Divide a crowd

I know this isn't much of a recipe, but I absolutely want to profess my love for smoked oysters.  I'm also aware some of you may stop reading right now, but I think we know each other well enough by now not to let this come between us.  

Oysters, fresh or smoked, tend to divide a crowd pretty quickly.  I love all smoked seafood, even the stuff in little tins that need to be peeled open and forked out of olive oil.  Although not smoked, sardines are a constant favorite of mine, especially those with hot red chillies laying side by side to the tiny fish.  Spread on multi-grain toast, it's a real breakfast treat.  Dorie Greenspan led me to this fantastic Lemony Sardine Spread that has tempted me to do something other than eat them straight out of the tin.

To be honest, I did very little cooking over the weekend.  I was looking after my poor husband who came down with the stomach flu Thursday night.  If there's anything to stop a weekend of delicious meal planning, it's the stomach flu.

Here's where I confess further that while Martin was shivering under the duvet on Friday evening, I was out in the sun enjoying my oysters and a cold glass of beer.  I took 10 of my favorite magazines, my iPod and the dog to the top deck to take advantage of the last rays of the day.  Taking out a single plate, I assembled a tray ready to indulge on my own.  I must also confess that I do not mind eating on my own.  Apart from a rather unfortunate experience in Zurich where I ate at the Laughing Cow twice in one day because of fear of the unknown, I have grown adventurous when asking for a table for one.

Smoked oysters are one of my Dad's favorite and I had to give him a call as I popped the last of the meaty morsels into my mouth.  Every year for Christmas, he finds them with a smile at the bottom of his stocking.  He puts them straight in the pantry and waits for the right time to pull them out and eat them with plain Saltine crackers.  If there's one thing my Dad is great at, it's putting together a great snack to be enjoyed in front of a ball game.  I remember him always pouring his beer in a small glass and sharing a sip with me.  It made me feel like one of the guys and it's probably the beer I have to thank for my love of watching most sports on TV.  

So there I was, breaking open the tin and peering in to see the oysters nestled nicely together.  I decided to pair mine with a lovely ale, Dogfish Head Raison D'Etre, which was perfectly chilled.  Each sip made me so completely happy that I could have been sipping Champagne out of crystal.

If you fancy a mouthful of happiness, you know what to do:

Smoked Oysters and Crackers  

1 tin of smoked oysters
1 pack of Saltine crackers or any plain crackers (biscuits in the UK)
1 small glass of your favorite beer, chilled
Sunshine or ball game- your choice

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