A Summer Shuck and Potluck in the Park

Where did you learn to shuck your first oyster? How about in the middle of Brooklyn’s magnificent Prospect Park? Last weekend, the NY Oyster Lovers Meetup group gathered for a Summer Shuck & Potluck. Each person brought a dish to share, and I provided two types of oysters for folks to shuck and slurp. The catch (or fun part) was that everyone had to shuck their own oysters. We had a great turnout of oyster fans, some of whom were seasoned shuckers and others who had never shucked before. So, many accolades go out to those who tried shucking for the very first time!

As a Brooklyn resident, I often joke that Prospect Park is Frederick Law Olmsted’s finest work (he also designed Manhattan’s Central Park), but on this day, the park was indisputably a magnificent place to relax. In the pastoral expanses of the Long Meadow, you can find kids flying kites, grills cranking out plumes of hickory smoke, and a colorful mix of New Yorkers of all backgrounds. If you’ve never had a chance to explore Prospect Park, I highly recommend walking around the lake and hiking through the narrow ravines.

Back to the oysters. I snagged two tables in a shaded area near the Picnic House, and set up a shucking station with oyster knives and towels. After a demonstration of how to shuck an oyster (and the warning to aim your knife slightly downward, not directly at your palm), everyone got to work. In no time, the group had whizzed through over 200 oysters, and only piles of empty shells remained. I am proud to say there were no injuries whatsoever!

After we polished off the oysters, it was time to eat all the other food. The other table was lined with salads, cheeses, breads, dips and best of all, boxes of doughnuts from Greenpoint’s famed Peter Pan Bakery. I figured that since an oyster only has about 10 calories, I could compensate for that with a jelly doughnut (or two).

For more information on oyster-themed events, join the NY Oyster Lovers Meetup and you’ll receive email notifications in the future.