Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Good Old Fashioned NC Oyster Steamin'

Hey, this ain't the 42nd Street Oyster Bar, folks. Not even close. But this is what happens in my family:

At least once a year we have a family get-together down at the coast and steam up a bushel or two of fresh NC oysters. Yes, it is a decidedly down-home event at mom & dad's beach place. But we get the oysters locally and they are fresh as can be, with mud still sticking to them. We spray them in batches, spreading them out and turning them over to get the mud off.

Then we fire up the gas burner and pull out the big pots we steam them in. We get out the (very) homemade oyster bar that dad made from scrap plywood. It all happens in and around the storage shed (Mom says no way it happens inside the house), so last weekend it was quite cold. Best time for oysters though.

After that, the steaming begins. We like 'em steamed just long enough to pop open the shells. We have horseradish, cocktail sauce, tabasco sauce, crackers, and cold beer on hand too.

Then mounds and mounds of fresh steamed oysters to liberate from their shells.

I like 'em plain and I like 'em dressed up with all the trimmings. Either way is fine with me.

Some are quite big. All are tasty. The one above with all the trimmings has horseradish, tabasco sauce, and a jalapeno slice. Oh, and the oyster. It was delicious.

And by the way if you go to our NC coast and grab a seafood dinner, make sure that the restaurant is buying from and supporting our local fisherman.

Here's a 2006 article from the N&O about NC oyster that I found interesting:
In Search of NC Oysters


Barry Ragin said...

We're heading down in a couple of weeks for the Gloucester Mardi Gras thingie. Should be some good oysters there.

I'd much rather have 'em raw, though.

Ginny said...

Awww. This makes me so sad. One of my top goals while living on Hilton Head Island was to go to a good old fashioned oyster roast, and in my two years there I never made it to one. Yours looks fabulous though. Makes me hungry!

Jackson said...

Nice family tradition that you guys have going there. Those oysters look awesome. And HUGE!
How does one go about getting adopted into the Bull Pen family?

Valerie said...

Drool! That last one is as big as your fist!