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Back deck oysters

On  Prince  Edward  Island,  oyster  shucking  is  as  common  as  knot  tying, field plowing, and fiddle playing. Off-island, oyster shucking is as impressive a party trick as piano playing, champagne sabering, or the full levitation of an elephant. When a crowd drops by, here’s how to  simply  and  spontaneously  impress  with  a  mess  of  oysters  and  readily available ingredients. As with all things oyster, it’s always best to invite a loved one or two to share the shucking fun. At the peak of the party, rally your friends to make a real splash. No sense toiling away in some back room with no moral support. It’s better for the oysters if you shuck in the thick of the action. They’ll be fresher. The party will find them wherever they are. You can present and serve the oysters directly on your kitchen countertop, dining room table, picnic table, or even tailgate. For maximum party points, though, find a festive platter or other rustic surface. Try fresh  cedar  shingles,  large  tiles,  cutting  boards,  quarry  stone,  live-edge lumber, or weathered barn board.

Ingredients

  • 1 or 2 shots of your favourite frozen spirit, such as vodka, gin, or tequila
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • Hot sauce or freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Gather your fellow shuckers and shuck away (see page 76). As you shuck, invert the accumulating top shells and arrange in a tight, decorative pattern. 
  2. Carefully nestle the laden bottoms amidst the tops so not a single delicious drop is spilled and wasted. Arrange as closely together as you can. 
  3. With your finger over the mouth of the bottle, evenly sprinkle the spirit over the oysters. Zest the orange, lemon, and lime over the oysters. 
  4. Cut each fruit in half and squeeze and evenly sprinkle the juices through a mesh strainer. Add a dot of hot sauce or a generous dusting of freshly ground pepper. Share. Repeat until you run out of friends or oysters.

Excerpted from Farm, Fire & Feast: Recipes from the Inn at Bay Fortune by Michael Smith Copyright © 2021 Michael Smith. Photography by Al Douglas. Published by Penguin Canada®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


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