Having never shucked an oyster before (and being well apprised of the grievous injuries that can occur), I'll admit to feeling scared when confronted with the oyster-shucking station in our friends' kitchen. Then, after struggling with my first oyster for what felt like forever and managing to do little more than chisel away fragments of the shell, my fear of the remaining 47 oysters grew.
But! After I gave up on that first monster, I picked up another one and tried again. And again. And while I'm not signing up to compete in any oyster-shucking contests any time soon (the thought of that still terrifies me), and I have so much new-found respect for the guys working during $1 oyster happy hours - I eventually got the hang of it.
I'm not saying I'd turn down an oyster shucked by someone else, but that pop! when you finally loosen muscle from shell is maybe one of the most satisfying things ever, and eating an oyster you've shucked yourself - well, victory sweetens everything, right? (Also, these were some amazing oysters our hosts picked up from Fish Tales).
We had so much fun, and now I have a new skill, and something that scared me doesn't any more. (Also, the accompanying feast of snow crabs and vegetables and wine and cheese was so, so good!)
But motivation and inspiration don't always follow on the heels of the knowledge that we should be trying new things.
I came across this blog, 52 Things in 52 Weeks, the premise of which is that each week the author tries a new activity. Her list spans the personal to the high adrenaline, from baking a pie from scratch to jumping from a plane to eating dinner out alone.
Which got me thinking: what are new things that I've been meaning to try? I know it's a little early for New Year's resolutions, but it's always a good time to start trying new things. So, here goes my list:
- Antigravity yoga: ever since reading this write-up in the Times awhile back, it's never left the back of my mind. I'm realizing this article is from 2011, so it's really about time I give it a go.
- Baking bread: we made a challah one year for Rosh Hashana (it was great!) - but the dough was all J. In fact, I botched the first batch so badly we had to throw it out. So I'd like to try my hand at it again - this book seems to spell it all out pretty clearly.
- Ceramics: Robyn had a great bowl that her sister in law had made; that, combined with the perpetual inspiration that is Demi Moore in Ghost, has me thinking that it would be fun to try throwing. NY Mag has a list of a couple of places that offer classes, including one that's BYOB.
- Making pasta from scratch: I've never done it, and it seems like the perfect project for an empty weekend afternoon now that it's getting too cold to go outside. Eataly offers a bunch of classes, including a chef's workshop that could be a good place to get started.
- Trapeze classes: my officemate did this awhile back, and she showed me the video and it looks exhilarating (and just the right amount of terrifying). There's a school at Chelsea Piers I'd like to check out - can you imagine a more perfect backdrop for flying through the air with the greatest of ease?
Crossed off that list? Learning how to shuck an oyster.
What new things are you waiting to try out?