We’re on a two-year run of spending Christmas Eve at home, just the two of us and the pup, and I think we’re starting a new tradition. Saturday morning we loaded up the car, picked up my in-laws and their two dogs, and headed out for a mini road-trip, stopping at some of my favorite places on the Peninsula: Beaver Valley and Chimacum – where I always say I want to move – lunch at the Geoduck in Brinnon (if you ever find yourself in the area, it’s totally worth stopping for some incredible people/bird watching – this trip’s sightings included an Elvis impersonator, regulars who travel with their own can cozies, and a flock (?) of eagles just outside – and the oyster sandwich), retrieving and exploring the shoreline with the dogs, and finally to Hama Hama Oyster Company for crab and oysters, except the people in front of me got the last of the crab. More oysters is not a bad consolation prize, especially when it’s Hama Hama oysters.
We’ve been on a hard cider kick the past few months, and after finding a couple of new-to-us varieties of cider at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand, our Christmas Eve menu was set. I think we’ve found ourselves our new tradition, at least for as long as we have quiet Christmas Eves at home. Cider sampling started the evening off, followed by my first-ever attempt at cibatta (and a successful one at that!) and delicious oysters. The cibatta recipe came from Rustic Italian Food, which I’ve had out from the library for a couple of weeks. That recipe is a keeper. Who knows what next year’s Christmas season will bring, but I can only hope it comes with more oysters and cider. In fact, I think this is a tradition we’ll be rolling out throughout the winter, not just at Christmas. Winter can use more fun evenings.
Ciders: Spire Mountain Draft Apple Cider (Fish Brewing Co., Olympia, WA); Tieton Blossom Nectar Cider (Tieton Cider Works, Tieton, WA); Eaglemount Ginger Cider (Eaglemount Wine & Cider, Port Townsend, WA); Finn River Dry Hopped Cider (Finn River Farm & Cidery, Chimacum, WA)
Oysters: Hama Hama Oyster Company, Lilliwaup, WA
Bread: Flour from Fairhaven Mill, Bellingham, WA
Exceptions: lemon and olive oil (best oyster toppings, bar none); salt and yeast in the bread
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