Before Max left for France, we were invited by one of the other managers of the restaurant at which he works to picnic at Hog Island Oyster Co. I think going to get oysters up there in Marin is something that has to have come up with Max and me at least 10 times since we’ve moved up here. Picnicking with friends at the oyster farms is something we had done as visitors and always remember as a really awesome day out in the sunshine!
But each time, forgetting this information yet again, we would remember that oysters really should only be eaten in months with an “R” in them for optimal deliciousness. Summer months are when the oysters breed, so I guess that’s just not prime oyster time, even though sitting outside eating cold oysters or grilling them with a cold glass of whatever amazing white wine Max has paired with the picnic sounds like an ideal summer activity to me.
*Footnote (sort of): As I’m researching this “R” thing further, it sounds like it may be a myth or, at the very least, hyperbolic. Summer is when oysters breed and I guess there is a higher likelihood of finding a related algae toxin in shellfish, but all commercially raised shellfish served in the U.S. should be fine any time of year-toxin free. I do not know where oyster farms like Hog Island fit into this picture.
So finally, fall has rolled around (or so says the calendar), and we were able to go back to the oyster farms for an afternoon.
Of course, there was perfect wine and champagne. The others had made steamer clams with grilled bread (YUM!-definitely my favorite) and burgers with all appropriate fixings. They brought homemade guacamole, salsa and chips to snack on. And, obviously, we had oysters-both raw and grilled straight from the farm. The host had made two different mignonette sauces for the raw oyster preparations and a barbecue-like sauce for the grilled. Lemon wedges, of course.
It was yet another one of those jaw-droppingly awesome food, wine, and scenery combos that I’ve been lucky to have so many of lately. #Cheflife or, in my case, #tangentallyrelatedtotherestaurantindustrylife. Sometimes I feel they carry almost all the same benefits.
So far, a happy fall on our end. I hope everyone is enjoying some cooler weather (up North or down South-or wherever you are) and some motherfucking Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Cuz I have! Yeah-that’s right. I said it. #basicbitchesrock
SAD UPDATE: I’ve been told that all the oyster farms in this area have to close their picnic areas because the neighbors can’t stand the noise, traffic, and other disturbances caused by the farms. They remain open at this time, but I’d hurry over if I were you.