Sea Cucumber & Sea Urchin

Sea Cucumber
Sea Urchin

I am the proud recipient of some fresh echinoderms from a surfer/diver friend of mine. They come from around the islands off the coast of Southern California. They make wonderful photography subjects, don't you think?

I adore uni, so I am tempted to eat the sea urchin roe with a squeeze of lemon juice, maybe with sushi rice and nori, just like at the sushi bar.

But this euphemistically named sea cucumber is a whole 'nother animal. It is kinda scary, even for me, and I am anything but squeamish with food. After looking at recipes on the internet in brown sauce and braised with mushrooms, I think the unfortunate fate of this creature will be the same as Psychgrad's lemon cake.

And as if to add insult to injury I found this on line: Sea cucumbers are sausage shaped, and their skin is covered with warty bumps. When threatened, cucumbers can contract their muscles and shoot out water from their body making them thicker and harder. For this, they are considered an aphrodisiac. Yikes.