DEFCON Dining: Oyster Freedom at Liberty Kitchen
As the trays of oysters arrived, I noticed my kids eyeing them warily. I assured them that they would not be forced to eat any, due in no small part to selfishness. An unwanted oyster given to an unwilling child is one taken away from me, after all. When my eldest, who's developed a fondness for fried oysters, started indicating that she might want to try one, my attitude changed. While I wasn't willing to force the kid to take one away from me, I was more than willing to let her. We tried to coach her in proper slurping, but she went after it with a fork. Both James and I nearly jumped out of our seats when she threatened to spill the oyster liquor in the process. I mean, I'm cool with her charting her own course, but some things are sacred.
Photo by Nicholas L. Hall Cecilia: not quite a convert.
Liquor saved, we all waited with anticipation, her repeated head-fakes adding to the drama as she hesitantly raised fork to mouth, committed but concerned. She struggled a bit. To be frank, so did I, with my first oyster. Afterwards, she objected that she hadn't known it was raw. Lies.
Ultimately, the rest of the meal is a bit beside the point. We talked, we ate, we laughed. The service was a bit slow, the entrées a bit less than we might have liked. Oh, and if you're wondering how the oyster smackdown went, I regrettably admit that, this time, we both preferred the intensely briny, slightly sweet Wellfleets. All of us but Cecilia, who only hazarded the one. While I don't think she'll be my next willing pawn in the oyster-craving-game, I'm proud of the kid.