We have dewberries growing on a fence behind the shop. Earlier this week Dad and I picked a handful and snacked on the sweet berry often mistaken for a weed. We share a back alley with Pincher's Fresh Seafood and had noticed before that they had thrown oyster shells in to the parking area where gravel had become sparse. This time though, noticing was a bit different. I scooped up a handful of shells. Looking at me like a kid on the beach, Dad said, "You find you some shells?" I replied, "Yep."
See, I love oysters. Raw oysters. I think it's crazy to cook them or dress them up with crackers and hot sauce. I eat them plain, right out of the shell.* In a way, it's sad that I hadn't noticed the beauty of an oyster shell until now. These shells, already bleached by the summer sun, bear the marks of a once living, thriving and growing animal. I am still amazed and thankful that I occasionally notice the little things in life around us. The faded colors and shapes of the shells captivate me.
As the effects of the recent environmental disaster creep closer to home and the fact that there still appears to be no end in sight, the realization that change is upon us is overwhelming.
I know that oysters grow in other parts of the world, in fact on other coasts in the US. Frankly, those oysters aren't the ones that I will want to eat. I will want OUR oysters, the ones that come from the gulf. I admit it, I'm selfish.
There are still lots of gulf oysters available that are very safe- last time I checked, they're still very tasty too. Our local seafood markets are taking hits perhaps harder than the rest of us inland- Go by and see what they have available.
*I will eat Oyster's Rockefeller, on a cracker, with hot sauce, or any other way you like them. There is nothing wrong with Scalloped, Deep-Fried, Stewed, Grilled, New Orleans style- BUT... raw and plain is best!