I have two things I’m quite proud of in this life. One is introducing Kristi to oysters, and the other is learning to shuck them. And I suppose that eating them together counts as one of the great pleasures in this world, as well.
We don’t eat a lot of fish or oysters, but we bought a pound of fresh local haddock and two Wellfleet oysters this weekend while we were in Provincetown. Kristi oversaw the preparation of the haddock - bread crumbs from a leftover Iggy’s baguette were combined with Kate’s butter and a whole lotta garlic from our CSA. We covered one side of with the breading, slid the two fillets into a crappy pan at our rental cottage, and cooked them slowly, letting the butter poach the top parts of the fish and drip into all the rest. It was perfect.
I oversaw the shucking. For those of you who’ve never tried, you wedge the point of a short, strong knife into the hinge of the oyster and move it until you feel the hinge pop. Then you glide the knife, ever so gently, between the top and bottom shells, careful not to spill the liquor inside. When you remove the top shell, there’s a bit of the oyster clinging to it, so you have to be careful to cut if off before you separate the two. Lastly, and not everybody does this, I run the knife under the oyster, separating it from the bottom shell, so that it’s easier to tip into your mouth. We ate them with a squeeze of very unlocal lemon, but decided after that even such a simple dressing was unnecessary.
Later, we tried to determine what made oysters so good. The conclusion: it’s impossible to describe.