When I was young, my family used to camp often at Cape San Blas, a peninsula on the panhandle of Florida which is right near the Appalachicola Bay, known for its delicious, salty oysters. Stone, who also grew up in my hometown of Thomasville, Georgia, was also part of a family who camped often. I find it ironic that our parents were simultaneously building a passion for the outdoors into our hearts …. one that Stone and I now share with each other and are, in turn, striving to instill into the hearts our own children.
I learned early that oysters would “make ya purdy,” the words of one of the paternal patriarchs who used to camp with us and was a perpetual teaser. I love oysters in stew, fried and raw … but I prefer them, hands down, grilled in a boiling hot shell with just enough butter, onion and garlic in the shell to help flavor them deliciously.
Glory has been a “professional” oyster shucker for years. When we go to my parents home at Thanksgiving, we often end up with a bushel to shuck and enjoy. Glory learned quickly that the way to make sure that she got her fair share of the delicacies, was to don a glove and pop the hinge open on those bivalves. In lantern light on our back deck, Stone and Glory taught Jet and Joy how to shuck. James worked his share of hinges and enjoyed our grilled appetizers just as well. It was a lovely evening.
Midway through the evening, Joy looked up and said, “Mom, ‘Makes Me Happy Monday’ has to be Oysters!”
And she’s right.
Oysters definitely make me happy …
as does a lantern-lit night, cool temps and hot coals,
the fellowship of these two men who make my heart swell,
and passing along an enthusiasm for something unusual and delicious like grilled oysters.
What makes YOU happy this marvelous Monday morning?