Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Questions and Answers From an Oyster Shell

 Is there anything more perfect than an oyster roast on the beach with the sound of the surf in your ear? The warmth a bon fire warding off the first attempt of the winters season. Your custimised oyster knife hanging from your jeans beltloop via leather strap. Jimmy Buffet playing in the background as you quietly sip on the coldest beer known to man as you prepare yourself for the next batch thats almost ready to hit the table. The smell of oyster steam rising up like a thank you smoke signal to heaven.
     How about old Bowens Island Resturaunt  B.H. (Before Hugo, as all time in Charleston seems to be measured) and rightly so. With its missing side wall and bi-valves so fresh that they were probably filtering their lives away, going about their own business in a pluff mud world  about the same time that you were parking the car. Brought to your rickety card table from the fire pit half inside the room  on a snow shovel. The ONLY true use for one of those damn things. 
    Were there sweeter words ever written on the specials board at the Sandbar than "All you Can Eat" .
My wife and I had our first date there,  and once on my birthday I consumed 14 pans of the low country delicacies as the entire staff watched from the kitchen window. You could hear the groans everytime I started a fresh batch.Patiently they waited for the big bastard to leave so that they could close for the night.( God Bless You Darell)  Oysters will always make room for another one.
Sandbar Restaurant Folly Beach
Another Great Donnie Smith Studio's Picture 
    Living on Seabrook I once watched  from my balcony as a large cluster of the salty beauties grew into maturity in the creek behind my condo all that spring till fall.  I kept time sharpening my knife and waiting for the day, and by late November  they were ready. Putting on some old jeans and  a tightly tied pair of boots ,I waited for low tide to make my move. Wading hip deep in the tidal creek I soon attracted the attention of all the tourist in the condo, as I happily invaded the view that they had paid so much for. But my mind was set and my goal in reach and soon I sucked and sloshed my way to the long awaited treasure trove of salty-sweet redemption. Hammer in hand I  soon  had a burlap bag full and once I again returned home repeating a scene as old as time, the triumphant caveman with dinner in hand. As I washed and prepared tonight's guests of honor, my neighbors that week looked on in horror as I popped and ate the first raw one. Being raised with manners I offered all of our states most recent arrivals a sample but, it seemed no one liked oysters, or could it have been the mud covered person with a hammer and knife that turned them away,,,that's OK, more for me. I sat there that night watching them depart for Charlestons restaurant district, and I wondered how many of those very same folks were soon going to pay big bucks for what I was enjoying for free. I waved goodnight,threw another batch on the grill and covered them with a wet potato bag. 
Lord sometimes life is so simple.
    Oysters were put on the earth to teach us some very basic things.
      1.How simple things can be, and simple is always good.
      2. Never judge anything by appearance, or man would have never eaten the first one.
      3. Never say theres nothing to eat until you've checked everywhere.
      4. Never eat oysters in a state with no ocean and alot of sheep.
      5. Never pay for a mud bath when you can get one AND a meal for free.
      6. One mans view is another mans grocery store.
      7. Other than Christmas eve Santa uses that big red bag to store a buschel or two.
      8. How blessed we are to be who we are,where we are, when we are, with what we have.....

         "Give me oysters and beer for dinner everyday of the year, and I'll be fine"  J. Buffet

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