in the first draft of my dissertation, which, like you, I know will benefit from some fearless editing from my committee ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m also glad to hear your mother is okay. What a relief that must have been to find out the surgeons were successful!
    Around here, we definitely go for cheese when we are celebrating. Our celebratory meals end up being the simplest meals: several varieties of cheeses, several varieties of olives, gf bread, sliced veggies (zucchini is a favorite), and perhaps some easy lamb meatballs (if we’re feeling it). And a good bottle of wine. We taste and talk and toast and slowly enjoy the rich flavors.

  15. Anonymous

    Lobster is one of my all time favorite flavors. When I was pregnant with my first child, I had this longing (wicked craving really) for lobster. So, my mother-in-law sent us two lobsters from Cape Cod. We savored every bite. So, lobster is celebratory food for me too. Congratulations on your book. ~kyndale

  16. Sirena

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to read your oeuvre. Your celebration dinner sounds sublime. In our house, the appearance of champagne – the best possible champagne we can afford at the time – is always a signal of major celebration. Our favorite New Year’s Eve dinners have always been copious amounts of champagne, sushi from our favorite sushi place, a small selection of sweets (pastries :-), foie gras and cheeses. Next year, I’m adding oysters to the rotation :-). Again, so happy for you guys! SO much to celebrate.

  17. Ricki

    Congratulations, both on finishing the book and on your mother’s recovery!

    With what food do I celebrate? Why, chocolate of course–is there anything else?! My first choice is a fine quality hazelnut truffle, but I’ll take anything that’s handy, truth be told. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Sarah

    Risotto! Pancetta and pea risotto, amazing. Or a Chicken Thai Green Curry. My two favourite meals in the world. They are celebratory but they also have the power to cheer me up and lift me out of the winter blues.

    Congratulations on the book (can’t wait for it to come out- I guess it’ll be even longer before it reaches us in the UK). And congratulations on the happy news.

  19. Allison the Meep

    Congratulations on finishing the book, and on your mom’s health. What a great time in your life!

    Seafood creeeeeeeps me out, especially lobster. I can’t mentally get past all those legs and segments. They’re probably delicious, but I don’t know if I’ll ever find out because of my huge mental block.

  20. kitschen

    Congratulatins Shauna! I know this was a long process and the relief sounds overwhelming.

    My favorite celebration food USED to be my grandmother’s recipe for Clam Sauce and Linguine with a glass of white wine. Since I stopped eating wheat, I haven’t attempted it for fear I’ll be disappointed by how it tastes with GF pasta. This post really inspired me to make it….I can’t spend the rest of my life afraid of being disappointed!

  21. Krys72599

    Most importantly, thank goodness your mom’s okay! I just got the news from a dear friend that she’s been doing chemo since August, has just started radiation, but that the prognosis is good. I’m praying harder than I’ve prayed in a long time. Breast cancer is a rotten, horrible thing…
    Much less importantly, believe it or not (and I’m sure you and many of your readers will be shocked!), I.NEVER.MET.A.LOBSTER.I.LIKED.
    Every single darn time I’ve tried it, it’s been rubbery, tasteless (yes, even with clarified butter) and I’ve been so glad I was tasting someone else’s rather than wasting a good meal getting myself one! I’ve tasted claws, tails – yuk. Just not impressed. And lobster lovers at the same meals have said they’re good lobsters!
    Give me a good, garlicky shrimp scampi anytime!!! Or some fresh Dungeness crab…

  22. samcarter

    I cannot eat lobster. They look too much like cockroaches, and I believe they are actually zoologically related to cockroaches. Also, they are cannibals.

    What do we have around here? Cheesecake! But for the actual meal, if it’s a person’s special day, they choose. My husband would like a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. My four year old, for his dinner, chose homemade bread, cheese and fruit–we ended up having a lovely buffet with bread (and butter and honey to spread on it), strawberries, grapes, and cheese cubes and soft cheeses. It was a very sophisticated and simple choice for a four year old to make!

  23. Krafty Like A Fox

    Salmon. The freshest, wildest salmon that can be had, sprinkled with salt and cracked black pepper, wrapped in grape leaves and grilled. Then homemade chocolate mousse.

    Oh, now I’m really hungry.

  24. Susan

    Congratulations on your mom’s diagnosis. Cancer sucks. Cures rule. You’ve more than had your fill of drama this past year. Now on to the good stuff. C’mon spring 2010!

  25. Kay aka dkswife

    I love lobster, and it doesn’t bother me in the least to watch it die. It was placed here for us to eat, but to celebrate, I think my most favorite is Prime Rib, medium rare w/ sourcream and horseradish! Yummy

    And the most important of it all: I am so very happy that your mom is good!

  26. KayeRich

    Major congrats!!! I have only been reading your blog for two weeks now and it is great!

    To celebrate? Lobster, Lobster all th way. I am from Jamaica and have been living in the US for some time now, so I relish every moment that I get to feed my nostalgia. Yep, lobster does that for me.

  27. Anna Lee

    I first want to express my joy at the news of your mother. That’s wonderful! My aunt had breast cancer and I know how happy we were when the surgeon gave us the wonderful news. Congratulations, also, on the sending of the book. Looking forward to the final publishing.

    As for celebration, really any meal shared with family and friends is a celebration. It’s most fun if we make together whatever we are eating, but simply sharing food and atmosphere with another feels celebratory. A really fun favorite is mushroom picking in the morning mist, cleaning the mushrooms while watching a movie, and then sauteeing the mushrooms in butter and eating with steamed Dungeoness crabs and a fresh greens salad, all hand picked or harvested by the group. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. La Niรฑa

    Congratulations to you and your mom… and an apt metaphor for conceiving the book under all this pressure: OYSTERS. They can only create a pearl when they are irritated. So… maybe you should have had some oysters before the lobster?

    I have loved lobster since I was a little girl and we rented houses on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. We’d buy them from Poole’s on the dock at Menemsha, bring them home, and then my brother and I would name them and have lobster races in the bathtub until dinner time.

    The only way to eat lobster in my book is to boil or steam it. You can actually calm the lobster down by rubbing a knife or flat blade up and down its’ back before you put it in the pot.

    The perfect meal for me is Caesar salad, boiled whole lobster and fresh-from-the-farm corn on the cob. Although when I spoke in Cherbourg, France, we had lobster flambรฉed with Calvados. That was pretty tasty.


    I've never been able to eat lobster – or any other seafood for that matter. In my teenage years my dad would take the family out about once a month for a lobster dinner. I always ordered eggplant parmesan! Fish and seafood just don't seem like food to me. I've tried, to no avail to learn to like it.
    After spending all of my 20s, and some of my 30s and 40s as a vegetarian, I now (in my 50s) include meat and poultry in my diet.
    A celebratory meal for me would start with champagne and a cheese & fruit plate, and move on to a spicy roasted red pepper lasagne with arugula salad. Hmmm, what for dessert?
    So glad to hear the good news about your mom, and about the book.
    I missed you!

  30. Katie

    Celebration to me means a delightful and decadent dessert. Maybe it’s from cakes on birthdays, pies on Thanksgivings and cookies on Christmases… This after a yummy meal of crab legs, of course,(along with other items) likely because they’re too expensive for regular consumption and I love them.

  31. herrad

    Hi Shauna,

    The menu sounded great.

    My other suggestions would be either freshly made ravioli filled with cauliflower/fresh basil leaves/roasted pine nuts and halumi minced apart from nuts and baked in a rich aubergine/tomato sauce with shards of parmesan. Lots of garlic/black pepper and wine to richen the sauce.
    Dessert of fresh lemon custard tart


    Trinidad chicken curry with roti’s pickles and chutneys and fried plantain.
    Dessert fresh mango sorbet.


    Hake steak marinaded in garlic
    /ginger with a shot of soya sauce and white wine and fried with onions/garlic black pepper and served with chips and tomatoe and olive salad parsnip andc sweet potato crisps and freshly made mayonaise.
    Dessert Apple and Plum crumble with fresh lemon custard.


  32. Dolores

    Hi Shauna,

    congrats on your book and your mom’s recovery…

    to celebrate? cheese, champagne, bread, chocolate… as simple as that…

    We really missed you! I can’t wait until Spring 2010…

  33. Melissa in MD

    Great news about your mom and your cookbook – congratulations! It’s been neat to read through and see what everyone eats to celebrate. Like many, seafood does it for my husband and I, usually a big slab of salmon (spice rubbed and cooked in foil, which keeps it moist every time) and brown rice on the side. Yum!

    Last year for our anniversary we made deep-dish pizza from scratch, which turned out fantastic. I wanted to try the recipe but it had so many steps that I needed an extra set of hands, so we cooked it together which made it extra special.

    We work conflicting schedules during the week, so any time we can sit together and eat is a small celebration in our house.

  34. ninaluna99

    Congrats! But I can’t believe we have to wait until the spring of 2010. That is so MEAN! ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. cathi

    Congrats on getting the book in. I got chills up and down my arms when I was reading the part about the three of you clicking send…that is wonderful!

    I am so glad your mom is doing well, I have a few very close friends battling cancers of different kinds and it is horrendous, all the more reason to enjoy each moment in life!

    As for meals, nothing particular – just the company is important to me…but dessert – well anything with chocolate will do!

    Welcome Back, Shauna – you have been missed!

  36. Jean Duane

    Congratulations Shauna. What a feeling to finish that last touch on your cookbook. I’m dreaming that day will be soon for mine too! It is with the editor for the second round.

    I am really happy you mother is OK. Isn’t it amazing how something like that puts all of the other stuff into perspective?

  37. GFE--gluten free easily

    Oh, what a wonderful post!! I am so happy with you for all your good news. My mom is a breast cancer survivor so I know well the waiting for those “cure” and “cancer free” words. Will send your mom healing thoughts as she recovers!

    It’s surprising how long it takes a book to come out (not surprising how long it takes one, or two in this case, to write a book though, especially a cookbook!). It is great that this one is a collaboration between you and the Chef. (He’s not naturally relegated to that latter chapters as in your first book. LOL)

    Seafood is always our celebration food. When we are where it’s available, we love stone crab claws. (Usually for us, that’s only Key West at New Year’s every few years.) Steamed crabs are eaten by our family from April to October for every celebration possible (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, good times LOL). We did have some spiny lobster for my MIL’s BD last weekend. My BIL and SIL had gone scuba diving in the Keys during lobster season and had frozen a bunch. They were delicious! I actually prefer crab to lobster, but those were pretty good.

    Congrats again!

  38. Twisted Cinderella

    Congrats on the cookbook! That is wonderful! And I am so happy to that you mother is doing so well! When we celebrate, we usually order some sort of take-out at home together as a family or go out some steak house or Chinese food place somewhere.

  39. Cher

    Congratulations on the professional and personal triumphs.

    Celebrations? Nothing says happy for me like cassoulet. I can’t fully explain it (though the creaminess of the beans and deliciousness of the duck are clear reasons for loving it), but it is my happy place. It’s the one dish that totally, completely absorbs me every. single. time.

  40. Soup and Song

    Reading your posts never fails to make my heart happy! You have much to celebrate, so congratulations on all the wonderful news! Believe it or not, I just watched Annie Hall for the first time last week. I loved it!

    I have never cooked a lobster but Seasalt, a restaurant near where I work, serves a legendary lobster sandwich that I’m told is exquisite. We’re going there tomorrow so that may just be the day I will try it!

    Cheers ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Erin Swing

    YAY! Such good news: your Mom, Little Bean, and the book! It's so good to know the high demand for good GF Cookbooks. You, Danna Korn, and Carol Fenster have been busting tail for GF cookbooks in the past 1-2 months. So inspiring!

    Lobsters – I feel the same way. I love to eat them, but can't handle killing them. I've been traumatized by seeing them butchered in the Chinese restaurant I worked at for years. As a Culinary student, I am both dreading and looking forward to my butchering & fish mongering lab to confront my fear of lobsters.

    My favorite celebration meal is homemade (GF, of course) pizza or stuffed pizza pie with Redbridge beer.

    You have inspired me to start a blog. I hope you get a chance to look at it: http://thesensitiveepicure.blogspot.com/

  42. beyond

    congrats on sending off your book! and very happy your mother is well. cancer is a terrible thing, i know what i am talking about.
    i like steak to celebrate, or lamb, and lobster would most certainly do the trick. but it’s most important who i can celebrate with of course. when we are at home (my husband eats seafood) i often make mussels to celebrate. mussels in spicy garlicky tomato sauce with wedges of olive ciabatta to mop up the goodness.

  43. StuffCooksWant

    Sesame crusted ahi tuna, med-rare. yum. And chocolate. No occasion is ever truly celebrated without chocolate in our family.

    Congrats on the completion of your first milestone with this book! And for the recovery of your mom. Great things happen in three’s…wonder what the third will be?

  44. Rebecca Chastain

    We always have cookies we dubbed “Goddess Balls” when I was a kid, and I don’t even know the real name for them now. They’re tasty shortbread-esque round cookies with chocolate chips and chocolate drizzled on the top. They’re perfectly bite-sized and so delicious. Nothing says celebration like Goddess Balls!

  45. Katharine Beutner

    Congratulations on turning in your book and your mother’s successful surgery! I’m so happy for all of you and I hope she will continue to be well.

    I’m also having a book published in spring 2010 (a novel, not a cookbook) — and we lost my father to cancer this Christmas, after a five-year struggle.

    When I think of celebratory food, I think of my dad’s habit of buying eclairs from the bakery section of his favorite grocery store — first in Pennsylvania, where we lived when I was a kid, and then in Oregon, where they retired. In the last few years, before I got diagnosed with celiac, we used to share one. If I find a really good gluten-free eclair someday, I feel very certain that he would want me to eat his half as well as mine.

  46. Zoomie

    I’m sure everyone will say what I felt when I read this piece – hooray for your Mom, hooray for your book, and hooray for having lots of reasons, including Little Bean, to celebrate your life.

  47. Anonymous

    Something decadent…it has to be a very rich dark chocolate something. Would love to figure out a fabulous gf version of molten chocolate cake! Any suggestions would be appreciated-it would be a reason for a celebration!
    Congrats on getting the book in!

  48. Julie

    I’m so happy for you all! What a time your family has had. My thoughts have been with you for the past month or so.. I’m relieved that all is well in your world!

    I can’t choose one food that goes with celebration for me – they all do. Although on special weekend mornings, I do love to make a puffed apple pancake – with apples caramelized in butter and maple sugar.

  49. Gemma

    Congratulations on the book and that is truly wonderful news for your Mum.

    My celebrations vary wildly, sometimes we go out, sometimes we buy our very favourite Chinese food, sometimes it is roast chicken, and my recently found love for oysters means that they now make the cut.

  50. mainehopie

    Since I really dont want mortality to be a part of any of my celebrations, I became vegan over a year ago. I love it, and, like you, when you went gluten free, discovered so many foods I never would have if I kept letting mortality be a part of my meals. My food is so much more beautiful now, because I know it is free of suffering. My favorite celebration food is vegan lasagna. I love your site – thank you for it. Maybe some time soon you can sneak in another vegan recipe. I have seen a few in the past that were great(even if it was accidental on your part;)

  51. Anonymous

    Eating anything is a celebration for me!
    I can’t wait to get a copy of your new book, and am sad I have to wait a whole year ๐Ÿ™
    Congratulations, I know you’ve worked very hard on it!

  52. lolo

    Yikes–I just can’t kill anything. Whole Foods has stopped selling live lobsters due to concern about the suffering that may be caused. I am always in a quadary about this when I eat flesh protein, which I do.
    I have just found your book and website. I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant several years ago but did not go through the testing for celiac. Your book has really helped me to see that I need to tighten up the gluten “watch” in my world. I had become more lax not more vigilant. Thank you for your inspiration! I can hardly wait for your cookbook to come out. Congrats on completing it.

  53. Erin

    I celebrate with homemade lamb curry – “the way my mother does it”. My father always asked for it for special occasions, and I have carried on the tradtion because I love it too.

  54. Dawn in CA

    Congratulations on finishing the book! And more importantly, all the best wishes to your mom and your family for continued good health.

    For me, celebrating is as much about the company as the food, the latter changing depending on my mood! Lately, raw oysters to start and a celebratory cake to finish have been recurring themes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. rebelgirl7

    Hooray for good news and putting an exhausting year behind you.
    I feel that Lobster is overrated and overpriced personally.I get disappointed by it. My idea of a celebration is not about the meat, but more about the dessert. PAVLOVA, ideally with fresh whipped cream and strawberries- the utopia of desserts.

  56. Nova

    Lobster is my favorite food. It’s right up there with good cheese and chocolate for me. I craved it when I was pregnant with my second child. That was an expensive pregnancy. I love it with just butter and lemon.

    A close second is crab. My family loves to do king crab at Christmas. Everyone gets there own pound of crab and there own dish of lemon butter. We typically just serve it with a simple salad. Mmmm we are happy and messy when it is all over.

  57. Sara

    Congratulations! On both pieces of good news, that is such a relief.

    My all time celebratory meal – steak with mushrooms and onions, roast asparagus with balsamic vinegar and garlic, and a good sourdough bread (sorry, not gluten-free there so much) with lots of butter. And a good red wine of course ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe, now I am very hungry. Congrats again to you all!

  58. Anonymous

    praise God your mom is well. I know after ever crisis in life it has been some kind of food to bring my family together. Whether it be soup after a day of sobbing at the funeral or steamed veggies after a heart-transplant. But it’s funny how it doesn’t really seem to matter what it is. Whatever we choose is always somehow the tastiest version of itself that we have ever had. It still amazes me how deeply the collective and individual soul and can be ministered to by food.

  59. Amy

    Alaskan King Crab! Nothing better than suculent white meat pried out of those giant pink legs and claws. It might take a little extra work but it is definitely worth it. Glad to hear that all is well with your family and I cannot wait to read your next book.

  60. Jennifer

    Congrats on the book….I wish I could eat lobster but allergic. I can not wait for your book to come out-a great gift for my friend whose son has Celiac (and diabetes)

  61. Janel

    What incredibly wonderful news about your Mom! It puts everything into perspective, doesn't it??

    I know how terrifying it is to hear your Mom has cancer and how sweet it is to hear she's cured. My Mom was diagnosed in the summer of 1992 and it was sweet music to hear that she was cured after her surgery. The past 17 years have meant more to me than the 22 before, because I knew what it was like to think about losing her.

    My celebration food is steamed Maryland Blue Crabs seasoned with Old Bay and pepper eaten on newspaper with a hammer & claw. They are so delicious just as they are that you eat them by themselves. It's a family tradition on my Mom's side. Here's a photo of the last batch:


    Can't wait to enjoy the fruits of your cookbook labor!

  62. jbeach

    Whew! and Congratulations!! You must feel a whoosh of relief about your mother, and the book as well. Thank you for sharing the great news.

    I adore lobster for a celebratory meal as well. My favorite is a mega decadent lobster roll and the best shoestring french fries from Pearl Oyster Bar in NYC. Oh, with a bucket of steamers to start and a toffee crunch sundae to top it off. H-E-A-V-E-N.

  63. Sallie

    Congratulations on your book! I have been reading this site for months now and love everything about it – BUT you are not going to believe what a small world it is – I am Isla’s grandmother – yes, Claire is my daughter. Amazing!

  64. Anonymous

    So much congratulations on finishing the book. I know how emotional and busy and stressful it can be.
    On the lobster note, I think it’s fair to mention that lobsters are very close to cockroaches in scientific classification.
    Also, I feel like if I’m going to eat it, I should be able to face and be okay with the way it’s prepared. Your way of thanking the lobster is wonderful, I do that, too. And I have to apologize when I have to throw food away.
    My celebratory food is sushi. The best restaurant in the city! It doesn’t compare to Japan, but it’s still mighty tasty.

  65. Maureen B., Austin, Texas

    Grats on the book. I look forward to reading it.

    We celebrate with a large ice cream ball coated with candied pecans and chocolate sauce. We eat it together, 3 spoons going at the goodies! ๐Ÿ™‚

    You and your family will be in my prayers during your mother’s recovery time.

  66. Lauren

    Steak and Lobster is very good but I do like Crab better also. But my all time favorite seafood is Crayfish Boil but Steamed Clams is a 3rd. But I hardly can ever get good Seafood. Steak and a good dessert is a good celebratory meal. Great news about your mom. My mom is slowly losing her sight and this spring I am taking her on a Caribbean Cruise so she can experience a nice vacation before her sight is lost.

  67. Sara

    We, too, eat lobster to celebrate. Growing up, it was a meal on it’s own. Our family would sit around a garbage bag wrapped table, roll up our sleeves and ‘go to town’ throwing the empty shells in a communal box. Classy, non? Now I still serve it as a main course with melted butter, but start with a salad and maybe have some baguette along side. I just enjoy the taste of it so much that I don’t want to detract from it with anything else!

    Congratulations on finishing the book. I am really looking forward to buying a copy for my best Gluten Free friend. I bought her your first book and it was so rewarding to hear from her that she enjoyed eating again.

    I really, really love your writing, so if you have to procrastinate to get it done, so. be. it.

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