It is hard to believe this time last year we were still living in Tucson and craving all things "Oregon Coast". In fact our usual July visit last year left us coveting mussels in particular. Unfortunately there's often a ban on harvesting the little beauties during the summer months due to paralytic shellfish toxins which put the kibosh on 'em during our vacation .
Say what? "Shellfish contaminated with PSTs can cause minor to severe illness or even death. The symptoms usually begin with tingling of the mouth and tongue. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, paralysis of the arms and legs, and paralysis of the muscles used for breathing. Shellfish toxins are produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean." I mean really, who wants to take a chance on that, right?
When mussels were back on the market last year, we whipped up a feast using this Anne Burrell recipe for the steamed mollusks with a Red Pepper Aioli. Pure anticipation it was for the time we'd be living here on the coast full time and able to harvest our own.
The quarantine was lifted earlier this month. Big Guy's been craving a good feed and hit the beach on a hunt. It took him all of about 10 minutes before he called to say he'd picked what he thought we could eat (40 of the 72 permitted per person per day) and was on his way home. He cleaned the lovely bearded things and steamed them in white wine and garlic. Beautiful, you bet! He was rather impressed with himself, I might add.
Personally, I wasn't about to take any chances on getting dizzy never mind numbness and paralysis. I get enough of that from menopause, so he ate 'em all on his own while I chowed down on something a trifle more ordinary.
Seeing as he survived his feast without any ill effects, I'll take that as my cue to join him during another low tide at a location near us to help him pick another feast off the rocks. I hate to admit it, but the man's right when he says "you'd have to be an idiot to starve on the Oregon Coast".
A year ago - Ham And Bean Soup
Two years ago - Dairy Free Rich Chocolate Mousse
Three years ago - Potato Gratin