It’s Memorial Day weekend, the “unofficial” kickoff to summer. I think it’s unofficial for two reasons. . . 1) Summer doesn’t actually start until June 21st and 2) The weather is normally iffy at best. I can recall many a rainy Memorial Day weekend, and those that haven’t been rained out are often chilly. Of course, this year is the exception with spectacular weather conducive to outdoor activities and barbeques, but not so fast, we are still under a “Stay Home” order. Ugh.
Normally, we would be out east at our home on Cape Cod and despite the sketchy weather, it’s one of our favorite weekends to be there because of the Welcome Back Party at our club in Hyannisport. It’s truly the “official” beginning of summer and a festive time as everyone gathers to reconnect and look forward to the season we all love. The Cape is a special place in this world, and I’ve come to appreciate it even more as I’ve traveled the world. The season is brief, so we treasure every moment, and it’s very sad to have the start delayed this year, making it even shorter. With the party canceled and travel to the Cape leaving us in a smaller prison than the one in Chicago, we decided to bring the Cape to us. I ordered up some oysters from Island Creek Oysters (still doing free overnight shipping) and decided to go with the Moon Shoals from Barnstable and some Wellfleets, which is what we would have been enjoying were we at the Cape.
We have an affinity for Barnstables, as Barnstable is where our home is, and because they are the house oyster at the Naked Oyster on Main Street in Hyannis, where owner Florence Lowell farms her own. We frequently stop by for a dozen or so with a glass of bubbly or white wine, and often have ordered them to serve as an appetizer at home, all shucked and ready to serve. Truth be told, it’s an excuse for Dennis and a friend, or brother/father in law or nephew, to stop for a beverage and some male bonding while they pick them up after golf.
In any event, that was not on offer this weekend and I had to shuck my own. Thankfully, my bother Gary (Duvall), who told me about the free shipping offered by Island Creek back before Easter (and dozens of friends have ordered since), encouraged me to buy the Truro Oyster Clamp along with my oyster knife and gloves when I ordered for the first time. This little wooden contraption makes shucking oysters at home a breeze. No worrying about the knife slipping and gouging your hand. It renders the mollusk defenseless, the shell fortress yielding easily to reveal the sweet treat inside. I have shucked almost 300 oysters since April and, as Gary says, it’s a “Game Changer“. A few friends have purchased them and concur. They are currently sold out at ICO, but I’m on the list for when they are available and will be grabbing a few. While I can’t wait for the day when I can sit at the bar and have someone else shuck them for me, I’ve overcome my trepidation and am now an expert shucker!