Search Results for: oyster festival

The St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival has been a tradition Jen and I have upheld since the earliest days of our courtship; the first time we went together was the first time I met her parents. Our previous visits have been chronicled here, and it’s one of the yearly events I look forward to with the girls—partially because of the event, and partially because of the food. Southern Maryland cooking is a unique little outlier, and I look forward to fried oysters and St. Mary’s County ham with anticipation.


It was, then, with some unhappiness we found ourselves without any ham. There were a ton of people there, and a wide variety of oysters prepared in different ways, but we walked from one side of the fair to the other looking for a sandwich or a platter without success. Apparently the local grocer who used to make it and supply it to the fair went out of business? The price of oysters has gone up somewhat, which made me glad I’d withdrawn $200 from the ATM and not the $100 I originally intended to, but they were just as delicious as I remember—there’s something specific about the breading used in St. Mary’s County that is better than anywhere else we’ve tried. We tried smoked oysters, served with gouda, bacon, and onion, and Finn and I found them delicious while Jen didn’t like them. We also tried a quartet of fried Oreos, which were good but heavy on shortening.


The rest of the fair was much the same as years past, although the carnival rides are gone, replaced with a huge craft beer tasting tent and more vendors. We brought Hazel with us for obvious reasons, and she did very well walking through the fair—but I suspect that was also aided by the fact that she’s got the bonnet back on: her right ear has opened back up.


When we left the fair we headed back to Bob’s house and visited for a little while before taking him out for some dinner. By the time we got home, we were all stuffed and about ten minutes away from falling asleep.

Date posted: October 22, 2023 | Filed under family, photo | Leave a Comment »


Date posted: October 17, 2016 | Filed under finn | Leave a Comment »


As is our family tradition, we drove to Leonardtown this morning to take in the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival. The festival hasn’t changed much in the 15 years we’ve been going, and that’s exactly why we like it. The beer is cold, the oysters are raw or fried, the funnel cakes are hot, and there’s St. Mary’s County ham available.


They’ve added baked oysters, steamed oysters, various deep-fried desserts, and pit beef. It feels, actually, like it’s gotten bigger over the last five years or so, which is a great thing.


This year, instead of the sketchy carny rides they normally have, there were three huge bouncy rides for the kids, and a zipline. Finn went right for the bouncy rides, got her courage up, and asked to ride the zipline. Who am I to say no?

As she waited at the base of the stairs for her turn, the older girl in front of her froze at the edge, unable to jump by herself. After about three minutes of waffling, she walked back down the stairs. Finn marched up to the top, listened to the guy who hooked her up, and then looked down at the grass. She closed her eyes for a moment, bent her knees, and then she jumped!


She liked it so much, she asked to do it again.


This young man is Gus, who is a shucker working in the main shed. I tipped him a dollar, asked his name, and talked to him briefly about how long he was shucking for before asking if I could take his picture. I was nervous about asking him, because he’s the first stranger I’ve ever shot. I’m going to do a lot more of this.


The oysters were excellent as usual, and Mama had her fill.


Finley even had three herself! We’ll make a gastronome out of her yet.

Date posted: October 18, 2015 | Filed under family, finn, photo, travel | Leave a Comment »

How happy am I that a date I took a pretty blonde on fourteen years ago has turned into a family tradition?

Grand and Finn 1

Guns and Clowns

Jen, Finn and Cathy



Date posted: October 19, 2014 | Filed under family, finn, photo, travel | Leave a Comment »

German's Beer

13 years ago, Jen asked me to come down to the Oyster Festival to meet her family and have some fun. We’ve been going back ever since.

Raw Oysters

Finn is getting in on the action this year.

Finn watches Mama

She even tried one herself!

Finn tries a raw oyster!

Raw Oysters and beer

Enjoying some sunshine

Finn and Uncle Glenn

Ferris Wheel

Down the slide


Date posted: October 20, 2013 | Filed under photo, travel | Leave a Comment »


This weekend, Jen’s family threw a surprise birthday/retirement celebration for her father. His children made him wear a crown to his birthday dinner, but he owned it as if it was his birthright, and we taught him all the proper gang signs to throw when he wears his bling in public.

throwing gang signs

raw oysters

Sunday’s events were centered around the Oyster Festival, which has become something of a family tradition, and an event Jen and I look forward to every year.

oyster shooter aftermath

Oysters fried and raw were sampled, to varying degrees of approval.


Jen and her father

Happy birthtirement, Mr. Lockard!

Date posted: October 22, 2007 | Filed under family | 3 Comments »

Beer and Oysters

Six years ago, Jen invited me down to the County to attend the Oyster Festival with her family. I underestimated the travel time and arrived late (not a good first impression) but attempted to make up for it by trying raw oysters for the first time to impress both Jen and her mother ( I still don’t know if I was successful, but we’re married, at least.)

Saturday we took Jen’s father for his first time, and while we didn’t get him to try the oysters, we did enjoy some St. Mary’s stuffed ham, funnel cake, and Sam Adams Octoberfest on a warm, sunny autumn day. What could be better?

Date posted: October 23, 2006 | Filed under family | 2 Comments »


This picture approximates how I feel after having signed the refi paperwork today. I’m glad to have that behind us, and hopeful that we can get started on our stalled bathroom sometime in the next month.

The picture above was taken at the St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival, our annual pilgrimage to the Ass End of Maryland to sample tasty shellfish and stuffed ham. We were accompanied by our friend Chris, who was in town visiting, and we sampled the culinary delights of the fair while people-watching and enjoying the weather.

Finley tried stuffed ham and was not impressed:

Not so keen on St. Mary's County Ham

However, a man with a tiny monkey was entertaining the crowds, and for a dollar he sat on Finn’s shoulder and stuck his tongue out for us. I’d consider that a dollar well spent!

Two monkeys

As the photos from Saturday suggest, I was at Jalopyrama for most of the morning. The show was huge and apparently is getting bigger every year. The cars shown were beautiful, even the rough ones. I find myself drawn to the rough ones, actually, as they’ve got better stories to tell. There were scores of deuce coupes, both surgically clean and clapped out. There were a lot of gassers, which I was never really a fan of, but have grown to respect. There was lots of original or near-original Detroit iron. And then there were the garish modifieds, usually painted a bright color, with all of the interesting stuff chopped off and a small-block Chevy under the hood. I would be happy if these all just stayed home in the garage. The main exhibition hall was curated carefully with period-era hot rods, which I appreciated, because that’s my reason for going to the show.

After walking the grounds, I found myself desiring a large early 60’s sedan of some kind, preferably with a bubble window and miles of chrome. There was an Edsel Ranger for sale, for $6500, which might have been fun, or a flawless Impala with an Inquire Within sign on the dash. My dream garage is not big enough.

After about three hours I was pretty burnt out, though; much like going to Carlisle for the truck show, I needed some quiet time by myself to recharge. This I did by taking the CR-V to get four new tires installed, something that has been necessary for months now. The tires  it was wearing were two pairs of different brands, showing signs of caster imbalance, and balding heavily. The new tires feel tight and solid, and the car tracks smooth and straight. Now, to find a used hood to replace the original, which is suffering from unsightly clearcoat peeling…

Date posted: October 19, 2016 | Filed under cars, family, photo | Leave a Comment »

early sampling

It’s been a busy, strange week here at Lockardugan Central, so we decided to have some drinks and dip into the Halloween candy reservoir last night to, uh, test it for quality. It’s funny how Dark Chocolate Twix make everything so much better so quickly. Jen just came back home with a pile of decorations for the house, so we’re going to close the studio early to get the house ready for the kids this evening.

Addendum: The photo above was taken hand-held in exceptionally low light, on manual settings. I’ve made a breakthrough with the D70 since I got the new lens, and suddenly everything makes more sense. I’ve been shooting everything manually since the Oyster Festival, and now the F-stop/shutter speed combinations are drilled into my head in a way that I could not learn on film cameras. I’ve also learned to use the ISO settings to my advantage, and I’ll be getting into the intricacies of metering next.

Date posted: October 31, 2007 | Filed under photography | Comments Off on Early Sampling.

Since the beginning of our relationship, Jen and I have had a tradition. It involves raw oysters and ham that has been boiled in a pillowcase. We have always traveled to St. Mary’s County for stuffed ham, and it’s usually in the autumn

Beer and St. Mary's County ham sandwich

Jen decided this year she was going to try her hand at making stuffed ham herself. She did a bunch of research and found several recipes, deciding she’d use a County family recipe to base her version off of. She bought a corned ham from our local butcher and prepared it herself, stuffing spiced cabbage, kale, and onions into the slab with an extremely sharp carving knife.


This was then wrapped in several layers of cheesecloth and boiled in a pot for hours. 


Then she pulled it out of the pot and we let it sit and cool in the bags overnight out on the porch. When we pulled the cheesecloth off, it didn’t look all that appetizing, but…


…when I started carving it, it looked like the stuffed ham I remember. And then when we tasted the first few bites: HOLY SHIT that’s good. 


This is how she served it: with garlic new potatoes, bacon green beans, and Hawaiian rolls for the ham (technically I’ve only had it with potato rolls, but these were super tasty). 


It all turned out incredible, and better yet, we’ve got leftovers in the fridge! I hope she makes this again. 

Date posted: December 27, 2018 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »