Shellfish epiphanies

24 Aug

Until recently I hadn’t much dabbled in shellfish, probably because my mother has a deathly allergy to scallops and even though I know allergies aren’t hereditary, I had an inexplicable fear of my throat closing up and having to shell out (pun! pun!) ghastly amounts of money in emergency room fees lest my body suddenly decide to reject any and all sea creatures. But I put that fear aside and yesterday C and I drove down the coast to Taylor Shellfish Farms, a place I’d overlooked over the years on my numerous drives up the winding Chuckanut Drive. I had to drive 25 minutes and coerce my car into a tricky 4-point turn on a busy road to get there, but as we pulled up to the mudflats and surveyed the scattered industrial remnants of the historic farm, it was well worth it. Behind the oyster baths and muddy crab cages, wedged between a tiny and deliciously mysterious lighthouse and a trawler dubbed something hilarious like “Ellen,” (though I can’t remember the exact name) we entered the retail shop. We bought a modest pound of pink sea scallops and two pounds of mussels, dropped a whopping $12.50 (mussels are so cheap! Why don’t people eat them every day!?), and headed home.

We were hankering for a restaurant-worthy fancy Italian meal, so we boiled up some fresh linguine and C whipped up a sauce from heavy cream, parmesan, garlic, parsley, shallots, and white wine.

We sauteed up some mushrooms with halved cherry tomatoes and steamed the mussels and scallops in more wine and more garlic. Over the past year it has become wildly apparent that all you really need to make a fancy-ass meal is fresh ingredients and LOTS of garlic and LOTS of white wine. Everything is better when cooked in white wine. Why is that?

Suffice to say our meal was TOTALLY RESTAURANT WORTHY. And holy balls, are mussels pretty to look at. Pretty, and overtly sexual, YOWZA. I asked a coworker today why he and so many others were turned off by shellfish, and he told me that he thinks it’s the sliminess, but I think ya’ll are just PRUDES.

Don’t tell me that’s not something you wouldn’t pay for at a fancy Italian restaurant. Ok, well realistically I wouldn’t, but I would order it if my dad were taking me out for dinner. Or if I had a sugar daddy. Or if I were on a date with someone I recently realized was a total creep, but it was too late to leave and I already had the¬†menu in front of me. Then I’d be like, “BAM I WANT THE EXPENSIVE STUFF. AND ALSO A BOTTLE OF WINE, SUCKER.” Which is probably why boys don’t take me out on dates.

Pretty, pretty! And the cream sauce! OH GOD THE CREAM SAUCE. If I keep up like this I’m totally going to gain a hundred pounds and then C is going to be all, “gross, woman, you used to look okay and now you look like an oompa loompa.” But it’ll be all his fault because he encourages my unhealthy obsession of drenching all dishes in copious amounts of heavy cream. As far as I’m concerned, there’s really no other way.

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