april come, she will, when streams are ripe and swelled with rain. and yes, it is the last month of the Rs. and the skokomish river is at perfect temperature to fall to the hood canal. which makes those oysters at hamma-hamma at their most succulent, gently briny, easy to slurp.
we have driven up there often. once you leave I-5 and get on rt.101, heading north, the ride becomes ever more scenic and lush. the hood canal to your right, the road seems to touch the shore at times, the view north is endless, even on a clear day. it's a long drive, two hours on the main north highway and another hour plus after olympia, likely more, if you have a license plate says "retired" in front of you, a like stratocruise camper doodling on.
i didn't feel like hammering the pike up and back simply to get yearling oysters for a stew, so i called them and sure enough, they said yes, we'd 'UPS' them for next day and funny enough the cost would be less than my lovely lola takes supping on diesel. we'll shuck'em right before sending your order down, they'll be as fresh, well, almost, as if you'd shucked them yourself. so they arrived at my kitchen this late afternoon, and soon as i done the box cutter thing, they were set to slip into a broth prepped in advance for the happy event.
the broth: oh, easy: crème fraîche, a jigger of sake, thyme and tarragon, a generous grinding of pepper, for alternative texture, the smallest of new seed potatoes, happily steamed, and toward the end crunchy sea salt, and their oyster's liquid, all at a supple simmer and done, as the oysters slid into their rapture. hence those yearlings had scantily time to be cooked, which is the way i think such a stew ought to be served. and it was. much to applause, and a full tender belly, as it was, barely enough to serve two.
i did attempt an image. though i know a picture is worth the trembling of a thousand tongues, i have to beg off. i could have, should have, even would have taken the pan to the light, alas, the scent of the stew was too much, the spoon way too ready and above tongues trembled indeed, if for the aroma, the taste and the penchant of the endeavor.