Sunday, December 13, 2009
Momentary oystering break from the studio
I've got plenty to do in the studio, including firing the last load of bisque before this week's glaze firing and weekend kiln-opening and open studio. But I can't stay inside all the time, so this morning I headed to Monument Beach to meet up with Mike and Tammy Race on the oyster flats at low tide.
It's oyster season here on the Cape, one of the pleasures of sharing the cold weather with no one but locals. I live in Falmouth, so I can't harvest the Monument Beach version of Crassotreia Virginica. That village is in the town of Bourne, so we depend on Mike and Tammy's eagerness to share. That's Mike holding the basket of today's harvest. We eat a lot of their oysters this time of year. They're small and firm and taste like the salt water they come from. Kumamotos, Olympias, Apalachicolas, Wellfleets, Cotuits, Belons, Bluepoints ... they're all good. But these from Monument Beach, eaten with only a grinding of black pepper and perhaps a bit of lemon, are pretty hard to beat.
This beach is on the narrow dike between the harbor at Monument Bay and the Cape Cod Canal, with the railroad bridge over the canal in the background. At dead low tide this year, there are so many oysters on the surface that it's difficult to spend more than a half-hour gathering your limit. It's a good year for oysters.