28 February 2008

Oysters

These oysters are at the edge of the river that runs past where I work.

For an attempt at scale, that tiny island of mud with the plant growing out of it is also visible as a black dot near the bottom middle of the picture on the right.

In coastal Georgia, we eat these things in regular outdoorsy parties called Oyster Roasts. First we shovel them onto a low metal table over a bonfire, cover them with burlap, and hose water on them to keep them wet while they're roasting. Then we shovel them onto high wooden tables (high, because we eat standing up) which are outfitted with oyster knives, shrimp cocktail sauce (red, tomato-based, halfway between salsa and tomato ketchup and nothing like either one), and lots and lots of paper towels. If we're being upscale, there's a big hole in the middle of the table with a trash can underneath. It's sandy and sticky and lots of fun.

(Picture on right was cropped from a picture taken by a coworker.)

23 comments:

Janiece Murphy said...

It sounds like fun, although I don't care much for oysters. :-)

Megadeus said...

I understand that oysters are INSANELY full of cholesterol.

John the Scientist said...

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.


"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.

;-)

Tom said...

Any receipe that starts with "get a shovel" isn't one I'm going to be big on. :)

And I'm not much into seafood. Growing up in the desert, seafood was fish sticks or tuna. The rest just wasn't much available. Give me a good steak, anytime.

Shawn Powers said...

I just don't think I could eat an oyster. I mean, they're just... well... too "oyster-like"

And as far as them being an aphrodisiac? WTF? "Hey, baby.. *HOCKING SOUND* *PTOOEY* -- does that do it for ya?"

Michelle K said...

Shawn,

I believe that it's the... err... (ahem) slurping action that is supposed to... umm.... (blushing) remind one of something. Not the oyster itself.

There was something on the radio recently about filling in missing sound for old movies(here), and there was a scene in the old movie Spartacus that had been cut out, because one character is asking the other if they like snails or oysters or both, meaning did they guy like guys or gals or both.

Well, anyway, you can listen if you like. It was an interesting segment about doing voice recovery for movies.

The oysters bit was just extra.

Shawn Powers said...

Well in that case, people are just silly. I can think of many more "exciting" food eating for both genders than slurping a friggen booger in a shell. :)

Unless I'm doing it drastically wrong. !!!

And they give SOUP to homeless people!?!?! Do they KNOW what that will lead to?

hehehehehe

Michelle K said...

Shawn,
As to if you're doing it wrong--you'll have to take that up with your wife. ;)

Shawn Powers said...

LOL! Fair enough, but no on is going to convince me that the post-oyster puke is going to score me any romance points...

Nathan said...

I'll join the non-oyster eatin' contingency.

But I would suggest Shawn might like them with a generous dusting of cinnamon.

MWT said...

You guys are all wimps. :p

What if I hid chicken livers in yours, Nathan? Would that help?

Michelle K said...

Mmmm.... I had a fried oyster sandwich for dinner!

Yummy!

vince said...

Michelle, most experts believe that oysters were originally considered an aphrodisiac because of their shape. They somewhat resemble the female sex organ.

However, oysters are a healthy food that are rich in phosphorus, iodine, zinca and protein. Zinc controls progesterone levels, which have a positive effect on the libido. I like fried oysters with a nice chardonnay.

Yes, I have a brain stuffed full of useless information unless I'm playing Trivial Pursuit. And let's hear it for Lewis Carroll.

Jeri said...

Mmm, I love oysters, one of my favorite forms of shellfish. And I live in oyster grand central here, with the Hood Canal and San Juan island farms. My favorite lunch is a really wonderful bowl of oyster stew at Sheila's Bay Cafe down at the marina. :)

I'm not as crazy about them raw, either, but love them roasted, baked, smoked, or pan fried.

brenda013 said...

Having read MWT's description of preparing and eating oysters and then the audience getting pulled off on to a related subject dearer to their hearts, I managed to retain enough coherence to come back to writing a description of watching Marylanders eating crabs. The long table is covered with newspaper. There are sundry little wooden hammers and metal nut crackers scattered about. A huge basket of steamed crabs is dumped in the middle of the table and there are bowls of melted butter. Then everybody tucks in, hammering away at claws and legs and ripping the underside of the crabs out in a very scientifically accurate way to get at ALL of the meat.

Michelle K said...

Vince,

Er... yes. That's what I was trying not to say.

And Brenda, you missed the most important part, which is that crab feasts can go on for hours. Not only are the crabs thoroughly dissembled, but, the participants will sit there for hours and hours until the entire bushel is gone.

(My dad's family is from Baltimore, so I've participated in several of these.)

And I don't like eating any raw creatures. The idea of it freaks me out the same way eating meat bothers me.

Nathan said...


What if I hid chicken livers in yours, Nathan?


Ehhh, No. The raw ones remind me of nothing but sea snot. And the cooked ones make me think of chicken liver already...only it's been left in the sun for a few days.

Sry.

MWT said...

Newspapers?? Phhht. Our tables are lucky special laminated tables, and we hose them down when we're done. Much better than newspapers, which would just get soggy and make a mess that you'd have to clean up anyway. (With a hose!)

Oyster roasts are all-evening parties as well. The ones I've been to are also potlucks, so people who don't like oysters have plenty to eat too. ;)

We have seafood restaurants here where they serve all sorts of shellfish as well as oysters. (On laminated tables with holes in the middle. And coldwater sinks at regular intervals in the dining room.) There's one with a nice salt marsh view, Crab Shack, that has as its motto "Where the elite eat in their bare feet."

I love crabs too, by the way. (Step one: turn crab over and insert thumb under the little triangle that counts as a tail... ) Though usually I get tired of breaking them apart after the first three or four.

Michelle K said...

MWT,

Without newspapers the Old Bay gets into everything and the picnic table is stained with it for years.

MWT said...

So... no lucky special tables that are trotted out especially for the express purpose of eating shellfish?

Anne C. said...

I'm with Jeri. I like oysters, but prefer them smoked. I went to Savannah two years ago and made sure to try fried oysters -- tasty, but fried food is not my favorite. I've also tried them raw, but it was here in a landlocked state, which is, I understand, not the best place to try them.
Now crab, that's good eats (though I'm a bit squidgy about eating something that looks like it did when it was alive).

MWT said...

Yeah, the Deep South is quite fond of deep frying things. Not so good if you're not big on deep-fried, as I'm not either. If you ever come back to Savannah, try out the Crab Shack. I can make other restaurant recommendations too. (Or for that matter, come with you. ;) )

Anne C. said...

I'd love to. It's a really beautiful city. And how can I turn down the Crab Shack? Mmmmmm!