And the connection is?? Orcas Island, of course. A perfect place to spend a quintessential fall weekend partaking in all the local specialties. We heard that Buck Bay Shellfish Farm was open for business and decided to take an excursion to one of my favorite parts of the island — Olga. Just around the bend past the Orcas Island Artworks is beautiful Buck Bay.
If you look at this photo carefully, you can see the pipe that brings water directly from the sound to an ingenious operation up the hill. Drive in and you are directed to “honk for service”. Toni was right there, eager to show us around Buck Bay Shellfish Farm housed in a barn on an old family homestead. She showed us how the water is pumped in through tanks which are the homes of the growing oysters and clams.
Granted, this might seem like cheating to our friend, Finspot, over at Fat of the Land, who would no doubt be out digging his own clams. We were happy to have all the work done for us and to be able to take home big bags of clams and oysters for appetizers that evening. Another benefit is being able to cook the clams right away without soaking to get rid of the sand. Toni showed us which oysters would sit easily on the grill. You can choose the size from small to ex-large. I chose medium but in the future, I’ll go with small. The mediums were quite large, especially for the unitiated oyster-eater.
My brother, Jon, did a perfect job with the oysters on the grill and then with shucking. His wife, Michelle, makes a killer cocktail sauce. We steamed the clams in a little Pinot Grigio, a couple of cloves of garlic and plenty of butter.
Simple, fresh and Orcas Island local.