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Posts Tagged ‘Cape Cod oysters’

The oysters we had the other night in P-town were getting spawny.  It’s summer–a cool one, but still summer, so the oysters have lost their briny, idiosyncratic edge, the flavor that marks them as a certain species in a certain water.  They’ve grown flabby and creamy, inevitably fertile.  I’m glad there are cultivated things that haven’t become completely unseasonal, indistinguishable month to month.  We’ve tried to achieve it with tomatoes and strawberries, and haven’t.

I do love Wellfleet oysters, but the oysters I long for are those from Tomales Bay.  The oyster company out there in Marin County, called Hog Island after the bay island once peopled with pigs, was one of our favorite destinations in the Bay Area.  We’d park the car just off the narrow slip of road along the bay, hear the crunch of oyster shells under the tires, feel the breeze off the water, walk just a few yards to the table of sorting tubs right on the shore, and order 50 or 100, depending on who was coming over later.

Kumamotos–which fit into the circle of your hand’s ok sign–, Sweetwaters–Pacific essence…

Sometimes we’d hike, or stay over, and wade in the water on the opposite side of the long, skinny bay.

Shucking, back in our birdhouse apartment in the Berkeley hills, Peter would find an extra dozen or two.  Shhh… don’t tell!

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jack lob

We spent the Fourth weekend on the Cape, and, for me, it was an absolute festival of shellfish, topped off with a feast of fish. (More on all that to come…) We were welcomed after the long drive with an easy going dinner at a new fish joint in Provincetown—Townsend’s.  My step-father-in-law, Curtis, is a selectman in Truro, a big talker, and all around friendly guy, so of course he knew the owner.  We shared the big family table in the corner with Becky Townsend (and daughters), who had recently coordinated, with Curtis, the creation of the coolest playground we’ve ever been to, in Truro.  We ordered platefuls of the freshest local goodies around: day boat scallops, grilled and seasoned only with salt and pepper; lobster salad, fried clams, two dozen oysters—all of which had been gathered in that day.

oysters
We also had large baskets of fries, and I celebrated the summeriness of it all with a gin & soda—served, according to lobster-shack aesthetic, in a plastic cup.

On the wall behind the banquette where I sat, there were two representative family portraits.  That’s Chris, the owner, on the right, as a young guy with a huge fish.  And there on the left is his grandmother.  What style!

townsends

We got to view the seven-pounder:

lobster
The weekend was really like one long meal.  There were fresh raspberries growing in Anne & Curtis’ back yard, and we ate them with breakfast, for snacks, for dessert.  Jack ate them right off the bushes, and weighed down my colander with his little hand, like Sal and the little bear in Blueberries for Sal.

raspberries
On Friday, we had a leisurely picnic lunch with friends, finished with what was to be vanilla bean ice cream but was served as a stubbornly, meltingly delicious semi fredo.

Several hours later, after hot sun, strong wind, and frigid water at the beach, we were, miraculously, hungry again.

beach
We shared three-pound lobsters, accompanied just with butter, bread, a Boston lettuce salad, and wine.

Then we ran after fire flies, watched an episode of Wallander, and collapsed into bed with cool breezes blowing in the windows all night.  I love pulling up the covers on a cool summer night.

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