#okc, date night, Eating local, Friends Night out, Fundraisers, OKC Events, wine

The “Maine” Event

Living in Oklahoma, I don’t get the opportunity to indulge in fresh lobster often. When I say “fresh” I am not talking about Red Lobster or supermarket lobster. I am talking about Maine lobster.  So when a friend told me about this once-a-year event, I knew I needed to go!

The Maine Event, which was held at Dunlap Codding, is an annual event hosted by the Onward Oklahoma Foundation.  This is the main (“Maine”) fundraising event that benefits Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, a non-profit organization that gives neglected and abused children in Oklahoma County free legal representation.  This struck very close to my heart for many reasons.  If I could benefit a non-profit organization that helped kids as well as feast on the delicious roaches of the sea, then I was all in.

What makes this event unique is that the lobster is usually caught fresh off the shores of Maine, flown in, and served to the patrons fresh. This year, I hear they had to have it specially shipped, but I am not one to snub the transportation of the sweet meat. Not only did they bring Maine lobster, but also wild Maine blueberries, Maine Shipyard beer, and Cold River Blueberry Vodka, also from Maine. They went full-throttle Maine.

After a long week from work, I was anxious to put on a cute sun dress, some makeup and take my hot date out with me to this special event.  We arrived on time, looking sharp, and ready to chow down. I fasted for the majority of the day, minus a protein smoothie I had around lunch time. My dress was flowy, which meant room for expansion.

Upon entering, we were warmly greeted with a blueberry mimosa cocktail which was made with fresh Maine blueberries.  It didn’t take me long to sip that sweet and sparkling concoction down while on the way to our seats.  This event was set up outside on the patio with white linen tablecloths and misting fans to keep us cool.  The way the patio is situated, though, the 7:00 PM  sun was just behind the west building, which shielded us from the hell-fire glare.

Once my mimosa was sucked down, I made my way to the bar, where I got one of their blueberry mules made with the Cold River Blueberry Vodka and topped with Maine blueberries. This drink was tangy and the vodka finished with a hint of blueberry.  In my opinion, they needed to add about twice the vodka to this mule. It was tasty, but you could not feel the liquor.  On a sultry, summery night in July, keep the drinks cold and cunning and the dollars will be spent during for auction. 

While patiently waiting for the lobsters to be served, I observed the event space with curious eyes.  Dunlap Codding is a patent attorney office by day and is a great place to host an event such as this after hours.  The courtyard/patio is divided into 3 sections. There are 2 sides, separated by a narrow deck with a steel pergola. Just inside, there is a small kitchen area and island for food set up and preparation.  The food was set up on a runway table in the middle.  Signs lead guests to restrooms to ensure they didn’t get lost into someone’s cubicle. I have been to two events here and each has been cozy and nice.

Just as the last watery sip of my blueberry mule hit my tongue, the signal for the lobster was sent. We saw people with lobster plates, and we made our way to get in line before the others caught on.  Master Chef was at the head of the runway tables chopping and serving up the whole lobsters. His chef knife slipped below the rubber band on the claws, freeing them of their captivity. Along with the lobster was fresh corn and potatoes, drawn butter, cheeses, and sausages. I swiped a snazzy plastic lobster bib and made my way hungrily to the table. Magically, a glass of white wine appeared in front of me, and I was set.

Some people act civilized and proper when eating lobster. In the past, I have done this on a cruise, when the server cracks and de-shells everyone’s lobsters. his This night though, wasn’t like my past cruise-ship experiences. My man and I tied our bibs around our necks. I pulled out my best clip to knot my hair up into a messy bun. Phong, my loving and always-prepared boyfriend, gifted me with some rubber gloves he had brought from the house. It was time for the journey of wiping this lobster clean of any meat inside that beautiful red shell.

The sounds of laughter and clinking of glasses could be heard. It was just background noise as I ripped through the claws and tail, challenging myself to pull out the biggest piece of meat possible without breakage. I succeeded multiple times. My gloves were slick from the buttery meats I was devouring. I wanted to honor this tasty lobster for its life and death. I wanted to make sure that he was not wasted. I surprised myself at how well I cleaned the shells. It was definitely the tastiest bit of protein I had in ages. It made me long for the ocean and all its salty sands.

While I was discarding my now-destroyed rubber gloves, the auction began.  This auction had multiple donations, 2 trips, jewelry, and so forth. Thousands of dollars were raised and matched for this much needed non-profit.  It was great seeing the community support the abused and neglected children. As the auctioneer did his thing, a server was coming around with fresh blueberry cobbler and whipped cream. I have heard epic tales of this legendary blueberry cobbler, so I got my napkin ready.  It’s really hard to gobble up blueberry cobbler while an auctioneer is trying to look for signals for bids on items. I had to eat this dessert with caution.

The blueberry cobbler paired perfectly with my chardonnay. The cobbler was sweet and tart with a buttery crust, which complimented the bite of the chardonnay. The cobbler was very good, but it would have been heaven had it been warm. Overall, the dinner was a decadent event that was well worth the ticket price.  I can’t wait to go back again next year.

Though the Maine Event’s hook was the lobster and everything “Maine,” the real stars are the children this event is helping protect.  If you are looking for a way to give back to the community, please consider seeing how you can help Oklahoma Lawyers for Children.

Until next time, keep life zesty!

Danna

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