This is the third post of author Antoinette Truglio Martin who began blogging in 2018.. I am going to share four posts from her archives that were part of her A-Z challenge last year. Since my downfall is and has always been food….I enjoyed browsing Antoinette’s challenge. This week, a food that immediately brings back memories of New England… Lobster.
“Welcome to my Blogging A-Z April 2018 Challenge. My theme is Food Stories Remembered because there is always a story when food is involved. I consider myself a good home cook with a great appetite for hearty food. I have witnessed the creation of favorite recipes in friends’ kitchens and have learned from the best—my mother, grandmother, and mother-in-law. Recipes may be included. I am remaining uncommitted on this because when I cook, I seldom measure. If you try any of my recipes, you are cooking at your own risk. Grab a glass of wine. Hope you’re hungry!”
Blogging A-Z Challenge (2018) – Antoinette Truglio Martin – L Is For Lobster
My best lobster story was during my first pregnancy. I was the first one pregnant in my friend circle. No one knew what to expect from a pregnant friend, so I got to make up a few demands—err cravings.
At that time, two of my good friends were scuba diving regularly around the old shipwrecks off of Fire Island and the southeast fork of Long Island scavenging for lost treasures. They claimed that lobsters were always in and around these wrecks. That was when I claimed to have incredible cravings for lobsters. My friends believed me.
Mom, Dad and Lobster
During that pregnant summer, a lobster or two was left on my stoop two to three days each week. I’d immediately boil them and call my mom—a fellow lobster lover, to join me. We conducted the carnage at my backyard picnic table. Fresh caught lobster was gloriously sweet and decadent. By the time my husband, Matt, got home, the table and stoop were hosed off and the shells discarded. Maybe there would be half a tail saved for Matt, but typically I ate the lion’s share with no regrets.
My friends continued to bring me a lobster until the end of October, maybe a few times in November. They were good men on a mission.
My daughter was born healthy, happy, round in January. I read somewhere that nursing mothers should not eat shellfish. If there was a ban on shellfish for pregnant women I missed it, or, more likely, ignored it.
When my daughter Sara’s first birthday arrived, I bought Matt and I a frozen lobster tail to celebrate. Sara, who was proving to be a picky eater, ate her favorite food, pastina. A frozen lobster tail is not the same as a freshly caught whole lobster. It was a very cold January in 1984, and a whole lobster was prohibitively expensive.
Matt put a small piece of lobster on Sara’s high chair tray. Surprisingly, she put it in her mouth and ate it. With eyes wide open and little hands reaching out, she called out, “More!” Sara ate the lion’s share of that lobster tail.
Sara and Lobster
Despite Sara’s now grown-up food preferences and limitations, she has never passed up a lobster carnage opportunity.
©Antoinette Truglio Martin 2018
About Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer
Antoinette Martin believed herself to be a healthy and sturdy woman—that is, until she received a Stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis. Cancer is scary enough for the brave, but for a wimp like Martin, it was downright terrifying. Martin had to swallow waves of nausea at the thought of her body being poisoned, and frequently fainted during blood draws and infusions. To add to her terror, cancer suddenly seemed to be all around her. In the months following her diagnosis, a colleague succumbed to cancer, and five of her friends were also diagnosed.
Though tempted, Martin knew she could not hide in bed for ten months. She had a devoted husband, daughters, and a tribe of friends and relations. Along with work responsibilities, there were graduations, anniversaries, and roller derby bouts to attend, not to mention a house to sell and a summer of beach-bumming to enjoy. In order to harness support without scaring herself or anyone else, she journaled her experiences and began to e-mail the people who loved her: the people she called My Everyone. She kept them informed and reminded all to ‘hug everyone you know’ at every opportunity. Reading the responses became her calming strategy. Ultimately, with the help of her community, Martin found the courage within herself to face cancer with perseverance and humor.
One of the reviews for the book
I had the good fortune to read parts of this wonderful memoir when I was in the same MFA program with Annette at Stony Brook. Returning to the completed manuscript holds extra joy as I read not only the remarkable journey of surviving breast cancer, but I also smiled with pride in seeing this book in print. Annette’s gregarious, kind, soul shows through on every page as she puts the “e” in epistolary writing, using emails with her “everyone” to chart the path and show the importance on our loved ones on such complicated trajectories. While I haven’t lived through a cancer diagnosis, I have been living with HIV for nearly half my life and I so appreciate the raw, throbbing honesty coupled with the (in my opinion) essential gallows humor needed to survive the unimaginable. I very much enjoyed this memoir and recommend it for anyone who wants a closer look at the strength of a woman forging forward into the unknown of disease, armed with her everyone, humor and determination to prevail. Brava!!
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hug-Everyone-You-Know-Community-ebook/dp/B07415341C/
Read more reviews and follow Antoinette on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1627878.Antoinette_Truglio_Martin
About Antoinette Truglio Martin
Antoinette Truglio Martin is a speech therapist and special education teacher by training but really wants to be a writer when she grows up. She has been collecting, writing, and fashioning stories forever. Over the years Antoinette had been a regular columnist in local periodicals and had several essays featured in newsletters and literary reviews. Her children’s picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup was published in 1993 (Albert Whitman Co.). Antoinette’s memoir, Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer (She Writes Press 2017), chronicles her first year battling breast cancer as a wimpy patient. She proudly holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Stony Brook/Southampton University (2016).
Connect to Antoinette.
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AntoinetteTruglioMartin2017/
My thanks to Antoinette for allowing me to share her posts from the archives and I hope you will head over to enjoy further. Thanks Sally.