Elisabeth Townsend’s tips for cooking lobster:
▸ Buy lobsters that look frisky, with claws waving and tail slapping. Buy near the shore, from a place that sells a lot of them.
▸ Boil lobsters in salted rather than plain tap water. If possible, use sea water.
▸ Use enough water that all the lobsters are submerged when the water is at a rolling boil. That’s approximately 2.5 quarts per lobster. Don’t pack the lobsters into the pot.
▸ Cook soft-shell lobsters for three minutes less than you’d cook hard-shell specimens.
▸ To avoid ending up with a plate full of water as you eat, when you’re done boiling your lobster, hold it upside down and clip off the end of the claws to let the water run back into the pot. (This tip came from a member of the audience at a recent reading by Townsend.)
Nancy Shohet West