Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day: Part 2 - Oyster Shucking at Home

Actually, to be specific, all this was done at my brother's house, not my house (aka my parent's house). Nonetheless, the take home message is that  we celebrated Mother's Day as a whole family not at a restaurant (which we usually do) but at home. Every year, my brother and I have such a hard time choosing a place to take our parents since we live in a "good-food-deprived" city known as "Mississauga". So this year, to spice things up a bit, my brother suggested having dinner at his place, and what  a great idea it was!
On Mother's Day, my brother and my sister-in-law went for a drive and fetched 4 dozen fresh oysters and 2 lbs of clams from Diana's Seafood, picked up a 1.5L bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, and invited my parents and I over to their place. They also prepared a wonderful meal consisting of soup, salads, lamb chops, and a home-made cheesecake. All this food for the five of us, at the comfort of their new home. Good food, good wine, engaging conversations, lovely company - elements that are staple to our family gatherings were all present that night.

Here are the 2 lbs of clams - washed and drained.

As for the oysters, my brother got 4 different kinds:
  • Fanny Bay
  • Kumamoto
  • Lambertini
  • Raspberry Point
(Don't ask me which ones are which in the photos because I have no idea)

My brother was in charge of shucking oysters since he is the "pro-shucker". We all stood aside and watched him shuck away (I really like the word "shuck"...it's fun to say)

Close-up photos of the meaty oysters.

Below are all the dishes on the dinner table

My sister-in-law made a beautiful spinach salad with strawberries and blueberries.

She also made a cucumber salad with chopped garlic, sesame oil, and some salt and pepper - Taiwanese style. This is our Asian influence of the night =)

Clam chowder. This was nice and warm, a good accompaniment to the raw oysters.

And what goes best with the clam chowder? My Mom's homemade French bread of course! This bread was sooo soft and fluffy since they came out of the oven right before we left the house for my brother's place.  As a side note, being the food connoisseur that she is, my Mom would not feel comfortable not contributing at all to a dinner... hence the bread =)

Our "French" influence for the night?
Also nice and warm were the asparagus. I love asparagus.

And the stars of the night...the oysters. They were all soooo yummy! None of them had any hint of the nasty stale seafood odor or taste. All you can taste, essentially, is the freshness of the oysters. We had some lemon and Tobasco sauce with them as well.

As for the clams, we didn't eat them raw. My sister-in-law stir-fried them in a wok with rice wine, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and basil leaves. Very tasty!

And in case we get sick of seafood (haha), my brother prepared some lamb chops too! I had two pieces. Soft and tender, very nice. It's a good change from lamb racks that I usually have.

For dessert, my sister-in-law made a wonderful and delicious blueberry cheesecake. I love cheesecake. I had seconds =)

This dinner wouldn't have been possible without my brother and sister-in-law. Being able to take our time and chit chat for hours at the comfort of their house made this whole Mother's Day meal 10x better than going to Rodney's!