After having such a blustery cold rainy week, getting away on a blazingly sunny Saturday was in in order. We headed up to Hog Island Oyster Farm to spend an afternoon slurping back mollusks and enjoying some much appreciated sun. Located a little over an hour’s drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge, it was a really wonderful way to spend a weekend afternoon with some friends. We brought along some good wine and some other picnic like food to make it a fully rounded day and just sat and enjoyed ourselves.
Hog Island Oyster Farms is located on a stretch Tomales Bay near Pt. Reyes with several other oyster farms. This is local eating at its best because you can see from your table the oyster beds where what you’re eating was raised. Make sure you call ahead and reserve a table well in advance because as their website says “demand for picnic tables has grown and weekend tables often book out months in advance.” You can buy your oysters still in the shell or pre-shucked as well as having them grilled by the staff. Shucking the oysters yourself can be a bit of a challenge but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy.
Your table should have some hot sauce on it for adding a dash of heat to the sweet briny oysters. You can also make your own and the recipe below for a standard cocktail sauce makes more than enough for a bushel. You could also make a Mignonette sauce for a extra dash of flavor. We also brought along a couple of bottles of pinot gris which paired beautifully with the oysters. Bring sunscreen since the tables are out in the open. Enjoy the view, enjoy the oysters and enjoy the company. It’s a great way to spend the day.
Cocktail Sauce Recipe
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup horseradish (more or less to taste)
2 tsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dry mustard
Juice and zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp black pepper
Mix all of the ingredients together and serve next to the oysters. Refrigerate any left overs and use within two weeks.