Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thankful for Oysters

Thought I better squeak in one more post before November whooshed on by.

My life has been a whirlwind over the past 2 weeks.  The weekend of November 18th-20th I went up to Asheville to attend the NC Writers Network Conference.  I've just recently joined the organization and this was my first conference.  It was exciting to be with so many other writers and hear and learn about the many genres and styles that everyone was writing in.  There were folks working on non-fiction and memoir, fiction and poetry too. The weekend was action packed, I learned a lot, got some good feedback and critique and got inspired about writing.   I was reminded that to truly sell yourself as a writer is tons of work and lots of self-promotion is required plus the actual time to write-oh yeah-don't forget the writing part! 

I was wiped out by the time I got home but there was no rest for the weary with Thanksgiving on the horizon.  My brother Jon and his wife Candy came to town for the week so there was much merry making, visiting, and long walks together.  And as it was Thanksgiving, we cooked and cooked and cooked some more, which meant endless dish washing, and eating too, can't complain about the eating.
Remains of the oyster fest
 I had the bright idea of getting a half bushel of oysters through our Community Supported Fishery.  I learned a few lessons about oysters:
  • A half bushel of oysters in the shell equals well over 100, that is a lot of oysters.
  • People from the mid-west (half our guests that night) don't eat a lot of oysters, if any at all.
  • Oysters are hard to shuck
But I did remember how much I love raw oysters, they are juicy with brine and biting into one with a squeeze of lemon on top is like eating the sea.  The oyster fans on hand enjoyed them. I discovered after the party that the best tool for shucking is an old fashioned "church key" -a bottle opener on one end, can opener on the other.  We possess three of these but didn't make the discovery til later, when we were shucking the second half and wondering what the two of us were going to do with all those oysters.  Well we had some fried, we had some more raw, and we put the last into a delicious oyster stew cooked up with the oysters of the woods we came across on one of the walks we took together.
Oyster mushrooms carefully tucked into a shawl to carry home
The weather was spectacular and we spent much time outside when we were not busy cooking and eating.  Over the weekend David and I worked in the garden for hours, transplanting and moving things around before the rain and cold set in.  The creeks are slowly filling again and here you can see the brilliant sky reflected from above.
It's always good to be with family especially at holiday time, but also nice to get back into the normal routine after everyone has gone.  I've got a busy work week coming up and then looking forward to some slower days as December rolls along.


evelyn said...

think of the extra whirlwind it would be if you participated in either National Blog Post Month (post an entry every day in November) or National Write-a-novel-in-a-month (don't have the name of the second one quite right, but it's also in November I think and you're supposed to write 50,000 words)!

or if you had an end of season celebration to plan for a community garden. oh, wait, you DO have a celebration to plan!

Maria Hitt said...

Not to mention doing a playground garden installation on the same day as the year-end celebration!

I'll be glad when this weekends over, can't imagine doing the Novowrimo or whatever its called.

Maria Hitt said...

I had to laugh pretty hard when we got our last share from the CSF this week and it included, yes - oysters. And again when I had a call from an old friend today who said "hey I know its short notice, but want to come over and eat oysters tomorrow with us?" She too is a member of Core Sound seafood. I had to decline due to the aforementioned end of year celebration for the community garden. There is a limit to how many oysters I can eat.