In a just-right world, each of the 70,000 oysters that are this year’s crop would reach deep-cupped, three-inch perfection some time between October and December, and demand would be such that we’d ship the very last of them for somebody’s New Year’s Eve party. Then we’d close up shop, and start thinking about next year.
But that only happens in fairy tales.
Every time we go out to the farm, we’re sure we’re headed for disaster. Thing is, though, that half of the time we think we have too many oysters, and the other half we think we have too few. They’re too big! No! They’re too small! You think they’re growing too quickly, and then you look in the next tray, and you’re convinced they’re growing too slowly.
Then we get the call from our wholesaler, W&T Seafood, with this week’s order. It’s way too many! No, wait! It’s not nearly enough!
We’re waiting for the day when it’s just right. When it looks like we’re going to have just the right number of oysters that are just the right size for just the right level of demand. But our friend Les, who’s been doing this a long time, has assured us that this day never comes. And, if you think the day has come, it’s only because you’ve made a mistake.
This week, we got the news that Craig Hopson, chef at Le Cirque, will be using our oysters in a dish at the New York Times’ Taste of T event, where some twenty New York City chefs will be making signature dishes this coming Thursday. We’ll be going out over the weekend to pick them for him.
I’m afraid there won’t be enough. Either that, or there will be too many.