Sunday, August 27, 2006

Aw, Shucks! Weekend's Over

Yesterday, QB and I got up bright and early and made the long drive to Pt. Reyes. The plan was to check out the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse, pick up fresh oysters from the local oyster farm, and relax a bit at Stinson Beach. So, anyway we finally left around 9 in the morning and we arrived at the light house right around noon.

I've only been to the lighthouse once before, but this time was a lot less exciting, because this isn't the right time of the year to spot any migrating whales. We hiked to the steps leading to the lighthouse, and made our way down. That part was fine. Coming back up was a bit of a pain. I'd say that I'm slightly out of shape, and the 308 steps leading back to the top were not the easiest for me to climb. I was definitely tired and out of breath after we made it back to the top.

After our lighthouse adventure, we dropped by Drake's Oyster Farm and picked up two dozen shelled oysters and also a pint jar of oysters. The workers there packaged them all up in ice and we threw them in the car. We were both pretty excited about the oysters we'd be having later on for dinner.

The next stop was Stinson Beach, where we had a nice late afternoon lunch at the Sand Dollar Restaurant. The food was really quite good, and the seafood was fresh. QB had the fish tacos, and I had the fish and chips. Along with our food, I had an Anchor Steam, and QB had a really spicy, but refreshing, Bloody Mary. We ate outdoors where there was live music, which really added to the meal. The weather was perfect... it was actually sunny by the time we ate. Earlier at the lighthouse, the sun's rays had not yet made its way through the clouds.

When we were done, we walked around Stinson Beach a bit and enjoyed the nice weather. Finally, we headed back home. We were both ready to prepare our oyster feast.

Okay, let me say right now that I don't think I've ever shucked oysters before. If I have ever shucked them, I really don't remember. I should have read a bit about shucking oysters before I started, but I didn't. In case any of you have never shucked oysters and are planning on doing so, I suggest checking out the video found in this link first. I wish I had seen it before I tried.

So, to make a long story short, QB and I opened up our oysters from the lip. You're supposed to do it from the hinge. We did manage to get them all open and everything was fine from there, but it was a serious effort and a potentially dangerous one. I was lucky to have escaped with only 2 cuts on my thumb. The oysters were very live and they were really fighting to keep themselves closed. I remember trying to rip open one of them that was particularly strong, and I ended up breaking the top shell in two pieces. What can I say... my name is Brute Force for a reason.

Here is the mess we made after we got most the oysters opened. And, yes, that is a real Swiss Army knife you see in the picture. It turned out to be our best oyster shucking tool.

We chilled most of the oysters and ate them on the half-shell with some Tabasco sauce. QB went a bit creative with the others and baked them with a basil leaf underneath each one along with some other spices. Both the raw and cooked oysters were great tasting. After our meal, we really wish we had bought a lot more oysters.

Here are the oysters before we plopped them into the oven.

That's really all for now. And, I guess I'll conclude with a bit of my own stupidity. So, I had received this Kohl's $10 coupon card ($10 min purchase) in the mail a couple of weeks back. The card was clearly labeled that it was only good from August 18-26. I finally got off my butt today and went to Kohl's. I got myself a set of 4 nice dinner plates (the square kinds), and when I get to the register, I'm informed that today is the 27th. That was a nice $10 mistake. Whoops.

1 comment:

FaNTaSyLiLy said...

"Slightly out of shape" is an absurd term when the old man who climbed the stairs didn't even pant like you did. haha.. You forgot to mention how I taught you how to kill the oysters so they stopped fighting back. =P hehe..