The World is Your Oyster

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest the winter season wasn’t something that stopped us from doing what we enjoyed as a family. Sure cuddling by the fireplace and reading books was one way to enjoy it since we are a family of readers, but this is also the season of crabbing, clam digging, grilling oysters, and taking advantage of non-peak camping rates!

Here are a few items in our collection to get you started on your Winter adventures:

Dig A Clam, Shuck An Oyster, Shake A Crab: Fish and Seafood Recipes From the Pacific Northwest by John Nelson – My first experience with crabbing was actually in Oregon near Newport in the Yaquina River waters. My mom, stepdad, and I would set up the traps and by the time we dropped the last one we’d pick up the first. It was a pretty good catch with just a few small ones and females. We had a handy tool that not only measured size, but also had the markings to differentiate between the sexes. Once we completed our catch for the day we’d head back to cook and clean the crabs – some like to clean before cooking, but my mom preferred having the whole crab cook in it’s shell. She made the most delicious crab cakes from that catch. It was hard work, but totally worth it!

Oysters: Recipes That Bring Home A Taste the Sea by Cynthia C. Nims – I have so many experiences with oysters – from the smoked oysters in a can my dad would keep stocked in his bar for us to have during football games, to stays in the yurts of Grayland on the Washington Coast grilling them on the BBQ, to stopping in at our local fish shop to cook them at home or heading to the waterfront in Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia to get oysters on the halfshell. By far my favorite experience was after an amazing hike with a girl friend of mine we headed to Hama Hama Oyster Saloon and had fresh oysters with a cold glass of rose right on the waters of the Hood Canal.

The Flora and Fauna of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Collin Varner – Growing up camping in the Olympic Peninsula and along the coast you realize it’s a place you can never get bored of – there is constantly something to see and admire. I fell in love with trees like the Madrone and the Willow, loved the Blue Jays, Seagulls, and Goldfinches, and am always drawn to fungi and moss. As a child the hanging moss on the lower branches of the trees would be Bigfoot’s fur! Nature truly is the best thing you can enjoy in Washington State whether alone or with family and friends, no matter the season!

Washington’s Pacific Coast: A Guide to Hiking, Camping, Fishing & Other Adventures by Greg Johnston – I’m usually a tent girl, but more and more I’ve been enjoying the yurts and cabins you can reserve along the coast at Pacific Beach, Grayland Beach, and Cape Disappointment, they are simple and comfortable, but best of all they have electricity and heat! We tend to camp pretty basic with either our electric griddle or our cast iron pans – not to mention good ol’ foil packets in the fire meals – but there is something nice about crawling into a warm bed at night…or maybe I’m just getting old.

– Some helpful links –

~posted by Kara P.

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