First: Thank you all so much for your warm-hearted comments on my last post. It has been nearly two weeks since we lost such a big part of our little family, and even more since I last held Tim in my arms. Moving on gets easier with each day. Writing that post helped.
The first few days without Tim in the apartment were brutal. We kept catching random items out of the corner of our eyes and mistaking them for him, perched in his favorite spots, waiting patiently for attention. We missed his greetings when we walked through the door and the warmth of his fur when he slept. By this past Saturday, we had visited four different animal shelters in the area, trying our best to be patient and find kittens who belonged in our family -- who could make our home complete again. We didn't want to rush into anything.
On Monday, we found them and brought them home.
So, without further ado, please meet Omar (left) and Marlo (right). They've only been around for a few days, and already I know that Marlo loves to eat (girl after my own heart) and Omar loves to fight (he's little but ferocious, ferocious but sweet). They're our babies, and we're so excited that we get to love them for the rest of their lives.
Second: California. With all the kitty business going around here lately, I haven't had time to tell you about our trip! This changes right now. Starting with the oysters.
I haven't always been crazy about oysters. In fact, I still wouldn't consider myself crazy about them at all. But I like them a lot, and that's something I couldn't say after trying them raw just a couple of times before. Before now, I thought they were just OK. Good, but nothing special. But the way some people eat them like they're slurpy diamonds plucked from the sea -- my dad, for example, who, if offered to share a plate of a dozen raw oysters with his daughter, will eat almost all of them if she's not careful, and will likely not save the last one for her -- I really did want to love them.
I don't know what made these different. Maybe it was because of where and how we ate them: At the Marshall Store in Tomales Bay, slurping them off the half shell over wooden counters looking over the blue skies and water, with pelicans flying not far overhead. We bought fresh oysters from the Tomales Bay Oyster Company off Highway 1, and drove them back along the windy road to our rental beach house to eat them hot off the grill with beer, bread and cheese. I think these are the ways oysters are meant to be eaten.
If you're not sure about oysters raw, then get them on the grill. And if you're going to grill them, be sure to add a generous douse of olive oil and garlic. That's the way my brother-in-law, Matt, got Murdo (who had tried the oysters raw at the Marshall Store and decided they weren't for him) to love oysters so much, he started counting the remaining shells on the grill to make sure he got his fair share.
Matt used this recipe from Simply Recipes, skipping the parsley and red chili flakes and adding extra garlic. He used an oven mitt and a knife to pry the shells off, just after they started to bubble and open on the grill. We spooned olive oil and garlic into the shells, then returned them to the grill to finish cooking.
And then we feasted. Because that's what makes oysters special, really -- the feast, and the surroundings, and the company you keep through it all. I get it now.