New England Lobster Roll

The names I hear people calling each other strike me as interesting. And not just the beloved names that start with four letter words. Quite a few times I’ve come across others using the names I thought were mine and mine alone. A few years ago when Oprah opened her school for girls in South Africa, I saw video footage of the thirteen year old enrolled girls all shouting “Mama Oprah!!” in excitement as she set foot on campus. I couldn’t believe they had the same reaction that I do each afternoon at 4. My own mother glaring at the TV in envy.

I later realized that Angela and Dwight call each other “Monkey” on The Office. That I just couldn’t tolerate. I promptly converted my nickname for Daniel to a slight variation: Mickey. Though that was almost weirder in public. Especially when I wear that Minnie tee. Let’s not even address the fact that I own a Minnie tee. Or wear it publicly.

Everyone in my life has been assigned a name other than the one on their birth certificate. My mom is Mames, dad- PJ, sister C, best friends Kitten, Sabby, and Jazz. It’s obscene.

I blame my mother. Since the moment of my conception, I’ve been Francie or Chup Chups or The Baby or my personal favorite, Duckie Rapooch. She lovingly refers to my best friend Kate as The Old Bird. Kate’s twenty five, mind you. And my aunt Trang? Mom likes to call her Trang Mary. Because she gets a kick out of tacking the most generic of middle names to one that’s so beautifully unique. Or so we think. No one stops to ask.

I have to wonder what I’ll call my own kids. Because the nicknames change, are quite topical, and unfortunately, some of the bad ones stick. My mom’s been Stonewall Jackson a time too many. You try calling that out when you’re lost at T.J.Maxx.

It’s the free association that worries me. The natural progression of names stemming from Lucas would be Luke then Puke. And I just can’t have a son named Puke. Well, just not my first son.

Baby Joanna would be shortened to Joe and then Joe Namith and then eventually Jo-lie – Pitt. And then when Department of Social Services takes her away from me because I barely remember her real name, she might actually end up being a Jolie-Pitt. God willing that they’re still adopting. And that we live in an impoverished country.

This recipe, thankfully, does not have a nickname. It’s New England Lobster Roll, and I’m content to keep it that way. The ingredients are simple and perfect as is, no need to mess around. Tender chunks of fresh lobster dressed in a creamy mayonnaise-lemon sauce, all nestled and cozy inside a lightly buttered and toasted bun.

New England Lobster Rolls

(recipe by Michael Dunn of Yankee Pier at Santana Row in San Jose, Calif., as seen on the Today show)

(serves 4)

  • 12 oz lobster meat, cooked and diced (3 lbs fresh lobster)
  • 2 Tbsp celery, small dice
  • 2 Tbsp dill pickle, small dice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 soft roll buns (hotdog style)
  • 1/4 cup soft butter

1. Mix all ingredients, except the butter and buns; keep chilled until ready to use

2. Brush butter on each side of bun and griddle until golden brown

3. Split bun down the middle (but not all the way through the bread) and fill with the lobster mix

4. Serve immediately



21 thoughts on “New England Lobster Roll

  1. homecookedem

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to try a lobster roll!! I actually went to Maine 5 years ago and I have HUGE regrets about not ordering one while there. I did get lobster, but not on a roll. I will have to try this out!!

  2. Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers

    I love that roll. God I wish I had access to fresh lobster. Yet another reason to move to the east coast.

    The name thing is funny…my 6 yr old was ‘bunny’ for the first 2 years of her life. I am not a ‘bunny’ kind of girl but the word just came out and stuck until she grew out of it. Her wee sister was ‘goose’ for the longest time. Little goose…then crazy goose…and now is just called monkeypants most of the time. We’re a classy family.

  3. Maryellen

    Hey bitty sasaa’s,

    don’t forget to call teeny tiny tony. he’s waiting for you call. Great job I love the post.

  4. M.J. Jacobsen

    Too funny! My whole family makes up nick names for everyone; the cats have so many names my hubs can’t remember their real ones!! Given my birth name that I shortened, I love *alternative* names! (no one has ever guessed my real name!)
    The lobster roll looks sooo good, I might have to buzz down to the Pike Place market and get some lobster!

  5. Erica

    Fantastic. As odd as it is- I used to live in New England and they actually sold…and I’m not even kidding, not bad lobster rolls even at MCDONALDS! This one is obviously way more beautiful (and I’m sure tasty) than the Mcd’s version

  6. Cindy

    oh did this ever make me smile. Okay, the lobster roll alone was enough to render me goofy…and then the all the nick name fun!

    My son (teenager) could give you a speech on the woe’s of Mom’s need to constantly recreate names for everyone. Even the cat, even the baby.

    for a time every one got a “lou” at the end of their names. If I was not feuding with a brother they got called by their so called long name “william” for Bill etc. if they were being brats they just got called, well, brat.

    it only gets worse as time goes on…just warning you; and if you are a fan of Lost at all, than you’ll find a renewed need to call every one freckles or Norma rae!

    so much fun it should be illegal!

    and so should that lobster roll!


  7. morganjanessa

    I have two cats, Xia (female) and Draco (male) and somewhere along the line I started calling them Mama and Papa…. Why? I have no idea, and I call them that still. LOL!

  8. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine

    You know, the past two years I’ve been to Cape Cod and haven’t had a lobster roll. Such a disappointment. It’s the best place to have them!! These look amazing though, if only I didn’t have a huge fear of cooking lobster…

  9. satschuck

    I’ve never had a lobster roll (I grew up in the Inter-Mountain West – not too many lobsters around the Rocky Mountains) but now I’d like to try this one.
    As far as the names go my Husband Jon is Donald Peabody (or Big Lug Bolt), my daughter Addi is Sweet Pea-a-saurus and our dog Rooney is either Rooney-Toones or Bubba. I love nick names they are often the highest form of affection.


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