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Welcome to the Home Ec Section. Matters of the family sometimes bring joy and other times bring grief. But it is never trivial: Family matters! Feel free to discuss topics such as the sanctity of marriage; the awesome responsibility of raising children; the struggles of communication problems; the grief of losing a loved one; or anything else that relates to the home and family. However, due to the more personal nature of this section, I ask that you would be especially thoughtful of the readers' feelings. My earnest hope and prayer is that the discussions in this section will help families grow in the love of Christ.

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Gleaning Free Oysters

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  • Gleaning Free Oysters

    The foreshore where I live is owned by the Crown and so the freedom to glean and harvest the tide's gifts is given to 'the people'. For over fifty years I have picked oysters from this and other Crown foreshores for personal consumption. I have not seen one other person picking foreshore oysters in many years now, and when most people think of oysters they often contort their faces and explain how horrid they think oysters are to eat.

    I often ask folks if they like eating cockles and mussels and get positive answers, and then I explain that if oysters are boiled for three minutes then they are even more delicious than the big Irish mussels that are sold in our foodmarkets. And they are so large that three of the biggest oysters can be a small meal.

    And so I collect them, open them and cut out the oysters which I then boil for three minutes.... this cleans out each oyster as well as cooks it.

    I never ever eat an oyster uncooked, and shellfish poison paralysis can be the result of doing that... I often think of Moses' Law about shellfish in connection with anything like that.

    For the OP I'll show one picture for interest. DSC02577.JPG
    Attached Files

  • #2
    oyster.JPG To give an idea of how plenteous the oysters are where I live, here is a picture of a larger cook-up for a small party of guests.

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    • #3
      Oyster knives are quite short in the blade, and my blade is only 2.5" long which can make it difficult to cut out very large oysters. And so I use a wooden peg to keep large oysters open while I feel inside to free them from their shells.

      DSCF5013.JPG

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      • #4
        These wild oysters were called 'Ports' when I was a kid, short for Portuguese, but in fact they are Pacific Oysters that were put down here many decades ago because they are hardier than the more valuable 'native' oysters which were put down by the Romans. I do occasionally find a native oyster but I can't taste the difference when both are cooked. The natives are farmed and sent to London for the rich to eat in the best restaurants at ridiculous prices.

        Pacific oysters (here) do not develop pearls. They don't. But thirty years ago one did, and three pearls came out of one smaller oyster as I opened it and cut it free. I still have those pearls to this day, and I set the smallest in to a ring which I wear from time to time.

        This is a pic of that oyster.........
        PICT0027.JPG

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        • #5


          While I love clams and scallops I have never been able to abide oysters -- especially raw. Basically a rubber glove soaked in baby oil Cooked they're a little better but only marginally. Thinking back, I don't think I ever tried cockles and mussels (which is sort of surprising) so I can't make any comparison.


          Okay. Now I'm jonesing for a big bowl of creamy Clam Chowder for lunch.

          I'm always still in trouble again

          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
          "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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          • #6
            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post


            While I love clams and scallops I have never been able to abide oysters -- especially raw. Basically a rubber glove soaked in baby oil Cooked they're a little better but only marginally. Thinking back, I don't think I ever tried cockles and mussels (which is sort of surprising) so I can't make any comparison.


            Okay. Now I'm jonesing for a big bowl of creamy Clam Chowder for lunch.
            Ah..... scallops come ashore here, dredged off the sandiette banks and other places. Scallops are delicious, but very expensive here.
            I can cook local oysters to come close to scallops for tastiness but that is a huge challenge.

            Clams are here as well, although local experts declare that they have died out along this coast now. They just don't know where to rake for them and I won't be telling. I'm not so fond of clams as oysters.... lots more hard physical work for smaller returns and the cooking is much harder to achieve a perfectly cooked unrubbery dish. The clams I rake up here are only 2.5 inches across the shell... I think US clams might be a different species and very much bigger.... is that right?

            Rubber glove like oysters (and clams) are like that because somebody chucked 'em in the water (or pan?) and just let 'em cook for too long.
            They must only be boiled for three minutes and then taken out.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by eider View Post

              Ah..... scallops come ashore here, dredged off the sandiette banks and other places. Scallops are delicious, but very expensive here.
              I can cook local oysters to come close to scallops for tastiness but that is a huge challenge.

              Clams are here as well, although local experts declare that they have died out along this coast now. They just don't know where to rake for them and I won't be telling. I'm not so fond of clams as oysters.... lots more hard physical work for smaller returns and the cooking is much harder to achieve a perfectly cooked unrubbery dish. The clams I rake up here are only 2.5 inches across the shell... I think US clams might be a different species and very much bigger.... is that right?

              Rubber glove like oysters (and clams) are like that because somebody chucked 'em in the water (or pan?) and just let 'em cook for too long.
              They must only be boiled for three minutes and then taken out.
              My mother detested any sort of shellfish but loved scallops. She would not accept that they were a shellfish.

              Have you ever had abalone? That stuff can get expensive but is incredibly tasty.

              And the rubber glove soaked in baby oil was a reference to raw oysters and how the slimy thing slides down your throat.

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                My mother detested any sort of shellfish but loved scallops. She would not accept that they were a shellfish.
                For me scallops taste like lobster. They have to be one of the tastiest foods ever.
                Our Supermarkets sell frozen scallops, shed of their red fingers...... but they have no taste.

                Have you ever had abalone? That stuff can get expensive but is incredibly tasty.
                No. Never.

                And the rubber glove soaked in baby oil was a reference to raw oysters and how the slimy thing slides down your throat.
                Oh...I see. I really think that eating live oysters is a waste of a good oyster.
                A cooked oyster is a completely different food, imo.

                Over here restaurants have to buy oysters that have been in tanks under ultra violet light for three days to kill all bacteria and virus etc. and that is why I started to boil my oysters nearly 60 years ago, and found how much better they were as a tasty food. If your supermarket sells oysters please buy half a dozen, open them and boil them for just three minutes. I think you'll be amazed.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by eider View Post
                  They must only be boiled for three minutes and then taken out.
                  Clarification, please --- dropped into water that's already boiling, and then for 3 minutes?
                  Not dropped into water that is then "brought up" to a boil.

                  The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                    Clarification, please --- dropped into water that's already boiling, and then for 3 minutes?
                    Not dropped into water that is then "brought up" to a boil.
                    Cut from their shell. Dropped in to boiling water. three minutes.
                    As they boil any dirt is drawn from them and drifts to the surface of the water, so it's not a bad idea to skim the surface of the water during that time.
                    I expect that U-tube vids can show you how to open the shells. In fact I will take a picture of the exact place to ease the knife in to the shell to lever it open.
                    Tomorrow.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eider View Post

                      Cut from their shell. Dropped in to boiling water. three minutes.
                      As they boil any dirt is drawn from them and drifts to the surface of the water, so it's not a bad idea to skim the surface of the water during that time.
                      I expect that U-tube vids can show you how to open the shells. In fact I will take a picture of the exact place to ease the knife in to the shell to lever it open.
                      Tomorrow.
                      Only curious, but since my wife is allergic to shellfish, I pretty much stick to North Atlantic Whitefish, Cod, Catfish, Perch....
                      The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                        Only curious, but since my wife is allergic to shellfish, I pretty much stick to North Atlantic Whitefish, Cod, Catfish, Perch....
                        I'm surprised that more people are not allergic to shellfish, although cooking does reduce the risk of sickness.
                        But back in Moses' days in the Middle East, fresh and salt water shellfish could be killers for many.

                        I'd already taken a pic so here it is, anyway. I needed a small oyster because my right hand needed to hold the camera, so I borrowed a painted oyster shell from my wife's garden border.
                        If I notice a particularly pleasing and small oyster I will cook it, re-stick the shell and use it as a model for a white metal casting, but the ones for the garden get painted.

                        Ahhh.... I don't seem to be able to upload images to posts this morning. Hang on..... here we go.....

                        P1020685.JPG

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