Weekend Oyster Bar

"Contentez-vous de peu et vous serez toujours heureux." My parents came to visit this week and so did my girlfriend's family. We all had a great time together, enjoying the scenery, the food and a few drinks. Since the weather has been so chill and the water so cold, we also went oystering and musseling. One afternoon we set out at low tide and returned a little later with no less than eighty oysters and sixty mussels, all of them wild, fresh, and mind-blowingly good. We ate the shellfish on the back deck, now also known as the Weekend Oyster Bar.

We slugged a couple of oysters with lemon and cold Canadian beer. The mussels I cooked with vermouth (as martinis were in demand), and my mother found seven tiny pearls in one of them.  Later on I served the rest of the oysters with shallots, garlic and tomatoes tossed over pasta. You'll find the recipe for that below.

On sunny Father's Day we went around the Cabot Trail, stopping every few kilometers to take in another dramatic view, explore a pebbly beach, or check out the local crafts. I'm so glad to live in an area that is not only beautiful and wild but also home to woodworkers, potters, leathersmiths, metal sculptors and glass blowers--in essence, home to artists and creative individuals. Here are a few of the shops whose wares I will be featuring on the blog.

Leather goods - Leather Works Cutting boards - Woodsmiths Studio Plates and more - Big Hill Pottery

Serves 4

Pasta with Oysters, Shallots, Garlic and Tomatoes

• 40 oysters, shucked + some juice • 2 cups tomatoes, diced with juice • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 3 shallots, finely chopped • small handful of flat-leaf parsley, cut in chiffonade • 1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated • 1/2 lemon juice • olive oil • salt + ground black pepper

Cook your choice of pasta in boiling water. Set aside. In a large pan, cook the oysters in a bit of olive oil for about 1 minute. Add the shallots, garlic and parlsey. Cook on high heat for another minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer for a couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top the pasta with the sauce, some parmesan, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.