THE JOURNEY OF A FOODIE IS PAVED WITH OYSTERS, WINE AND CHEESE

November 30, 2015

By:

Kamrun Zargar

In the mood for an outdoorsy adventure? This one is paved with oysters, wine, cheese and fresh fruit – a foodie’s dream.

 This is not a review of a destination, but more of a day-journey, filled with exciting and delicious stops along the way. That being said, every journey requires some planning for a successful execution. The day before gather up and pack your car with the following:

  1. A camping propane burner (if you like day-trips, you need of these!)

  2. A big pot for boiling, with the lid.

  3. In the pot add: 1 lemon, 4 cloves of garlic, olive oil and a dash of red pepper flakes.

  4. Look for and collect California wild fennel while driving…they grow everywhere!

  5. 1 bottle of white wine and cork screw.

  6. 1-gallon jug of water.

  7. Depending how many people in your party; plastic bowls and utensils.

  8. Roll of paper towel.

  9. Bread of some sort; sourdough loaf or baguette works well.

  10. An oyster shucker…if you know how to!

On the morning of your journey, wake up at 7 a.m. and head towards Marin County. If you’re leaving from San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate and head north on Hwy 101. Take the Lucas Valley Road exit and head west. Enjoy a beautiful drive through hills and valleys, alongside creeks and through a Redwood Grove until you reach an intersection. Take a right at Nicasio Valley Road and head up towards the little town. First stop! Nicasio Valley Cheese Company (http://www.nicasiocheese.com/). Taste and buy delicious award-winning cheese.

Ready? Back in the car! Make your way up the road and eventually make a left at Point Reyes-Petaluma Road. Keep driving until you get to a “T” in the road, Hwy 1. You can go left to the charming town of Point-Reyes Station; shops, restaurants and cafes. Or you can go right…that would be my suggestion. By the way, keep an eye out and pick some wild fennel.

Meander your way along the eastern shore of Tamales Bay with beautiful vistas until you get to Tomales Bay Oyster Company and the pursuit of happiness!  This eatery used to have picnic tables, BBQ’s and you could have a great picnic eating oysters, clams and mussels. Those days are no more. Now, it’s strictly carry out. Park your car and walk over to the stand to get 1 pound of fresh mussels, 1 pound of fresh clams (more if you have more people) and some oysters.

Wash the oysters and mussels with the water you brought, throw them in the pot and get back in the car. Find a nice scenic area or local park to pull over and get ready for brunch. Setup your propane burner, wash the clams and mussels and throw them in the pot (containing the lemon juice, olive oil and red pepper flakes). Uncork the white wine and pour about 1/3 of the bottle in the pot.  Throw the fennel prawns in, add about 2 cups of additional water, cover and steam until the bivalves open.

 While you are waiting, if you bought oysters, get shucking! Enjoy great food, sights, sounds, smells and each other. Once you’re done eating and cleaned up, back in the car!

 Keep driving north on Hwy 1 along the eastern shore of Tomales Bay. About 3.5 miles north of “the pursuit of happiniess,” you come to The Marshall Store (http://themarshallstore.com/). Wonderful oysters, smoked meats, sandwiches, soups and local beer await you! Park, have one person from your party grab a table outside by the water, while the rest go inside to order food and drinks. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

 At this point of the trip, it most likely mid to late afternoon and time to head back home. You could either go back the way you came, or keep going north and see some new things. If you choose north, keep driving on Hwy 1, until you come to Tomales-Petaluma Road, just before the town of Tomales. Makes a right and head east through more wonderful rolling hills, vineyards and pastures with happy cows. This road will take you to the city of Petaluma where you can get back on Hwy 101 and be back in San Francisco by Sunset!

That’s how we start

Wake up at 6:30AM when Soraya starts wiggling around and singing in her crib. I roll over, kiss mommy and she kisses me back. “Good morning princess”. I get up, look at the garden and the sky through the bedroom window, then put on a shirt and go in the living room. I turn on the light, gauge up the heater and put BBC world Service on. By this point Soraya knows I’m awake and she’s moving about and yelling “Daddy, Daddy!”. I walk down the hallway to her room, open the door and she’s always there standing in her crib, wearing a smile and clutching her Elmo and Juju doll. I scream some funny, lovey phrases in Farsi, give her a big kiss, and pick her up. We walk to her bedroom window, pull the curtains away and look at the garden and the sky. If its an early morning moon, she finds it and screams in joy “moon, moon!”. We move over to the changing table and I lay her down to change her pee soaked diaper! She starts her babbling, telling stories and singing. Mom is awake by this time and has gone to the kitchen to put the tea kettle on the fire. She walks through the kitchen, the living room, down the hallway and peaks her head into Sorayas room “Hi guuuuuyyyss!”. We reply “Hi mommy!!!”. She comes in and gives Soraya a kiss, then me. She goes to take a shower, and Soraya and I go to the living room. I go to the kitchen to warm her morning milk while she says hi, and gives hugs and kisses to all her stuffed friends. I bring her milk. She climbs on the couch clutching one or two of her friends. She places them next to her and I hand her the milk to drink. She smiles at me, kisses her friends and starts drinking her milk. Mommy finishes her shower, gets dressed and joins us in the living room. I help mommy make her lunch, she eats her breakfast and gets ready to leave for work. Before she leaves she comes over and gives Soraya a kiss, then me and tells us to have a good day. I tell her we love her, have a safe drive to work and “we’ll see you when you get home”. On her way out I ask her if we need anything from the market and “What should we have for dinner?”. On this particular day she wanted Seafood. So I will buy a whole fish to grill. And that’s how our days begin.

My life

Now that I have a family,

I’m not afraid of dying.

I’m afraid of never

Seeing you,

Hearing you,

Loving you,

Smelling you,

Touching you,

And having fun with you.

Now that I have a family.