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 The price of oysters has gone up somewhat, which made me glad I’d withdrawn $200 from the ATM and not the $100 I originally intended to, but they were just as delicious as I remember—there’s something specific about the breading used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.