Okay, so it’s not the Northumberland Straight but Lake Simcoe was a great setting for a very enjoyable, on-the-water, PEI-themed picnic. The weather was perfect on the Saturday of Victoria Day weekend for eating on the boat. There is an apropos connection between the date and the island because the latter is named after Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn who was Queen Victoria’s father.
We enjoyed some Cows Creamery Extra Old Cheddar, potato focaccia from Fred’s Bread, mortadella, and, of course, oysters. What does mortadella have to do with PEI? I have no idea but I like it and it has been a while since I’ve had any.
Admittedly the meal was missing an acidic, pickled element. Something along the lines of the ploughman’s (the purest picnic) branston pickle.
The yellow-handled oyster knife is the creation of Patrick McMurray (a.k.a. ShuckerPaddy on Twitter) owner of Starfish and Ceili Cottage. The knife’s two remarkable features are the dog-leg angle and the fitted pistol grip. The angle creates about lever and aims your hand away from the oyster’s sharp shell if the knife slips. The grip is more ergonomic, comfortable, and less fatiguing to use with a large quantity of oysters. A full demonstration of the knife can be found here on the ShuckerPaddy youtube channel.
It’s pricey at $30 but I did notice a remarkable improvement over my $12 Home Hardware special.
The oysters, from Diana’s, were Caribous from PEI. I resisted the strong temptation to throw the empty shells over the side. I can’t imagine a more shameful invasive species story than one that ends with “but it was just twelve oyster shells.”