Saturday, August 18, 2012

Oysters And Other Things

We ate at a beautiful restaurant last night. It is in a very old building, gorgeously redone and elegant and still with a bite or at least a nibble of funk in the exposed bricks, the tongue-and-groove ceilings.
We stared outside at the river over the tops of the buildings next to us and watched the birds fly in and dart and land on a wire until it was strung tight with them. They looked like iron filings, all aligned with a magnet's power.
And then suddenly, they swooped and flew off and where did they go and why had they all landed on that wire to begin with, hundreds and hundreds of them?

I got a huge salad with Mediterranean vegetables and shrimp and it was perfect. We brought chocolate mousse with two types of sauce back to the room and devoured it in bed.

My pinched nerve, for the first time in weeks, is completely quiet. It has become, quite simply, unpinched. 

We walked all over town today. Down to our lot and up to the grocery store to see what's happening there and it's good. I can get tofu and even organic salad greens. One could survive. We went to the book store and we had lunch at a raw bar. We didn't go raw. We had shrimp etouffee and a salad, chopped up vegetables with a vinaigrette. And a piece of buttermilk pie. We split it all. It was all delicious.

I got the shucker guys at the raw bar to tell me about the R rule. I asked if it was still valid. For those of you who didn't read Lily's explanation of it in the comments, the R rule is that you do not eat oysters in months which do not have an R in the name. Thus, not in August, but in September. The shucker guys told me that this is bullshit now. That it used to be a necessity when there was no refrigeration but now, that is not a problem. They can get the oysters and keep them safely until they are eaten, no matter how hot the month is. That the water temperature actually varies very little from season to season. They, in fact, think that the oysters are BETTER in non-R months.
Well. I believe them. They have been shucking oysters for awhile and both tonged when they were younger. As one of them said to another customer, "Around here, if your diddy (not a typo) is in the business, you will be too, sooner or later."
I have been educated.

Mr. Moon has talked to everyone about gator hunting because he's coming back down in a few weeks to do just that. Gator hunting involves things like bang sticks. And you must have something to strap the gator's jaws together with.
Oh my.
It turned out that the guys and the woman at the raw bar all know about gator hunting. The woman who served us our meal is going to go hunt them next week with a bow. A BOW, y'all!

Well. I am staying out of this.

He has sworn to me that he will not lose a hand. I am trusting him to keep that promise.

So that's my little report. It is hot but there is a beautiful gusty breeze coming off the water. Our room is small but plenty big enough and the walls are wood, painted deep hunter green and there is an iron bedstead and a good, strong air-conditioner and a shower and a tub and I'm happy.

We might go up the river later. We shall see.

I am content, either way.

I am happy.


  1. You look happy and content. Great pic with red glasses and silver bangles. S Jo

  2. This sounds lovely. What a beautiful picture, Mr M is an artist.

    I have to ask - what's he gonna do with the gator he catches? Eat it?

  3. Everything is good back at the ranch, Ma, so you and Pa enjoy your trip. (Ha, I just wanted to call you Pa and Ma for some reason.)

  4. I love your travelogues when you and Mr. Moon go on a trip together. You look gorgeous in that photo!

    You haven't mentioned the great shop that you and Lis love to go to...Wild Iris or something like that?

  5. You know, after watching three seasons of Swamp People I feel like even I could go gator hunting. Glad you guys are having a good time.

  6. Glad you're having a good time!

  7. Hello Mary,
    Nice to see you out and about with my return to blogland. I'll have to read back to see where you are on your trip.

    Gator hunting?! Yikes...I'm thinking of the a reality show I watched of gator hunting...oh your man is a brave one.

  8. Are you getting an alligator bag, or boots out of all this?? I mean, you kind of have to use the whole thing right?? heh heh!

    Glad you're having fun and you nerve is unpinched.

  9. I had a feeling that "r" rule is passe! Especially in Apalachicola, when the oysters are coming right out of the water and onto your plate. Maybe here in London transportation and storage would be more of an issue. (We bought shrimp last night and I briefly wondered about the "r" rule, which I have always taken to apply to all shellfish, but I didn't wonder about it so much that I didn't eat my shrimp. Which were fine, of course.)

    Poor gators. :(

  10. S Jo- You bet I was happy and content!

    Jo- That remains to be seen.

    DTG- Thanks for wrangling the critters, son! Ma and Pa appreciate you so much!

    Nicol- Pretty much.

    lulumarie- River Lily! I went there. I bought cards and...a pair of blue earrings!!!

    Jon- I have a feeling that that damn show has a lot to do with why Mr. Moon is about to go gator hunting.

    Jill- Thank-you!

    Ellen- Brave, yes. Foolish? Well, I hope not. He's done a lot of self-education so perhaps it'll be okay.

    Ms. Fleur- I doubt it on the bag or shoes. I think there may be some sort of gator skin on the wall at some point. Sigh.

    Steve- I think it had to so with the water temperature and the oyster-breeding or some such. Now I know.
    Yes. Poor gators.

  11. Why oh why are my comments not here? I'm pretty sure that I commented that my son Oliver is dying, and I mean DYING to go gator hunting. I'm wondering if I can fly him out to you and Mr. Moon could take him out. In exchange, he's terrific with small boys and could do a kick-ass gardening job for you as well.

  12. Elizabeth- I don't know and it is making me VERY ANGRY!!!
    Let's let Glen figure this gator hunting thing out and we'll talk about it next year????
    I wouldn't want to send your precious boy out on a boat overnight with two men (one from Canada!) who really don't know exactly what they are doing.
    But if they figure it out- why not?
    Jeez. Maybe Mr. Moon could start a sons-of-blog-friends-hunting thing.
    And let me just say that Oliver is welcome any time. I have a bed...

  13. I love the picture of you!
    Glad to hear about your pinched nerve cure. : )

  14. Very cool--except for the gator hunting thing. But anyway, about the r timing--Oysters spawn in the warm summer months, usually May through August, although natural Gulfwater oysters can spawn year-round due to the warm waters. Spawning causes them to become fatty, watery, soft, and less flavorful instead of having the more desirable lean, firm texture and bright seafood flavor of those harvested in cooler, non-spawning months. Up here, we like ours firm and not flabby! That to me has been the main reason to go with the r rule--it's all about the texture.

  15. That's a very poetic portrait of you. Beautiful.


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