My blog is occasioned by a photo yesterday of my four year old great granddaughter eating what appear to be Blue Point oysters, with great relish. The picture on Facebook gave me great pleasure but took me back to family contention over oysters, from Atlantic, Salt Spring Island, cooking or raw or eating alive. My brother-in-law, a medical colleague who lived in New York and taught at Columbia-Presbyterian insisted on Blue Point oysters as the piece de reistance of all oysters. I guessed he was right but tried to assert myself in an effort to bolster our cluster of Japanese oysters that grew in our Price Road beach on the shale outcroppings that we harvested from time to time. The Japanese oysters have displaced the indigenous oysters in our area now and are large, and meaty and I felt I owed it to Salt Spring, despite my misgivings about our oysters when he visited us for a few days aside, on a teaching role on the west coast. Misgivings aside,if you know your argument is weak , at least it could be memorable. I told him we ate the oysters alive since they tasted better than just fresh, We then rowed out to the shale outcrops and chucked the oysters, leaving them on the rocks in the attached shell and ate them from the rock. I believe that is an innovation called oystermania. He was unimpressed. I also told him we and the other beach friends cooked oysters, clams and fish in a pit in the beach between tides on hot coals covered with seaweed and a 4ft by 8ft plywood. Timing is important to finish before the tide comes in and floods your pit. I resolve I won't bullshit my great granddaughter if I live that long and am so proud of her for trying new things. My brother-in-law Jack was my long time colleague and friend and was never fooled by either my misgivings or attempts to be memorable. And what's more? I didn't mind!
For Jim's past posts, check out his old blog here: