The Proper way to Eat Oysters

There is something sexy about eating oysters. This edible mollusc has been consumed by kings, queens, emperors and gods for hundreds of years.
However, in our modern day, maybe it is just the satisfaction of seeing fellow diners squirm while you gulp them down, or the feeling of playing Russian roulette with the rare chance that you may eat a “bad” oyster.

The traditional way to eat oysters is when they are served on a bed of crushed ice, garnished with a side order of shallot vinegar, ground pepper, lemon wedges and Tabasco sauce.

Using a fork, loosen the flesh of the oyster from the shell then throw it back.
Any following oysters can be loosed using the shell from your first oyster. This is nice way to achieve the natural, finger food feel which our ancestors probably used in times gone by.

If you are an oyster virgin and are not too enthusiastic about swallowing a fleshy, raw shellfish which has dredged the bottom of sea, then here are a few options which you might find easier to swallow. An oyster shot. A raw oyster in a shot glass, topped up with a shot of Bloody Mary – vodka, tomato juice, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice.

If you are still not convinced about eating your oysters raw, then why not try them grilled. A nice combination is oysters with spinach and Hollandaise sauce. Again, served with lots of ground pepper and a wedge of lemon.
A very popular dish is “angels on horseback”. The oysters are wrapped in strips of bacon and grilled. They can be served as a canape with a cocktail stick or on toast. Another creative combination is serving them on a bed of steamed samphire grass – a delicate, aromatic seaweed.

A word of warning. Do not consume gin or red wine when eating oysters. There are natural toxins and bacteria in an oyster, and when mixed with the chemicals in gin or red wine, have the potential to make you very ill. A good seafood restaurant will probably show a disclaimer on their menu to highlight this, or their staff will be trained to inform customers when they order.
You should not consume oysters if you are pregnant, suffer from liver disease or have a low immune system. Again this is due to the high levels of bacteria present within the oyster.

Never, ever, eat an oyster which is not fully opened. Always go to a well-reputed seafood restaurant if you want the reassurance that your oysters are fresh from a quality supplier. The chef will also have carried out stringent procedures with regard to their storage, preparation and cooking standards.

Do not let what I have said deter you from eating oysters. They are renowned for being exceptionally nutritious and a very powerful aphrodisiac.
Eat an oyster and experience the pleasure of feeling you are eating straight from the sea. So next time you are dining out – give it a try. The world is your oyster.

The most popular fast food choices

Everyone goes to fast food restaurants with the excuse that they’re convenient and fast. Actually, you usually hit the drive thru window because you have had a sudden craving for something salty or sweet.

French fries are probably the favorite fast food treat. Hot, salty, and a little greasy, they satisfy all of your cravings for something fast to eat and something that tastes good. Potatoes are one of the most popular foods in the country, and a lot of them go into those wonderful French fries. While there really isn’t much difference in taste between most fries, everyone swears that they know where the very best ones come from. Straight, crinkled, shoestring, waffled, or curly, fries are all good, whether you eat them by themselves, or with ketchup or mayo.

Whether it’s good to eat red meat or not, if you aren’t a vegetarian, you probably indulge yourself with a burger now and then. You might even add a slice of cheese, and you probably add some extras like pickles, mustard, ketchup, onion, lettuce or tomato.

Hot dogs have been held in question for as long as there have been hot dogs. Everyone wants to know exactly what they are made of, and there are no end of rumors about their ingredients. Still, a hot dog is hard to resist. Depending on what part of the country you come from, or what city, they are eaten broiled, deep-fried, or grilled, with everything from coleslaw to sauerkraut.

Onion rings are one of those little treats that you might not fix at home, but you can’t resist at the drive thru, especially if you can smell them cooking.

Occasionally, everyone craves a milkshake. There is something about that cold treat that just hits the spot. Some fast food restaurants have even branched out beyond the strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate flavors and added seasonal taste treats.

Chicken tenders, strips, or nuggets are fast finger food that can be dipped in any number of sauces, or just eaten plain. They are handy, since you can eat them on the run, and it makes you feel less guilty than eating red meat.

A lot of fast food places are beginning to specialize in flavored coffees and iced coffee treats. Cold, smooth, flavored and creamy, these are wonderful on a hot day, and addictive, if you ignore the calories, sodium and cholesterol levels.

Believe it or not, a lot of fast food restaurants today actually have wonderful salads. While these might not necessarily something that you crave, they are getting more and more creative and tempting.

Whether you admit it or not, a lot of fast foods are tasty, and that is the very reason that you just can’t resist stopping at the drive thru.

The right Gift for your Hostess

A large gift basket sounds like an excellent idea for a hostess, especially one that is a very good friend and one you may wish to pamper. (And one you will want to ask you back for another dinner.)

Great gift ideas for the hostess is limited only by your imagination and your lack of knowldege of the hostess. The best way to be sure you give her the right gift is to take some time in finding out her preferences. You can do this by asking around. In this way your gift will say you took the time to choose something she would use. One good way, and a favorite way of pleasing your hard working hostess is filling a decorative baskets with spices, wines, other edible foods, or special little kitchen gadgets.

In this basket you will have a book, not necessarily about cooking but one you know she will like, but it should have some connection to this dinner, or this party, Some little bottles of spice that ordinarily one does have on hand, (saffron, lemon zest,) and other little edibles that she can use in the future. Throw in that apron that you made especially for her, and fill in whatever. Place mats for two with matching napkins that you made and don’t need and have been looking to place them somewhere.

And last, several little bottles of a non-alcoholic drink, a very good ginger-ail will be just right. You happen to remember you two were discussing what to do when you have that slight nausea that sometimes come on with too much stress. These are all suggestions and can be personalized to fit the person. Certainly not all of these at once but they are only ideas that hopefully will lead to other ideas.

Whatever, make the gift one that is not expected. You do not have to follow the accepted custom here. Give this gift because you want her to have these nice little things and not because of the reaction you will get from the other guests. Their gifts may be expensive and you, having less money, will be just as thoughtful.

Thus you have saved money and time. The items, with the exception of the ginger ale are all items you have and have been waiting to pass them on to some one who will love them as much as you do. I believing this is giving from the heart. Whatever, don’t go overboard. In many instances, flowers from your own garden, a jar of homemade pickles decoratively presented will be excellent choice. What I mean here is fit the gift to the ocassion.

Well whatever. These are the gifts I would bring to your house were I invited to dinner. Consider them yours now. What’s the French word for ‘healthy appetite’? Oh yes, I remember, bon’ appetite.