Tag Archives: Oysters

Happy National Oyster Day!

I don’t have any new oyster recipes to share today, but I figured it was only appropriate that I round up some I’ve shared heretofore to celebrate my favorite briny bivalve.

P&J’s Lemon Garlic Oysters

Plate-full of P&J's Garlic-Lemon Baked Oysters | Oysters & Pearls P&J's Garlic-Lemon Sauce for Oyster Dipping | Oysters & Pearls

Southern Oyster Dressing 

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

Homemade Cocktail & Horseradish Sauces

Homemade Cocktail Sauce | Oysters & PearlsHomemade Horseradish Sauce for Oysters | Oysters & Pearls

Oyster, Ed's Red Hot Sauce, and a Carolina Shucker Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

Carolina Shuckers

Hand Forged Oyster Knives from Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls Shucked Oyster with Queen Anne Carolina Shuckers Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

oysters & pearls: an explanation

Oysters themselves hold a special place in my heart.  Oysters bring back memories of Christmas Day at my grandparents, and my Poppie’s medicine bottle full of pearls.  It reminds me of my husband Wheat, and the night we hit it off over a dozen raw at Reagan’s Raw Bar in Mexico Beach, Florida. It’s symbolic of the rural “Forgotten Coast” I grew up on, but it’s also a universal connection to the sea and to each other.  Oysters are a gathering food, and one of life’s greatest simple pleasures is getting together to eat a bushel.

No grit, no pearl.

“As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.”
– Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“Give me oysters and beer every day of the year, and I’ll be fine.  Lord, I’ll be fine.”
– Jimmy Buffet

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.

EAT ‘EM

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

SHUCK ‘EM

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

DECORATE WITH ‘EM

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! www.inahalfshell.com

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!

SLURP.

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

Carolina Shuckers + Homemade Cocktail & Horseradish Sauce

Handmade Oyster Knives by Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls

A few weeks ago, these two beauties arrived in the mail from the generous guys over at Carolina Shuckers.  I planned on having oysters as soon as I could get my paws on them, but that ice storm Wheat worked through a wrench in said plans. Thus, I patiently bided my time until the next opportunity arose.  It is starting to get warm down here in SoWeGa,  and I  was starting to get worried I would miss my chance to test these Shuckers on some oysters (and beer). So last Friday night, we got a box of oysters (which is about a half bushel) and we invited some friends and family over to help us eat them.

Queen Anne Carolina Shuckers Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

The Queen Anne Shucker, as I predicted, turned out to be my favorite shucker of the two.

Shucking Oysters with a Carolina Shucker Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

The thumb “spot” and the handle design gave me significant leverage while shucking, which was great for someone with small hands and less arm-strength than your average male oyster shucker.

Shucking Oysters | Oysters & Pearls

Kirk warned me that this knife was intended for clams in the Low Country, and not really oysters.  Apparently our oysters down here were a wee bit tough for the Queen Anne, and the tip did get bent while Wheat was testing it out later on.  No worries though: I’m told it’s fixable!   I don’t think I’m strong enough to bend it anyway.  And Wheat’s no longer allowed to use my Queen Anne. ;)

Shucking Oysters with a Queen Anne Carolina Shucker | Oysters & Pearls

It was still my favorite of the two!

Natalie Shucking Oysters with a Carolina Shucker | Oysters & Pearls

Selfies are fairly rare on this here blog, but I was thrilled to hand the camera over to my trusty assistant for these pictures of me shucking.  He did a great job! :)

Oyster and Carolina Shucker Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

Commence mouth-watering now.

Shugie Shucker from Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls

Kirk and Mike also were kind enough to send me a Shugie Shucker, which is an oyster knife/bottle opener combo made especially for smaller hands.  The bottle shucker particularly comes in handy while eating oysters.  The blade on this knife worked better for our oysters round these parts, as it was wider and tougher.  As much as I loved the Shugie Shucker, I missed the handle on the Queen Anne!  They are both pretty awesome though.

Hand Forged Oyster Knives from Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls

Childhood friends Mike Waller and Kirk Davis are the two fellows behind these beautiful knives. Formally trained at the East Carolina School of Art, they each have their own studio and are successful artists in their own right (and are both available for commission work, as it just so happens – Click their names to see their websites.).  Mike is based in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and Kirk is in Morehead, North Carolina.  They both are skilled in wrought iron work and both love oysters, so the oyster knives were a natural evolution in their friendship.

Carolina Shuckers Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

Five or six years ago the two went to an oyster roast together and decided to whip up a few knives to take along with them.  Those original handful of oyster knives were a bit crude by Kirk’s own description, but everyone at the party loved them.  “We left a few at the party, but we still have a few in our “museum”, which is a cigar box,” Kirk recalled.  They began making them as Christmas presents and upon request from friends, and things just snowballed.  After about a year, Kirk and Mike realized there was a real business opportunity in their knives, and they both were in need of a “bread and butter.”  The came up with the name Carolina Shuckers and their joint venture really began.

Queen Anne Carolina Shucker and an Oyster | Oysters & Pearls

 Kirk and Mike do four styles each to divide the work up between their studios, but they do trade shows together and get together often.  They have grown a lot since that first oyster roast, and the duo even has a nickel-plated version of their Mother Shucker and Beer Shucker in Orvis.

Oyster, Ed's Red Hot Sauce, and a Carolina Shucker Oyster Knife | Oysters & Pearls

 I prefer my raw oysters on a saltine with a splash of Crystal or Ed’s Red (made locally in Port St. Joe, Florida!).

Kirk prefers his oysters raw or lightly steamed, but he did divulge that he recently had some delicious oysters in Little Washington, North Carolina at the Waterfront Restaurant that had been dubbed “Oysters Redneck Rockefeller.”  Kirk admitted that the the collard, bacon and parmesan combo was a winner.

Freshly Shucked Oyster | Oysters & Pearls

 The Mother Shucker, the Cluster Shucker, and the Carolina Pigtail are made from recycled railroad spikes.  These are mainly salvaged from a friend’s Tar construction company.  “He called me one day not long ago and said he had a job at a military base and had a guy bringing me some railroad spikes if I wanted them.  I walked outside and there was a dump truck full of spikes being dropped off in my driveway!” Kirk laughed.  He said he’s gone through a 55 gallon drum full of them in just about a year and a half!

It’s easy to see why he’s made so many knives.  They’re handmade, hand-forged, one of a kind knives at a reasonable price point and full of personality.  They would make a great gift for any oyster enthusiast!  I know they were a hit at our little gathering.

Behind the Scenes - Oyster Shucking | Oysters & Pearls

A “behind the scenes” shot of sorts…

For our gathering, which was rather impromptu, as I worked all day Friday and we were leaving early Saturday morning, was an extremely casual affair.  We had oysters and venison sausage… and that was it.  A come-as-you-are-and-eat-it-if-you-want-it type affair.  I did whip up homemade cocktail and white horseradish sauce for the oysters, and I thought this would be the perfect occasion to share those recipes with y’all along with the Carolina Shuckers. :)

Homemade Cocktail Sauce | Oysters & Pearls

Note: these are easiest mixed up right in a 2 cup measuring cup – that way you only dirty one dish in the process, then pour it into whatever container you’re serving it in.

Classic Cocktail Sauce
Yields 1 1/2 cups

ingredients

– 1 cup ketchup
– 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
– 1/2 cup lemon juice
– dash worchestershire sauce
– Crystal hot sauce to taste

instructions

Mix together all ingredients and chill until serving.

Homemade Horseradish Sauce for Oysters | Oysters & Pearls

White Horseradish Sauce
Yields 1 1/2 cups

ingredients

– 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
– 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon dry mustard
– 3 tablespoons Duke’s Mayonaise
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– a couple shakes of red pepper flakes (or to taste)

instructions

Mix together all ingredients and chill until serving.

Raw Oysters  | Oysters & Pearls

Scientific testing revealed that both sauces are delicious on both raw and roasted oysters.  ;)

Oyster Roast | Oysters & Pearls

Coincidentally, roasted on a homemade (by my dad) grill grate over our Carolina Kettle!  Both awesome gifts from my equally awesome parents.

Handmade Oyster Knives by Carolina Shuckers | Oysters & Pearls

So thank you to Kirk and Mike for the Shuckers and for instigating a last minute oyster roast!

For ordering or wholesale information, visit www.carolinashuckers.com
or email them at carolinashuckers@gmail.com.

In the spirit of full disclosure (which I always strive to adhere to), please know that although I received these Carolina Shuckers for free, absolutely all thoughts and opinions expressed in the post are exclusively my own and always will be.
Until Next Time