East coast lobsters (Homarus americanus) are raised at the Oceanarium in Bar Harbor Maine successfully through the many juvenile stages.
Breeder female lobsters are supplied to the hatchery by local fishermen and kept in the breeder tank. Newly laid lobster eggs are dark in color when first attached to the underside of the female’s abdomen.
The developing fertilized egg reaches the early larval stage within the egg membrane while it is held by the female lobster under her abdomen. Between 1 and 7 mm, the early stage of the lobster larva is covered with a shell just like the adults. The tall cylindrical development tanks provide the perfect environment for the planktonic stages. The small fourth stage larvae prepare to settle as the planktonic phase of the juvenile lobsters comes to an end. The fourth stage juvenile lobsters are moved into individual compartments called ‘lobster condos.’ This is mainly because of their cannibalistic behavior. Moving the juveniles to the lobster condos requires a lot of time and at this stage it is no longer easy to keep them.
Maine lobster traps cover the coastal areas in summer, each with its own surface buoy (see all the buoys, dotting the surface of the ocean, behind this Maine lobster boat). This lobster hatchery is in the heart of the Maine lobster fishing area where there are over 5,000 lobster fishermen and several million traps out each year. A buoy marks each lobster trap and each fisherman has their own particular color on their buoy so they can easily be recognized.


Lobster buoys are often used as decoration for the many seafood restaurants that line the New England coast. Several communities also have church services known as the “Blessing of the Fleet” services on the Sunday before setting day.  These are sometimes held inside nearby local churches but, most frequently, they are held on the wharves of the fishing ports. North Lake Harbour, PEI [June 1, 2012]And, once they are cooked, look at the fabulous rich color of these freshly caught PEI lobsters!
So, tonight, I am dining on Lobster Cakes to celebrate the opening of the 2013 PEI lobster fishery season and am sharing my recipe with you.
Lastly, add the lobster and mix well.  Add just enough of the first amount of bread crumbs so the mixture will hold together and can be formed into patties. Serve lobster cakes, 2 per person, hot with citrus aioli or your favorite tartar sauce and a side of green salad. Okay, so my recipe is actually eight layers, but who is counting when the meal is as tasty as this one is! On a regular basis, I tend to cook with a fair bit of seasonings and spices.  However, this is one dish that I never add anything to it other than salt and pepper and the onion for flavour.
In my home, I grew up with this recipe being made with ground beef (we never used any other kind of meat in it) so, as April closes out as the month on PEI to promote local beef, I am sharing my recipe for this simple comfort food.  The beef I used for this casserole is 100% Island beef and was purchased at KJL Meats, a local butcher shop in Charlottetown, PEI. This is a great meal to make when you have little time for meal preparation and clean-up because all the veggies, the rice, and the meat cook together in the one casserole so there are no pots and pans to wash (bonus!) other than the dish it bakes in.  And, your kitchen will smell divine when this is baking in the oven!  If there happens to be any leftover, this meal carries over well and, in fact, the flavours seem to become even richer the next day when it is reheated.
It is hard to plate this meal attractively but its taste more than makes up for its lack of presentation! PEI Burger Love, created by Fresh Media, is carried out in partnership with Prince Edward Island Cattle Producers, PEI Department of Agriculture and Forestry, PEI Flavours, PEI Potato Board, and the PEI Restaurant Association.  The formation of this collaborative group has brought heightened awareness to PEI’s beef industry.


Diners are engaged in Burger Love fever too as they head to local dining establishments to order up the creative burgers.  They can rate the burgers they eat by voting online for their favorite and win great prizes in the process as well as help crown the most popular burger in the 2013 Burger Love campaign. April is traditionally a slower month for local restaurants because the tourist season hasn’t yet started but, this year, participating restaurants are hopping busy as burger lovers converge on their establishments to sample the many burger options.  Linda Dickie, Food and Beverage Director at Mavor’s Restaurant in the Confederation Centre of the Arts, says they chose to participate in PEI Burger Love because they like to support local whenever possible and it brings awareness to the restaurant.  According to Linda, Mavors sold 1700 burgers in the first couple of weeks of the campaign with the highest single day servings of 210 burgers! Other than the requirement to use 100% Island beef in the burgers, chefs had unfettered licence to dress the burgers with whatever toppings they wanted and to prepare and present them as creatively as they wished.  Suffice it to say that Island chefs rose to the challenge and created some mighty fine culinary creations with unique flavour combinations.
The meat in the burgers generally ranged in size from 6 oz to 9 oz and was prepared in different ways – some burgers were charred over an open flame while others were grilled or sauteed.
As you can see, these are huge, well accessorized burgers!  If I had one suggestion for organizers for future PEI Burger Love campaigns it would be to consider also offering smaller versions (perhaps even slider size) for those who don’t have large appetites but yet who want to try out the burgers. These cookies are popular at Christmas, special occasions, and are very suitable for afternoon teas as they can be made in so many different shapes and colors and can be further embellished with icing, colored sugar, miniature gumdrops, or dragees.
My recipe for Lemon Spritz Cookies is buttery rich and delicate.  I like the flavour burst of lemon juice and zest in these petite cookies. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and stir in tomato paste, tomato sauce, and ketchup.  Cook 1-2 minutes. Toppings ranged from candied bacon (yes, oh la la!) to nachos and salsa, coleslaw, bacon jam, Jalapeno peppers, various renditions of aioli, Portobello mushrooms, guacamole, and onions encased in wontons or presented as beer-battered onion rings, and just about anything else you could imagine going into these tall burgers. Miyagi Burger” that included Hoisin BBQ sauce, Asian slaw, and caramelized onion wontons.



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