I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Finger Bowl Soup

Every year my parents and I would go to Canada for our summer vacation. Part of the ritual was driving to the Thousand Islands (Alexandria Bay) and spending the night at the Sir Robert Peel Motel. We would site see and then go to dinner at a place called Cavallarios Steak & Seafood. This place was known for its huge lobster tank where you could pick out the lobster you wanted for dinner. I always wanted to try a whole lobster but my father said they were a lot of work. So each year I would just get a seafood platter, my mother got scallops and my father always got steak This one particular year during our usual ritual dinner at Cavallario’s these guys came in from fishing holding this lobster that they caught that must have weighed at least 6 or 7 pounds. It had the biggest claws I had ever seen. They asked if the chef would cook it for them. That made me start nagging my father about having my own lobster again. He finally gave in. When it came, my eyes lit up. I hadn’t a clue what to do with all the different shiny silver tools that they brought me.
So my father showed me how to use the picks and crackers to uncover that sweet lobster meat. I could not wait to submerge it in the melted butter.
I was happy but my father wasn’t, because while he was helping me enjoy my dinner, his steak was getting cold not to mention his mood.
But I sure did enjoy that lobster even though you could have heard a pin drop at the table…..until.
The waitress came over to see if we needed anything and preceded to place in front of me this beautiful bowl of clear hot liquid with a lemon slice floating on top. She also brought me another little plate with a warm towel on it (she probably thought I’d be as sloppy with the soup as I was with the lobster). By this point I am in my own little world contemplating all this stuff in front of me. My mother and father still weren’t saying anything so I reached over and got a spoon so I could eat the stuff in the bowl before it got cold. All of a sudden my parents are howling with laughter, even people at the next table were laughing (I was clueless). What’s so funny?
My mother said; "Honey, that isn’t soup it's a finger bowl for washing your hands after eating that sticky old lobster". OOPS!
All anger was forgotten and I’ve loved lobster ever since.

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