To cap off Oyster Week, we look back at all the brass-edged Oyster Bars we've known, near and far.
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The idea of eating oysters at home, outside the comforting brass and marble confines of a swanky oyster bar is, I admit, a slightly daunting prospect. But if you like a challenge – as well as a look of awe (or is that trepidation?) in your friends’ faces as you welcome them to your home for supper – then you have come to the right place.
Image via thethinkingtank
Before I was born my mother was in great agony of spirit and in a tragic situation. She could take no food except iced oysters and champagne. If people ask me when I began to dance, I reply, 'In my mother's womb, probably as a result of the oysters and champagne - the food of Aphrodite.'
- Isadora Duncan, American dancer (1878-1927)
Isadora Duncan was right about at least one thing: oysters are indeed the food of Aphrodite, as beautiful to eat as their pearls are pretty. And though their homes are humbler than the gifts they reveal, once emptied of their delicious, briny bivalve dwellers, these crusty grey things lend themselves to an untold array of artistic, as well as practical, applications.
In the summer just after college, when I fancied myself some type of pioneer of real-world living, clumsily learning the basic skills of adulthood (seemingly long-known by everyone else), I discovered by accident and subsequently went fully cultish over M.F.K. Fisher. A freshly edited compendium of her writing, The Art of Eating, had just been published that summer, and I think it literally fell down on me from a high shelf while I was sulking around the cookbooks at a Barnes & Noble.
In February, pregnant and in bed with a cold, I fell head first into my first Persephone Book*. One of the small press’s handful of Classics, The Home-Maker was originally published in 1924. The author, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, was a New England novelist (and wife, and mother). And rather than a feminist, a self-declared advocate for children. Ninety years later, her message remains sweet as ever.
The French have long known that to wear a gown in grey is to dress in that perfect (and elusive) nexus of classic sophistication and subtle surprise. No one will entirely expect it, but at the same time it is really the only answer to that interminable refrain of But what do I wear?! Existing in the wide and nebulous middle ground between the black cocktail dress and the white wedding gown, a grey dress is inherently versatile, and infinitely adaptable to all occasions and moods between those two stark monochrome poles: as right and reasonable in a disco as at an inauguration...