A Darn Fine Weekend
My blog has been dormant like an alligator in the winter mud. I'm trying to awaken it from its slumber.
In an attempt to rouse this online place where I occasionally jot some things down, I'm looking back a ways, back to March of '22. A darn fine weekend. Or a collection of a few weekends. Regardless, darn fine. Oysters and drum and cool, clean, and clear salt water, and azaleas in bloom.
Picking oysters---knocking the too-small ones off the clusters, toss the ones you keep in the fish basket sitting in the still cold, early spring, southeastern Carolina water, still cold and clean, maybe even shuck one of the bivalves for a briny mid morning snack, or maybe it was mid afternoon. Find a few mussels too, just poking through a mud bank of a small creek, pull them, often connected together in a big clump, out of that dark rich mud that smells like marsh.
A few drum---casting up on the oyster bank, let the jig and soft plastic sink down, it's about mid-tide, going out, bump the bait off the bottom with a flick up of the rod-holding wrist, just enough so the fake, plastic bait jumps up, maybe a few inches or a foot off the shells and mud and flutters back down, and maybe, just maybe, there's a grab and strong resistance on the line when the bait falls and sinks, tension in the line, tension in the rod as the graphite bends, line pulls off the reel as the fish runs, work him in, over the gunnel he goes, snap some picture evidence, let him swim off. Cast again, repeat. It's springtime and they're "schooled up." Get 'em while the getting's easy.
Back at the house---toss the oysters on the charcoal grill, or on a pan in the oven, since there's no steamer pot, let 'em steam in their own salty juice, till they just start to open, don't overdo them, enjoy with a cold beer or maybe some good rum.
And later, steam some mussels, with broth and garlic and tomatoes and whatever else, with a little bread.
A darn fine weekend.