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)
- 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