oysters and holiday weekends

Two new things for Jake River this week: He went to Tae Kwon Do in his new uniform, and he ate his first oyster. Liked it, a lot. We were grilling shrimp, and I threw on a couple of big Pacifics in their gnarly shells as an afterthought. He looked them over, pulled back his shoulders and said, "Hey, can I try one?"

I tell the story, perhaps too often, of Sierra being the fourth generation Orpin to eat raw gulf oysters at the Acme Oyster House in the French Quarter. My great grandfather was there when it opened in 1913, and we've been wolfing them ever since. Out here in the Pacific Northwest, there is a far greater variety than those big slimy monsters in Louisiana. Designer oysters whose price per dozen goes UP the smaller they get. Go figure. Here's an oyster note I shared with a friend last night:

"...a favorite northwest recipe for when there's no one around but you and a good bottle of red wine and it's late but hey you gotta eat and ain't you a man anyway? Take some Hama Hama oysters (west side of the Hood Canal) and dust 'em good with finely ground corn meal with some salt and pepper, fry them in olive oil and garlic. When they're still soft put them aside and throw on some barely-wet-from-washing spinach leaves for just 30-40 seconds. Put an oyster on a baguette or whatever bread is handy (sliced thin), then some brie (yes I KNOW....boring... but this is the right place for brie, trust me,) a dab of the spinach and wham... heaven. Repeat. Try dabbing the bread in the garlic-y oil. Don't forget the red wine. And it doesn't have to be Hama Hama oysters, I just like that family... they reminded me of the Stampers of Sometimes a Great Notion when I walked their timber lands last year."

Sierra was 9 when she first had those oysters in New Orleans. We were on an extended adventure through the southeast, and this picture of her standing by a sinker cypress log deep in rural Florida is from that trip, so we can compare her first oyster eating age with Jake's above. Conclusion? Hmmm, none really. Perhaps if we see how she turned out...

Motorcycles. Okay, I admit it. You shouldn't feed young children oysters, or they'll grow up to ride motorcycles. I'm sending Jake to a monastery, while he still has a chance to mend his ways.

A co-worker wrote yesterday, "Hey I know you're busy, but I'm jonesing for my Vermont Street Blog fix. How's the house coming?" A gentle prod using kind words indeed. Little did she know that it's not really that I'm busy, but that I have gone ABSOLUTELY MAD! We've spent all waking hours since the last post on specs and deadlines, and when we sleep, we dream of the project. I wake up from sweaty circular dreams of wiring and radiators with relief, that it was only a dream, to find that the day ahead is to be filled with wiring diagrams for LED lighting and heating schematics for the radiators.

To be fair to you and the project, I need to break these down, and share them. Tonight though, the task is insurmountable. Friend and client David Hughes said today as I chatted on about heat recovering ventilators, "Mmmm, I can see that for me, this would all lead no where, as I am smart enough to be satisfied not knowing everything there is about buildings and their related technologies. You, on the other hand, don't have any such luxury. It is your job to know everything, and you can't ignore this simple but hard fact."

Thanks Dave. Later for you, bub.