Collecting Mussels along the Coast

We just got back from another long weekend up at Sea Ranch. The weather was all over the place, at one point raining so hard I thought we might wash away, soon followed by the most beautiful sunny weather. During the rain we spent hours inside watching movies, eating and drinking and playing board games and when the sun shone we spent hours outside walking, playing on the beach, floating in the hot tub, fishing and collecting mussels. I was sceptical at first, driving up there, that we’d be properly recharged with this vacation as we’ve been there many times before. Maybe we’d need new vacation sights to come back refreshed, but I was wrong. How can you not be full of inspiration when you have a weekend like this?
Of course, vacationing with three small children isn’t as relaxing as it was when we were first married. There are still tantrums, meltdowns, bedtime routines, and the like to deal with. So we did what we could, taking turns letting each other sleep in, get out in nature alone, and referee the argument of the moment. During one of my walks I picked up all the different types of grasses I could find. There are so many and they are all so beautiful and full of subtle colors. Especially when laid next to wood and abalone shells. We are not currently abalone divers, although Scott was an avid diver during college in Santa Cruz.
Another thing Scott did during college was manage a wine shop where he started collecting a flight of Caymus. We opened up one of them and enjoyed it with perfectly cooked Beltane Ranch fillet mignons. What a fantastic thing, opening up a wine that he has been carrying around and saving for the last 20 years from home to home. Heaven. Well, between exclaiming, ‘would you please hold your head over your plate!’, ‘please don’t lick the table!’ and having a baby who insisted on sitting in my lap during all meal times, it was pure heaven. Champagne also, always helps.
Steaming Mussels
A year and a half ago Scott caught a fish on the beach. A striped bass. It was ‘this’ big. No, it was ‘This’ big. No really, it was ‘THIS’ big! The thing was massive, really. He caught it the very first day, on his very first time fishing on that beach. It was enough to keep him trying for fish every time we’ve returned, but the darn things are hard to catch. With his beginners luck done spent, he’s add mussel harvesting to our Sea Ranch experiences. Mussels, thankfully, are much easier to catch.
Mussel Dinner
We left and drove back down the coast in beautiful weather and came back to the most beautiful spring weather. Just like three years ago, when I first started this blog, we are taking the rest of our week to ready the garden for the upcoming growing season. Can’t wait to share with you the triumphs and disappointments of our spring garden.


Filed under In the Kitchen, Life in Sonoma

8 responses to “Collecting Mussels along the Coast

  1. OH MY GOODNESS, I LOVE mussels. I know I’m shouting, but really, I’m salivating. I LOVE mussels. The thought of picking them up from the beach is too good to be true. I can only get farmed mussels these days. What a gorgeous vaca spot. btw, sea bass is good too. I hope he doesn’t stop trying to catch more.

  2. 47ranchdressing

    Your vacays sound just like ours! We have never stayed at the Sea Ranch before – we ususally head further north to Fort Bragg. We love to walk the Botannical Gardens there and try to make it at least once during each season. Between the kids’ melties, spills, curating the rock/shell/sea glass collection, and just another drink of water before bed, my DH and I manage to get in a good meal, a nice bottle of wine, a chapter or two, and occasionally, some silence.

  3. Ooh those mussels look amazing. How fun to collect them on the beach!

  4. Happy April Fools Day. Check out my blog today. …there’s something there that might make you happy. Or at least smile!

  5. awww, thanks for taking us along! and the dose of realism with the kidlets. ; )

  6. KimH

    Sounds like you had a wonderful time.. Looks like it too.. Gotta love t hose mussles..

    I never did until a couple years ago. A fellow was steaming some at a party we were at & we were hooked after tasting them. Now we take them to all the parties we go to & we’re not allowed to bring anything else but mussels..

    My honey uses a stick of butter, about 1/2-1 bottle white wine, a handful of fresh garlic and a couple cups of water in a large pan and then steams the mussels in that.. We serve them immediately with garlic butter & big chewy Italian bread and its totally heavenly!

  7. Pingback: Four Years of Marches | A Sonoma Garden

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