The dog days are here and it is finally summer in Seattle. I know for sure summer is here when my strawberries are ready to be harvested. This year I used most of my strawberries as is over vanilla ice cream, its just the best and my new obsession – Acai Bowls – where have you been all my life? These bowls consist of frozen Acai puree that I mix with 1/2 a banana and 1/2 a cup of other fruit I have handy, then top it with Granola, honey, fresh fruit and shaved coconut – and with my new Vitamix (thank you Tina!) I finally get the right consistency of the Acai puree. This Brazilian breakfast dish is summer in a bowl- you have to try it.
The highlights for the last couple of months can be summarized into weekend fun with the boat, birthday celebrations, family visits, concerts and of course our yearly 4th of July outing in Long Beach. It seems that all highlights also come with a lowlight and this time its our 11 year old cattle dog Sky who all of the sudden lost most of her mobility in her hind legs but that still doesn’t hinder her of having fun and still enjoying being around us.
Mike and I are really enjoying taking the boat out to our new found favorite lake 1 hour from our house – Lake Kachess – and had a ton of fun exploring the lake with Chris and Margo, while exploring a small island for a possible camping get away.
Murphy has also well adjusted of now being a “boating dog”.
For this year’s 4th of July Long Beach vacation, Dee and David (Mike’s grandparents) joined us and Dee delighted us with some of her amazing Texas cooking such as homemade biscuits and gravy for breakfast and home made chicken fried steak for dinner. We could then return the favor and making Dee her favorite dish – Oysters! We can’t take the credit for the actual Oyster recipe – this recipe was kindly shared with us by Brody (Mike’s friends son) and I think this is the first time that Dee overdosed on Oysters – that’s how much she loved it. I have to say, I am not a big Oyster fan, but this recipe is pretty awesome, its an in between “raw oysters and oysters Rockefeller”. Even though its an easy recipe I am sure you will impress any of your friends serving those with some fresh baked baguette and a glass of champagne, white wine or beer.
As our routine has it, we first drop by the “Jett clan” to say hello and getting the scoop on Harry’s latest remodeling, yard and house projects, sitting around the fire (this year even a fire ring) and snack on Brody’s famous oysters. Then we stop by at “Dennis” the local “all around store” and stock up on beach goodies such as new chairs and other random things and lastly grab take in from either the local Thai or Chinese place. This year it was Chinese from Chens.
The next day Mike and whoever has joined us for the year’s outing will spend a couple hours on the beach collecting wood for the 4th July bonfire, while the ladies usually prepare the food for the beach and around noon we start building our camp and start with the libations.
Since it wouldn’t be 4th of July if there wouldn’t be somewhat of a little bit of beach drama (like flaming shirts from standing too close to the bonfire or hair on fire from fireworks that were shot into the wrong direction or dogs getting into a fight and losing a tooth), this years drama was provided by my own ingenuity of trying to circumvent some cars stuck in the sand by driving around them into the deepest sand there is and get ourselves stuck. Thankfully we had a shovel handy and as luck wants it a second shovel was just right there in the sand when I exited the car. So we swiftly dug ourselves out and now I will hear for the rest of my life when driving on the beach…don’t get us stuck again…haha.
We love it in Long Beach and its always hard to say good bye… so long dreamy beach town…one day we might settle down there for a little bit and enjoy beach and ocean living..
So the Tito’s Ginger brew might have clouded my decision on the exit route to take the night of 4th of July, but what do you think happens when you sit relaxed on your deck, listen to music and drink too much wine?
You end up buying WAY too expensive tickets for a concert headlined by a 72 year old woman and fly in your kid from California since this artist is one of her all time favorites and yes you read that correct – 72! But to our defense, it was Blondie (and Garbage) and it was on the bucket list.
Garbage was AMAZING and Blondie, well she is 72, so hats off for still touring but sadly I have to say she was not the musical highlight I had hoped for but it was still very cool to see her and it was great to spend the evening with Brittany while drinking way too much local champagne :-).
With this round up of the past 2 months I will finally share the amazing Oyster recipe I mentioned before.
What you need:
- fresh oysters (chose size according to your liking, these are medium Willapa Bay Oysters and I had fished out the smaller ones and some of them were still pretty big)
- Garlic powder
- Parmesan (the really really finely grated one, in the pizza aisle)
- fresh lemon juice
- Dee’s Creole seasoning (optional – but it was AWESOME) – I am sure you can use store bought one…I will see if grandma will share her recipe with me 😉
- hot sauce such as Tapatillo
- green onions cut in very very tiny pieces
- a BBQ, Oyster Knife
How to prepare them:
- Wash the Oyster shells
- Place Oysters on a warm BBQ, I would say it should feel like 350 degrees
- Watch closely when the Oysters open up, they will start to steam and then pop
- Very carefully (use a couple old pot holders) grab the Oyster(s) that opened up, insert the Oyster knife in the back, loosen the top shell and then crack it open. Try to keep some juice inside but if you lose it, its not a problem.
- Put the Oyster(s) back on to the BBQ and pour a little bit Tequila over the Oyster. Make sure your Oysters ALWAYS swim in liquid. Then add a little bit of butter and lemon juice, then the garlic powder, parmesan and Tapatillo.
- Let the Oyster bake for a little bit longer – then serve with fresh baguette and a glass of champagne or white whine. If you like green onions, sprinkle some over the oysters at the very end.