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Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Feb 25, 2013

The OTHER World We Live In

The Big Guy and I did our first dive many, many moons ago in Hawaii.  We were instantly hooked and came home, high on compressed air and then immediately signed up for scuba lessons.

This was in the 80's (you can tell by my hair, right?) and we were living in Montana, which you know has the crème de la crème of dive sites ~ NOT, so when it came time to do our open water certification we got to go the beautiful coughbullshitcough Colstrip surge pond where the visibility barely exceeds the distance between your eyeballs and your mask. 

We were doing our underwater skills and all was going pretty well until it came time to do the buddy breathe test. The Big Guy gave me the “out of air” signal; I took three big deep breaths and handed the regulator over to him, but somehow he had ended up on my right (read: wrong) side (this was back in the days before regulators swiveled) which meant that we fumbled the regulator because I handed it to him upside down. By the time he got it and took what appeared to be five hundred breaths (his side of the story is that he got only one breath) I ripped the regulator back out of his mouth and began sucking air at a rate usually only seem when one is breathing into a paper bag.
     With both of my hands firmly cupped around the reg, he signaled for me to give it back to him. I shook my head no. He signaled me again. I couldn’t exactly tell him that I had just made the executive decision that we were no longer buddies, so I gave him the finger, which in turn triggered a tug of war for MY regulator.  When I saw his eyes bulging I finally handed it over. 

Big took about five hundred more breaths (he claims he got only a half a breath) before I pried it out of his soon to be cold, dead fingers.   
     Pete, our instructor was giving me the palms-up-WTF-look. I gave him back my death stare, then The Big Guy and I yanked and pulled and fought over MY regulator all the way to the surface.
     Somehow we managed to get certified, probably because of my death stare and Pete knew I had a brand spankin’ new yellow dive knife to match my yellow fins, yellow mask and snorkel and he didn’t want to see me go postal. By the time the certification card came in the mail The Big Guy was speaking to me again.

So here we are many happy dives later and there has not been one fight over air.

Banded Shrimp
We spent the past week in St. Croix where we did a night dive at the Fredrikstead pier. The pilings are encrusted with sponges and coral and there are hundreds of fish that live there. Seeing the nocturnal sea life is quite different from diving in the daytime. Fish and turtles really do sleep at night; octopuses and seahorses come out of hiding and the eels still look pissed off ~ day or night. Below is a green Moray; he was about the size of my thigh ~ if I were on steroids.

We woke up this little porcupine fish; it just opened it's eyes for a second then went back to sleep.  We call this fish the "Gracie fish" because it looks just like Gracie, don't you think?


Below is a spotted Moray eel. Creeeeeeepy! Looks like snake...or maybe a purse with matching wallet and a belt, depending on how one looks at it. Check out the trunkfish in the background.

 You never think of starfish as moving. They always seem so stiff and brittle, but these are some spiny starfish that were shucking and jiving and hip-hopping all over the place. (Authors Note: Just because I used the phrase "shucking and jiving" doesn't make me a racist, so hold those angry comments or I'll think you are one. Jeeze, everyone is sooooo sensitive these days.)

Coral takes on a different vibrant color at night when lit up with a flashlight. It really is a spectacular sight. Do you see the crab in the picture below?

I never tire of swimming with the turtles. These big lumbering creatures seem anything but graceful when they are on land, but in the water they glide weightless and effortlessly, as if they were in space. This guy was sleeping when we approached. He checked us out but never even moved and we were within two feet of him. 

Ok, here is the MAIN reason I went on this dive....I wanted to see a seahorse and our dive guide delivered in duplicate.  We saw TWO of them, up close and personal!  They are sooooo cute, ♥ me some seahorses!

And this dear people is what a little bit of heaven must look like, minus someones fins of course. This sea fan was huge and perfect and brilliantly purple.

The Big Guy and I have been diving together since 1985 and this...THIS is a special, breathtaking world to behold!  We will always be dive buddies, I'll even share my air now.

Feb 10, 2013

Why You Can't Name a Lobster

Here in the British Virgin Islands we have plenty of opportunities to eat fresh lobster.  The island of Anegada is known for its spiny Caribbean lobsters as much as it is for their beautiful beaches. That means that every trip to Anegada includes dining on the freshest lobster in the islands.  They serve up the whole thing ~ split in half and grilled, with not nearly enough melted butter.

Grilled Anegada Lobster
Confession to make:  I have NEVER cooked a whole lobster and I have no intentions of doing so.  Why, you ask?  Because if I ever bought one I wouldn't be able to stick a knife in it's head nor drop it into a pot of boiling water. Mess with my dog and I will cut you, but I can't personally kill my dinner. I'm civilized that way.
     If I ever did buy live lobsters I wouldn't be able to kill them so then I'd have to keep them in my bathtub and then I'd probably want to name them and I don't think lobsters make very good pets. Plus, there is that rule, you know the one:  you can't eat something if you name it, so for me the whole idea of buying a live lobster is as about as appealing as chewing on tinfoil.

My lobster tails ~ Somebody else did the dirty work
For that reason I don't get up close and personal with my lobsters.  I stick to buying just the tails, that's where all the goodness is anyway.
     The recipe that I'm sharing here is for a lobster salad appetizer, served with grilled sourdough. You can definitely turn this into a sandwich by adding a slice or two of tomato and maybe some avocado. Leave the bacon in strips and then put it on a good brioche and you have yourself a BLT.  (Bacon, lobster and tomato roll.)

Steamed lobster, rather than grilled (or broiled) makes for a better lobster salad so do it up that way. If you are just going to eat the tails with tons of butter and lemon, steam them until they are almost done and then pop em under the broiler for the last few minutes to finish cooking. They won't dry out as much.  Whatever you do, just DON'T name them ~ it ruins the taste.

The lobsters in this dish shall remain nameless and were not personally killed by me.  I swear they were completely dead when I sent them to the hot tub.  Click on the "Seafood" tab at the top of this page to view the recipe.