Living in the San Francisco Bay Area has it’s perks, like having the ability to experience amazing day-trip destinations in literally every direction…for instance, a scenic ride to West Marin takes us to the quaint town of Marshall on the Tamales Bay – where both the famous Hog Island Oyster Co. and the Tomales Bay Oyster Company offer “fresh – right from the bay oysters” to enjoy on the spot as charcoal BBQ’s and picnic tables are available on site (may be for a small fee).
You can also take your fresh oysters to-go to cook at home, in which case I recommend you bring along a cooler to transport the oysters to keep them fresh, yet, if your West Marin adventure is an impromptu event – ice is also available for purchase when you get there so you can keep the oysters cold on the ride home. Both locations are very laid back, and both offer tranquil views of Tomalas Bay that will give you that “get away” feeling you’ve been looking for in order to truly relax and have some well earned FUN!
The ride to Tomales Bay is exceptionally beautiful anytime of year. Outdoor lovers will enjoy a visit to the Tomales Bay State Park – one of the many amazing California State Parks. There are also quaint towns with charming restaurants and small boutiques along the way to check out as well.
When *cooking your oysters BBQ style – consider adding a healthy flavor boost with youth-enhancing benefits with my “Anti-Aging” Garlic Butter Sauce Recipe below – and pair your BBQ’D oysters with a sparkling beverage such as champagne, beer, or sparkling water to indulge in a most sumptuous pairing with nature’s perfect food ~ oysters.
Oh, and if your in the mood for love…eating a few dozen oysters and just thinking they are aphrodisiac may just do the trick! More interesting facts on oyster’s proposed aphrodisiac properties follows the recipe below – Enjoy!
To make California Living’s “Anti-Aging” Garlic Butter for 2 dozen BBQ’D Oysters:
- First: Mince 3 cloves garlic – let sit 10 minutes to enhance disease fighting properties.
- Second: Melt 3 heaping tablespoons of a healthy butter-like spread (or butter if you must) to 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons first cold pressed olive oil in the microwave for 10 sec. increments at a time or on the stove top – keep an eye on it as it will melt fast and you don’t want it to burn.
- Then – Add a few cubes of frozen basil (get in frozen section at Trader Joe’s). You can also finely chopped 5 -6 fresh basil leaves too – but the frozen variety is micro-fine and blends really well into the butter/olive oil mixture.
- Next: Coarsely chop a few springs of fresh Rosemary, or the herb of your choice and mix all ingredients together well in a small bowl.
- Once your oysters have opened up on the grill (they have been cooking at medium heat with the lid down for about 5 – 10 minutes depending on your grill and the temp. you have it set on) – split open and spoon enough sauce onto each oyster to cover the oyster meat and grill another few minutes until sauce gets slightly bubbly.
Then…ENJOY! You can make this a great, light meal by adding a fresh green salad, a loaf of crusty whole grain or french bread for dipping in the extra sauce.
Now, did you ever wonder how oysters got their reputation for being an aphrodisiac? As the story goes – Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love, beauty, fertility, and the sea – rose out of the sea in an oyster shell, and the “guilty by association” rule kicked in for oysters, which century after century have gained by this association with Aphrodite the status of enhancing the feelings of sexual desire and performance of mortals who consume them.
Now as far as oysters being great aphrodisiacs – there apparently is no scientific proof to substantiate such a claim (sorry to be the one to tell you), but don’t let that prevent you from thinking what you want to think about them as the psychological impact of believing that oysters are aphrodisiacs can sometimes be strong enough to produce a greater sexual desire or performance – temporarily anyway.
Proposed aphrodisiac effects aside – Oysters are considered one of the most nutritionally well balances foods as they contain valuable protein, and small amounts of carbohydrates and lipids. Extremely low in calories one dozen oysters contains approximately ONLY 110 calories, and they are full of vitamins, and possess the omega-3 fatty acids that are good for our skin, brain, and muscles.
*Health Warning on consuming raw oysters: US health officials recommend cooking oysters before consuming them to prevent Vibro vulnificus infections that can occur from eating contaminated raw oysters.
Aprilanne Hurley SFN, is a Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, Health Expert for California Living TV, and author of The Party Girl Diet, the revolutionary new diet and lifestyle book available on Amazon.com January 2011 so you can “keep the party going…while you lose the weight!” Contact Aprilanne with your diet and nutrition questions @ firstname.lastname@example.org.