Saturday, January 02, 2010

Roysters Ockefeller

Prior to moving to this valley, I spent my life within smell of the ocean. (For the record, it appears the world falls into two categories: those of us who inhale the odours of low tide and think "home" and the rest of you.) My dear mother-in-law gave The Sr Boy a small piece of property on an island and we and The Jrs were blessed with beaches to walk and tide pools to explore. We ate The Best BBQ Salmon in the World (tm) as made by Himself over a fire of thick chunks of Douglas fir bark but, as we were always there in R-less months, we left the oysters on the beach alone. Shells were gathered, though, and sit on window sills and the deck in this dry climate. Occasionally one gets broken and then I bury it in the garden and think of the consternation of future archaeologists.

We also left the oysters alone because I couldn't stand them: all that creamy, grayish, green slime smirking at me once a shell was wrested open, barnacles biting my fingers and leaving cuts that took forever to heal, the very idea of them sliding down my throat was gag-inducing. I'm the same about clams even though they are easier to open: must be the colour ..... or maybe the slimyness..... Whatever it was, it didn't bother The Sr Boy at all: he would eat them any time someone would prepare them. As I didn't, he was left to his own devices which usually meant Special Occasions. Such as New Years. At friends.

On Thursday afternoon, I found myself at the fishmongers knowing I would be buying salmon for New Year's Day and thinking I was buying shrimp and scallops for New Year's Eve. Such things don't cost as much when shopping for one. I had plans for a nice viognier or maybe a split of champagne.

Somehow, I left with salmon and two Oysters Rockefeller, oysters harvested from our island.

At midnight, I ate the second one. They tasted of the ocean, like going home.

Next year, I'll get six.

Blessings be.

Still breathing.


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