‘Tis the Season.

Well it is here, it’s Thanksgiving and I thought it might round out the feast to have some local oysters, enough for a few raw and a few fritters and enough to make some oyster stuffing for the turkey tomorrow.    We are seating twelve.

So yesterday afternoon my neighbour and I set off down to the local dock, (about three miles) and waited for the oyster boats to come in. There was no shortage of choice, a couple of the boats were loaded with oysters to the point of foundering.  30 minutes later we had two bushels of fine bay oysters split between three large coolers and were back home in the small shed making sure they passed our rigid quality standard, two dozen or so later they were judged plenty adequate and have been iced down awaiting a major shuck in the morning.

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One of the few big advantages of living in the wilderness, guaranteed off-the-boat fresh oysters for $50 per bushel (about $0.30 each).

Author: Low Wattage

Expat Welshman, educated (somewhat) in UK, left before it became fashionable to do so. Now a U.S. Citizen, and recent widower, playing with retirement and house remodeling, living in Delaware and rural Maryland (weekends).

20 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season.”

  1. LW, delicious! Oysters here are about 10 kroner each – call that $0.60 cents, of which 12 cents are sales tax. Fishfolk here expect to earn the same as brain surgeons – so that accounts for the rest of the surcharge!

  2. I hope you enjoy your oysters, LW.

    I really don’t like them much, and although I keep trying them, I feel that at the price they are here, it’s a bit of a waste of money.

  3. Snap!
    But about 50 cents each here because I can’t be bothered to go down the harbour.
    I’m smoking mine today takes the pressure off tomorrow. Turkey that it!
    Personally I think I prefer mussels which are superb here on Puget Sound and only $2.99/lb in the shops.
    I had fresh pink salmon that I prefer for fish cakes for $1.99/lb this year, a ridiculous price, they have had a glut and the canners can’t cope. I took 6, keeps me in fish cakes for a year. The freezers are so full that I am now storing food up the road with friends. Won’t turn anything away cheap, fresh and good to eat!
    Still eating fresh veg from the garden, leeks, sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage and chard.
    I totally fail to understand all these people moaning and bitching about food prices, they have the remedy in their own hands. Grow it instead of eating crap.

    PS You never did say how long you were out of electricity from the storm?

  4. Evening CO: Not into mussels personally, crabs, clams and oysters. Would love to get really fresh salmon here at any price, best we can do is Costco, whole sides run about $12 but typically only about three pounds and mostly farmed at that.

    We were off grid for about three days (Monday pm thru late Thursday) no real damage here (nothing like North Jersey and NYC).

    Have a happy turkey day.

  5. Janus :

    LW, delicious! Oysters here are about 10 kroner each – call that $0.60 cents, of which 12 cents are sales tax. Fishfolk here expect to earn the same as brain surgeons – so that accounts for the rest of the surcharge!

    Oops, did my sums wrong (excuse: pre-Blighty-excitey). The real conversion is $1.75 per oyster!! See what I mean about sea-borne brain surgeons?

  6. Thanks to all for good wishes.

    Re. Oysters, my other neighbour dropped by last night after work and we managed to dispose of three or four dozen as an aperitif.

    Janus: $1.75 per is more than a restaurant would charge here (typically $12-$15 per dozen) and at $260 per bushel, I would not be eating many, even at Thanksgiving.

  7. 8 am here, turkey installed in smoker, all on beam, did a lot of cooking yesterday.
    Thank you for the good wishes, I generally restrain myself to giving thanks for escaping the UK tax man!

    Re shellfish upsetting people, especially when you buy them in shops and they have been out of the water 1/3 days. To put it bluntly they are still alive and crapping in their shells (so would you be!) They need to be purged before use but people just won’t /don’t do it.
    Wash them in fresh water several times until the water is reasonably clear. Make enough salt water to cover them with sea salt with no iodine added. taste til roughly like sea water. Sprinkle a pinch of fine to medium oatmeal over the bowl. Leave for several hours, if you observe them they will open their shells to exchange water, excretions and to test the oatmeal for food. The water will become really quite dirty. Do not leave more than 5/6 hours. If you need them later rinse again and put in bowl covered with a damp cloth in the bottom of the fridge.
    Once purged like this the likelihood of them upsetting you is very much smaller if not none at all.
    We had fried oysters last night with no ill effects and have either oysters or mussels once a week or so throughout the winter months, never once had a real gut problem but then I purge them like a religion. I never eat them out as I don’t trust restaurants to do the job properly if at all!

    It never fails to stagger me how humanity seems to know so very little about the most important thing in life, ie their own sustenance!

  8. Just treated husband to a crab lunch, supplemented by a couple of oysters for me. I never serve oysters but do follow the method Christina mentions for mussels, as recommended by Julia Childs, the American cookery writer.

  9. It works for oysters too, did it last week, but you have to watch their shells can be very sharp! I make spousal unit open them, one of HIS jobs! My union says!!!

  10. CO: Oysters and clams, If they are around more than a day I purge them. I use water softener salt in water, cheap and certainly no Iodides, three five gallon pails steeping as we speak. Sea water is just about saturated with salt so I just make it up with excess salt, sometimes you can see them spitting out the silt. I don’t trust the markets or restaurants to do it right either.

  11. bleuebelle :

    I love oysters… squirt some fresh lemon, close eyes and swallow.

    ~

    Bleuebelle, when I lived in QLD the accepted oyster dish seemed to be raw and achingly fresh on ice with a dip of red wine vinegar. And absolutely delicious they were too – every time.

    I like mussels as I enjoy any other bivalve – simply steamed in white wine with a few garlics and a handful of chopped coriander

    OZ

  12. That sounds good; love Mussels as well. In France they say you have to keep oysters in ice and eat them within hours. I suppose the thought of a live, wriggling thing sliding down your throat is a tad reminiscent of I’m a Celebrity, but it does not bother me.

  13. Well thank God that is over for another year, I’m exhausted. I shall do sod all today except clear up.
    At least we get a return match at Christmas, as we go to them! Smoking turkeys rather than roasting them is extremely tricky for timing as the temp of the day has to be taken into account, a lot of jimmying of the heat settings, all was well though but somewhat nerve racking, that was on for NINE hours!

    OZ I think that you would be advises to add a shallot or small onion finely chopped and fried just soft in butter at first then add white wine and garlic! Personally I think coriander is a little too strong a flavour have you tried fresh parsley instead? Sometimes I use fresh parsley and some coriander or dill together to achieve a more subtle flavouring.

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