TO OPEN A LOBSTER
(Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, 1884)
Wipe the shell with a wet cloth. Break off the large claws, separate the tail from the body and the body from the shell, leaving the stomach, or lady, in the shell; then remove the small claws.
Save the green liver and coral.
Crush the tail by pressing the sides together, then pull it open on the under side, and take out the meat in one piece. Draw back the flesh on the upper end of this meat, and remove the intestinal canal, which runs the entire length. This is sometimes black, and sometimes the color of the meat.
Break off all the gills on the body before picking the meat from the joints, as they are liable to drop off with the meat, and are too woolly to be palatable.
The gills, stomach, and intestines are the only parts not eaten.
Break the body in the middle, and pick the meat from the joints, being careful not to take any of the bones. When the shells of the large claws are thin, cut off a strip down the sharp edge, and remove the meat whole; or break them by hammering on the edge. Never pound them in the middle, as that crushes the meat.
If the lobster shell is to be used for serving the meat, cut down the under side of the tail with a sharp knife, and remove the meat without breaking the outside shell. Trim the inside, and clean the shell. The body shell may be cleaned, split in halves, and trimmed with sharp scissors into the shape of clam shells.