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Christie Brinkley once said, “Life is too short to not have oysters and champagne sometimes.” I could not agree more! I have never met an oyster I didn’t love. I will eat them raw, roasted or fried, although I prefer them raw with hot sauce and horseradish on top of a saltine cracker. Yum!

I must admit that oysters are an acquired taste. Unless of course they are fried – we all know that most Southerners will eat anything that is coated in heavy batter and fried in a vat of grease until it’s golden brown. But I digress. I learned so much about this delicacy while shooting the cover for this issue. Working along side some of the area’s most talented people to bring the cover to life was truly a pleasure and an honor.

I would like to thank the following businesses for their contributions to our shoot: Brittany Cason Interior Design, JC’s Seafood in Aiken, Fireside Outdoor Kitchens & Grills, Rivers & Glen Trading Co., Lauren Carnes Photography and Whitehorse Wine & Spirits.

A special thanks to Todd Schafer, owner and executive chef at Abel Brown Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar in Surrey Center, was delightful. Todd was gracious enough to share his time and oysters with us for this shoot, and his knowledge regarding the various types of oysters, how to appropriately shuck them and what to use for garnish. While many oyster roasts happen in the fall in our area, I learned that January, February and early March are actually the best time to harvest oysters from the nearby coasts. The water is finally cold enough to produce the best crop.

If you’ve never tried oysters, I encourage you to do so. Now is the time to head to your closest grocery store or seafood market and grab a bushel or two. After all, you might just embark on a new love affair.

-Ashlee

 

This article appears in the February/March 2017 issue of Augusta Magazine.

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