As a reporter for a local newspaper, I often cover lobstering stories in Maine and occasionally come across some very cool things that Maine crafters and artists are making around the lobster theme. I really strive to put a spotlight on the creatives. Here is my 2020 Shop Local Gift Guide for the person in your life who loves Maine lobster and our beautiful state.
The original Lobstah Beer Caddy and Dog Food Station
Joe Hamilton is the artist behind these lobster trap creations and the first in the state to create the lobster trap caddy, perfect for six of Maine's best craft beers. You can find these on Etsy for $39.99 The pet stand, also made from the same galvanized wire that lobstermen use to construct traps are custom made. Made for small, medium and large dogs ($60/$85/$150). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for orders.
Maine Snowflake Ornaments
Tenley is a self-taught jewlery designer who also once worked as a sternman on her boyfriend's lobster boat, (now husband!) Hating to see lobster shells thrown away after consumption, she got the idea to make beautiful ornaments and jewelry from discarded shells from lobsters, mussels and oysters--and tell the back story to each one as it related to area lobstermen. To find her creations ($25/ornaments and vibrant red jewelry visit her Etsy store, Lobster Designs.
Rugged Lives of Female Lobstermen
Camden author Ali Farell's second book, showcases the strength of Maine’s female fishermen, titled Pretty Rugged: True Stories From Women of the Sea. “Fishing is a lifestyle, not a job,” Farrell commented in a Penobscot Bay Pilot article. “To be a successful fisherman, you must devote your life to working extremely hard in very dangerous conditions.”
The book is finally available for preorder on Amazon ($32.99) with shipments anticipated in time for Christmas. FMI: Facebook.
Gourmet Lobster Crackers
In 2012, Pat Havener and her husband, Friendship lobsterman Greg Havener, were trying to brainstorm ways to make up lost income from the plummeting price of lobster. They came up with two ideas: lobster crackers for dogs and lobster crackers for people. The crackers, which are the only type of its kind in the U.S., were named “Best New Product—Specialty Food” in spring of 2015 at the New England Made Giftware Specialty Food Show. See my story on at Penobscot Bay Pilot
You can buy a box ($10) on their website
Note: this story was originally published on Maine Lobster Festival's blog
This Thanksgiving will look different for many people around the country, but one thing is constant: hard shell Maine lobster is plentiful in November and prices are very reasonable leading up to Christmas. Plus, lobster is one of the most historically traditional food sources other than turkey in New England. So choose one of the four following lobster dishes to bring as a guest, or serve them all for your own Thanksgiving meal.
Pumpkin Soup With Creole Lobster
This recipe by Food and Wine Magazine promises a balance of deep, earthy flavor using produce in season (sugar pumpkins or butternut squash) as the base. A 1-pound lobster is all you need, along with dry white wine and 1/2-cup crème fraîche, complete with herbs and spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cumin and cayenne to give this dish its spicy Creole tang. This is a hearty, comfort-food opener to the rest of the meal. Get the Pumpkin Soup With Creole Lobster recipe.
Mini Brioche Lobster Rolls
This easy hors d’oeuvre is simply an open-faced slider crossed with Maine’s most iconic lobster roll, so make plenty, because they will be scooped off the tray as soon as you put it down. Using 3/4-pound of chopped, cooked lobster meat, with a bit of mayonnaise, tarragon and lemon zest, this recipe needs nothing more than 12 mini brioche or Parker House rolls with the tops cut off to make a stunning presentation. Get the Mini Brioche Lobster Rolls recipe
Stuffed Lobster Tails
Native Americans and Pilgrims were most certainly dining on Maine lobster for the first Thanksgiving, namely because it was so easy to catch by wading into the shore. But you can gussy it up with this Cooking Light recipe by serving lobster tails stuffed with herbed breadcrumbs and a white wine reduction. This entrée is perfectly portioned for each person at the table. And even though it’s drizzled with a delicious wine, thyme and shallot sauce right at the end, this dish only tops out at 234 calories per tail. Get the Stuff Lobster Tails recipe.
Buttery Lobster and Bacon Stuffing
For die-hard turkey lovers this November, you can still slip in the taste of Maine lobster with this stuffing recipe. With Jones Dairy Farm dry-aged cherrywood smoked bacon providing the salt, pan-seared onion and garlic giving off the savory, and 7 ounces of sweet, tender Maine lobster rounding it out, all you need is a piping hot baking dish of semolina bread cubes smothered in butter and the above ingredients to take center stage over that turkey at the table. Guaranteed. Get the Buttery Lobster and Bacon Stuffing recipe.
Columns and news about the subculture of Maine lobstering.