Category Archives: Kitchen Lessons

National Oyster Day 2014

Happy National Oyster Day!

Oyster on Ice | Oysters & Pearls

As a blog named after my favorite mollusk (and its side gig as pearl producer), you know I had to commemorate an important holiday such as this!  Thus, I present to you a National Oyster Day round-up in honor of the briny bivalve we all know and love.


P&J’s Garlic Lemon OystersP&J's Simple Garlic-Lemon Oyster Recipe | Oysters & Pearls P&J's Garlic-Lemon Sauce for Oyster Dipping | Oysters & Pearls

Homemade Cocktail and Horseradish SauceHomemade Cocktail Sauce | Oysters & PearlsOyster, Ed's Red Hot Sauce, and a Carolina Shucker Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

Oyster DressingOyster Dressing at Thanksgiving | Oysters & PearlsCaramelized Onions Over Oysters and Buttered Saltines- The Makings of Oyster Dressing | Oysters & Pearls


How to Shuck an OysterHand Forged Oyster Knives from Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls Natalie Shucking Oysters with a Carolina Shucker | Oysters & Pearls

Heartwood Forge Oyster KnivesHeartwood Forge Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls Heartwood Forge at Due South in Thomasville | Oysters & Pearls

Carolina Shuckers Oyster KnivesQueen Anne Carolina Shuckers Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls Handmade Oyster Knives by Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls


DIY Oyster WreathUpdated Miniature Oyster Wreath | Oysters & PearlsMiniature DIY Oyster Shell Wreath | Oysters & Pearls

Handmade Oyster Shell OrnamentsOyster Ornament 3 Oyster Ornament Fan Pull | Oysters & Pearls

All hail the oyster!

More oyster love: check out my sweet friend Julie’s blog and all-things-oyster website!

And if you’re feeling really frisky (you do know oysters are known aphrodisiacs?), the Oyster City Brewing Company in my dear Apalachicola is celebrating by having their
Grand Opening today!


Shop this post:
oyster ornaments (Oysters & Pearls blog on Etsy)
hand forged oyster knives (Heartwood Forge)
hand forged oyster knives (Carolina Shuckers)
white dinnerware (Lenox French Perle)
small white ramekins (Porcelain Ramekin Set)

You may also like:
Southern Makers: Heartwood Forge Knives
Southern Makers: Carolina Shuckers
Southern Makers: LGDunston – Gyotaku
Oysters and Pearls Etsy Shop
Florida Seafood Festival in Apalachicola
Downtown Apalachicola

Until Next Time

Friday Favorites

I haven’t done a Friday Favorites (this title seems more appropriate than “Friday Finds” now) post in a while, but I’ve been mentally taking notes of some awesome stuff lately, especially over Christmas.  Let’s get started, shall we?

1. CND Vinylux Weekly Nail Polish 

CND Vinylux  Weekly Polish in Decadence CND Vinylux Weekly Polish in Powder My Nose

My sister gave me these two polishes, Creative Nail Design Vinylux Nail Lacquer, Decadence
and Creative Nail Design Vinylux Nail Lacquer, Powder My Nose,
plus the Creative Nail Design Vinylux Nail Lacquer, Weekly Top Coat (<– affiliate links)
for Christmas.  I know I have preached about Seche Vite topcoat on here before, and I still think it’s amazing stuff, but so is this!  I really painted my nails a week ago, and they are just now starting to peel off.  That’s really saying something, as much as I cook/wash my hands/etc.  This is my new favorite beauty product.  For spring, I would love to get some brighter colors, too.

2. Pam Cooking Spray, Baking

Favorite Non-Stick Spray Pam for Baking  Oysters & Pearls

This is the best baking spray I’ve found (<– affiliate links).  Random thing to be a favorite, I know.  But seriously, it doesn’t leave nearly as much residue on your dishes, nothing will stick to it.  It really bugs me when baking spray leaves residue on my casserole dishes, and then it’s basically IMPOSSIBLE to get off of there.  This one doesn’t do that, and I <3 it.

3. Oysters as Fan Pulls

Oyster Ornament Fan Pull | Oysters & Pearls

Fair warning: this is a (fairly) shameless plug.

Remember how I made those pretty Oyster Ornaments?  Well, I kept a few for myself, and after I took them off the Christmas tree, I decided they made perfectly lovely fan pulls.  So removed the standard fan pull hardware that came with our fans and replaced them with oyster ornaments!  I still have a few left from before Christmas, and will be making some more here in a bit that I think are going to be really pretty, too.  You can order them over on the Shop page!

4. Madewell Pull-on Booties

Madewell Pull-on Boots | Oysters & Pearls

I will go ahead and preface this with a disclaimer.  I am not a fashion blogger.  My husband is not a fashion photographer.  However, I am attempting to make an exception today because there are some things I want to tell you about.  I love my tall boots, but sometimes they eat my jeans (can anyone else relate?) and it drives me crazy.  Sometimes I just want to not have to worry about hiking them up all the time, but I don’t want ballet flats or my booties with heels.  Times such as these call for booties like these.  They are sort of manly and ugly, made of fine leather that is going to require a significant amount of breaking in – but the kind that you can tell will be well worth it.  I love them.

5. Plum Classy Plaid Monogrammed Scarf

Plum Classy Monogrammed Scarf | Oysters & Pearls

Plum Classy Monogrammed Scarf (℅), Barbour and Liberty of London for J.Crew Beadnell Jacket (no longer available, but similar here), Gap distressed boyfriend jeans.

I’m always obsessed with my Barbour jacket, but I’m really loving this new scarf.  I mentioned it before, but wanted to share a picture.  I love that it’s a brown and black plaid.  And I didn’t manage to get the monogram in the picture (oops) but it’s a perfectly bright cream color.  I am a big fan of black + brown, so this fits the bill perfectly.

6. Dainty Necklaces

Dainty Handmade Smoky Topaz Necklace | Oysters & Pearls

No link for ya here.  Once upon a time, in a far away place (Tallahassee) I used to make jewelry and sell it (mainly on Etsy at Frankly, My Dear Jewelry)  I haven’t had time to make it for sale in years, but sometimes I make some for myself and for gifts and for fun.  Every now and then I think about getting back into making some for sale.  Ya know, because I have so much free time on my hands.  Anywho, I made this dainty little smoky topaz necklace for myself the other day, and a sweet little pale pink topaz one for Nancy for her birthday.  I am working on some other ideas I have floating around in my head, too.  I think dainty gemstone necklaces are going to come back hard and strong.  At least, they are for me!

7. Anthropologie Emile Sweater

Anthropologie Emile Sweater

I posted about this sweater before on a Friday Finds post.  I have been dying to have it ever since I first saw it in a magazine.  I tore it out and tacked it up on my bulletin board in my office (I should probably call it my “inspiration board” if I want to be a good blogger).  I have constantly and continually checked to see if it would go on sale, and IT FINALLY DID.  And it is already in my possession.  And it’s just as warm and snuggly and soft as I imagined.  It’s a warm winter sweater dream.

And on a personal, New Year’s resolution note, one of my resolutions is to be much more careful about what I purchase.  One of my favorite blogs, Feather Factor, recently did yet another post on her Wardrobe Resolutions.   She limits herself to 30 purchases per year.  Just 30!  She tracks them and the prices, and it keeps her accountable.  It also helps her keep track of what she purchases from year to year and if she is still wearing that item, makes sure she doesn’t purchase duplicates, etc.  Granted, she is purchasing Hermes and I’m shopping at J.Crew and Anthropologie, but it’s still a smart concept no matter your budget.  It also encourages you to really think about what you want and what you actually purchase, and she advocates a quality over quantity mentality when adding to your wardrobe.  I am going to attempt to do the same.  Thirty purchases for my wardrobe in 2014.  Saving up for high quality items that will last, rather than purchasing something just because I find it on sale.  I won’t lie, it’s going to be difficult.  I mean, I’ve already made two of those thirty purchases!  But hopefully making an excel spreadsheet and putting my goal out there for the world to see will hold me accountable, too.  Wish me luck!

And that, my friends, will be enough fashion blogging for me for a while, I do believe.  Wheat was giggling like a school girl taking those pictures for me in the parking lot at his office.  But if y’all enjoy this kind of post, I’ll try to work more of them in on occasion.

Enjoy your weekend.  Cheers!

Until Next Time

Homemade Lemon Extract

This post is a little sneak preview of what’s to come: more lemons!  I have preserved lemons in every way I know how.  I’ve juiced, I’ve zested, I’ve made limoncello (coming next week!), I’ve dehydrated (also coming next week!), I’ve frozen, and I’ve used them fresh.  Luckily, lemons are practically my favorite fruit, so all of this effort is worth it to me.  So today, I’ll show you how I made some (future) homemade lemon extract while I was at all this lemon preserving.

Meyer Lemon Zest for Homemade Lemon Extract | Oysters & Pearls

Simply scrub some lemons, zest them with a microplane, and fill a mason jar about a quarter full of zest.

Lemon Zest for Homemade Lemon Extract | Oysters & Pearls Lemon Zest Before Being Turned into Homemade Lemon Extract | Oysters & Pearls

Then fill the jar the rest of the way up with some good vodka.  Or at the very least, some decent vodka.  Let’s be real: you’re not a college freshman anymore.  Step away from the Mr. Boston.

Unless of course, you are a college freshman.  In that case, step right up and stoop right down to the very bottom shelf!

I am no longer a college freshman (le sigh), so I used Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Homemade Lemon Extract | Oysters & Pearls

Now, let that simmer for a few weeks.  Six to eight, or so, until it smells more like lemons than it does vodka.  Give it a shake every couple days, too.

By the way, you can make any citrus extract the same way.  Zest + booze = extract.  I made some grapefruit extract and “sour orange” extract at the same time as this lemon extract, too.  Really, just about anything + booze = extract.  I made homemade almond extract once, too.  Remember that?  It turned out heavenly, and I highly recommend DIY extracts now.

I plan to use mine for Pizzelles, and the lemon extract should be just perfect by Easter.  Do y’all have any favorite recipes you use lemon extract for?  I’ll have a good bit of it pretty soon, as you can tell!

Until Next Time