Oysterfest

What I wouldn’t give to dunk my head in a bucket of ice water.  The mercury is rising and I have no respite from from the heat. Being the experienced SF denizen that I am, I know quite well that this is just a tease. There’s rain on the horizon but you wouldn’t know it from all the shirtless guys preening around town the past few days.  Can’t fault them for wanting to soak up some color. Nothing is quite blinding than pallid white skin.

So anyways Nutmeg and I are enjoying our days of leisure (read: no job) and decided took a drive up to Tomales Bay on Thursday to get some fresh oysters since this is the last month that you can safely eat them. I’m not the expert here but I’ve been told many a times that it’s safe to eat oysters in any month that has an “r” in it.  It’s a convenient reminder to enjoy those bivalves when the water is still cool and they less likely to kill you.  I’m sure there are other safe sources for oysters year round, I just tend to avoid them entirely.

There are two oyster farms up PCH, Hog Island Oyster Company and Tomales Bay and we ended up at the latter because it was the first one we found.  The drive was gorgeous, speckled with new grass, wildflowers, and an assorted menagerie of cows and their new calves. I would have taken pictures but I was too busy concentrating on avoiding motion sickness through the windy road.  Buying oysters at the source was really cheap. About $32 or so for fifty oysters, compared to the large three digit number you would normally shell out at a restaurant for the same.  We came back with our haul, invited B and L over and methodically worked on reducing the pile of oysters.

I discovered that I am a lot better at eating oysters than I am shucking them. I gratefully deferred the work to Nutmeg and B and instead made some pasta with kabocha squash and caramelized onion to temper the effect of eating raw oysters.  There can be too much of a good thing sometimes and given the incredible weekend I had planned, there was no way I was going to make myself sick and miss out on it. The oysters were deliciously cool and sweet. We attacked them like savages, thinking we would demolish the oyster population on my countertop but in the end, there were still about 8 or 9 left when we surrendered. I know, it was folly to think we could finish them all amongst just the four of us.  Just as well, I shucked them tonight and made them the centerpiece of a supple and silky chawan mushi.

pasta with kabocha

tomales bay oysters

Don’t they look scandalously delicious, all glistening with their own liqueur? East coasters, come visit me in September and I’ll share the experience with you. And yes Chairman Uy, I did have them with the Rosato from Valley of the Moon and it paired very well. Thank you for the wine!

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