Sunday, March 6, 2016

Flashback Food: Beach Fresh Oysters

I wrote the beginnings of this story while recently attending a food writing workshop, led by Molly Wizenberg. I hope you find it entertaining, please let me know in the comments if you do!!

Weekends are precious pockets of time, especially reserved to spend together. Usually it is the only time we have to really connect, and adventure (more importantly!). I learn the most from him when I'm outside my comfort zone. And this day was no different. 

We packed into his brother's car and headed towards the peninsula. I looked up and realized we were crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. I secretly hate this bridge. My mind always flashes to this black and white image of the bridge rocking and rolling to the typical whipping wind known to plague the area. Right before the image fades, the bridge collapses into the cold sound below. 

So instead, I looked up at the arches and the rain dotted windshield to keep my mind occupied on something less morbid. 

I kept saying loud affirmations in my head to pump myself up, because soon I'd be on a beach gulping down my very first fresh oyster. And then I took a picture to post to Instagram. If the whole internet world knew that this about to happen, then I couldn't wuss out. 

We kept traveling, and the more we passed turnoffs that look reasonable enough to stop at, the more anxious I became. "Where are we going? Does he actually remember how to get there?" ... I get super judgmental when I'm nervous...

"I don't do things like this", I thought to myself, "He and I are so different. What is his family going to think of me?" And then we turned.

We finally get to the intended beach, the one he has been going to since he was very little. It's different than I expected. There are patches of grass and the parking lot feels like it's practically on top of the sand. As we wait for his parents, I start reading all of the warning signs posted around the lot. 


Yikes. My mind immeadiately goes to the thoughtful advice of my grandmother, "Why dig it up yourself when someone else already has done it for you?" That's the kind of philosophy my family lives by. But me? NO. I'm going to do this. I'm going to be different. Let's get started before I run back to the car and lock the doors. 

Everyone is accounted for, I grab my blue Northface, and we head down to the grey, gritty beach. His parents set out deep buckets and short shovels, shuckers, and extra water. And then they sat down on the smallest stools I had ever seen. The scene is simple and quiet, but my insides are bursting loudly still with random thoughts and fears. I'm completely out of place. But before I can dwell in self-pity for too long, he hands me a shovel and points me to a mud puddle where we will start digging. Between the ocean air and the heavy lifting, I feel covered in salt. Though the rangers back at the parking lot told us that this year's harvest was lack luster, we were making a good haul. 

I must have lost track of time, because all of a sudden his uncle was looking at me. His eyes tell me, "It's time." He's holding three shucked, wiggly oysters and one of them is for me. Excited and disgusted, I hold the bumpy grey shell and stare at its pale, slimy insides. "BOTTOMS UP!", he said. I closed my eyes and let the animal slide down my throat. I did it, I made it. 



  • 1 awesome boyfriend + family
  • 1 beach with oysters planted (for Washingtonians, find a beach here)
  • 1 freshly dug up oyster, shucked
Drive to the beach with shuckers, shovels, and courage in tow. Get out of the car and walk yourself to the beach, with the tools previously listed in hand. Find a puddle with a shell sticking out of it, and start digging. 

Clean the shell in a deep bucket of water. Grab your shucker and pop that baby open. Look at your boyfriend, close your eyes, and gulp it down. Oysters come freshly seasoned with salt water from the ocean. 


Follow by email below, and never miss a beat :) 
More stories like this to come!


No comments:

Post a Comment

what did you like about this post? what would you add? did you try it? I want to know!