Basically, we ate oysters. Lot’s of them. Everyday.
‘Cuz we was staying only a few miles from the town of Oysterville, WA and it just seemed like the right thing to do.
And when we wuzn’t gorgin’ on bivalves, our hosts — Dennis and Connie Kennedy (Official Friends Of ELV) — made sure we feasted on the best just-off-the-boat seafood, and all the right-out-of-the-ground vegetables this bountiful area has to offer. (We also had a running debate — over dozens of bottles — on the relative merits of California versus Oregon pinot noirs, but that’s another story.)
Their beach house is located a few miles north of Long Beach, WA (“The World’s Longest Beach”), and when you walk along this thirty-mile stretch of wind-swept, hard-packed sand every morning, you can’t help but to be overwhelmed by thoughts of the awesome, relentless power of the sea. Of man versus nature, and of the inevitable, inexorable sweep of the tides, and what life and power is brought to us by it. Of how God is a sea of infinite substance,* and how “The sea never changes and its works, for all the talk of men, are wrapped in mystery.”**
But mostly, we just thought about lunch.
Most days consisted of cruising by Green Angel Gardens — run by a farmer of one — and having him pick our produce right from the ground. Then it was off to Jessie’s Seafood Market in the megalopolis of Ilwaco, WA (pop. 950), for some fresh caught, snow white halibut and salmon, and then up to Oysterville for a few bags of kumamotos and Willapa Bay beauties (Crassostrea Gigas).
The inland bay/estuary that those ers-ters come from is so huge you can’t see across it, and the whole freaking thing empties and fills up with six feet of brackish water twice a day — making it the perfect breeding ground for these bivalves.
Rather than endure the frustration (and scarred knuckles) of shucking, we threw them on a very hot Weber grill, and let Mother Nature pop them open. It takes about a minute (if the fire is hot enough), and is the perfect, lazy man’s way to appreciate all of their sweet and salty goodness.
And rather than bore you with a blow by blow of what a good and tasty time we had, we’ll let our tasty snaps speak for themselves.
* St. John of Damascus – De Fide Orthodoxa
** Joseph Conrad – Typhoon