When I was little, a summertime visit to my grandmother's house, outside of Boston, usually involved what she termed a "New England boiled supper." This was pretty much exactly what it sounds like and the kids' job was to shuck the corn. This we did while sitting outside on the bulkhead with paper grocery bags for the corn husks and silk.
It was not as easy a job as it sounds, particularly because my grandfather was known for his unusual love of corn and often ate at least ten ears in a sitting. This took patience and skill and A LONG TIME.
While my brother, cousins and I struggled with the corn outside, my mother and grandmother prepared the rest of the meal: steamers (boiled clams) and broth as a first course, boiled potatoes (predictably unexciting), and lobster. As soon as the corn was ready, it was boiled too. Nana always put a splash of milk in the water to sweeten the corn and once the water was boiling, the corn took twelve minutes to cook.
Remember the lobster scene in Annie Hall? When the lobster crawls behind the refrigerator? That would be my scenario. But I do love lobster, and accept that I am a big hypocrite about the whole food chain thing.
These days, I am an official lobster wimp. We buy the lobsters from our local lobster pound in Maine (which is only open seasonally and if you sleep in one day, you've missed the season) and enjoy them either on their wooden picnic tables or at home.
The other night, we had steamers and lobsters (cooked for us) with melted butter, and fresh green salad. With a glass of crisp white wine, it was one of the best meals I've ever had. Nana and Woody Allen would have enjoyed it too.