Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Tools of the Trade

The only thing missing is the oysters.  But they will be there later when a friend and I go to visit Betty, still recovering from a massive stroke.
One of my favorite treats growing up was to get a half bushel of Apalachicola oysters at 2 cents apiece and take them home to shuck them.  I got to be really good at it, learning just where to insert the oyster knife.  We made oyster stew and ate them raw and they were great.
Today oysters cost a whole lot more, but they are just as much a treat.  I don’t often have the opportunity to shuck them, but today I will.  A choir friend and I are taking oysters for a happy hour with Betty, who still struggles just to stand up, her left side having been paralyzed with a stroke last Spring.  I’m taking 2 oyster knives in case one of them wants the experience of popping open a bivalve.
I also made mignonette sauce, which Betty far prefers over the red cocktail sauce.  It seems so elegant to be dipping a slimy oyster in a sauce made from Champagne vinegar and shallots.  
It’s really not just about eating oysters, but rather a way to stay connected to someone whose world seems to have slipped away somewhat.  I’m sure she had high hopes of resuming her normally busy life after the stroke occurred.  But sometimes life has other plans for us.  I will periodically remind myself to stop by to see Betty, with or without oysters!


Blogger Steve Reed said...

I'm glad you're there to provide oyster-shucking instruction -- it can be hazardous business! I hope you and Betty enjoy them. :)

1:16 PM  
Blogger bulletholes said...

I wrote about oysters a few weeks ago... my take is a little different, but it is as you have to know where to put the knife!

I used to have to shuck a lot of oysters.
I used to say it was relaxing.

The trick is to keep them cold with lots of ice.
Try not to speak loudly or disturb them as you shuck.
You want them to think they are still safe at the bottom of the bay when you stick the knife in.
If you will do that for them they will open right up for you.
They been waiting all their lives for this right here.
Them staying all shut up won’t get you a dinner.
Staying all shut up won’t get you a pearl.
They want you to see.
We are all just shells.
And it’s the rain that makes us perfect.

3:17 PM  

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