It was our good friend Jessica’s birthday and a group of us were getting together a littlee party for her. I was asked to help with the food…and we all know what that means…I was goin’ foragin’. None of my buddy’s could make it, so I headed out all by my lonesome. Armed with the custom speargun my Brother Justin had made me, and my trusty Banksboard dive float loaded with scallop bar, flashlight, license and everything else I couldn’t keep on my person, I kicked out into the Pacific once more in search of a fresh seafood treat. My friend Queeny mentioned that she was thinking of giving up on vegetarianism and was interested in trying “all the sea foods that coastal Native Americans ate in southern California!” I had replied with a grin that I would see what I could do. So today, as I swam over the vibrant emerald green sea grass meadows that swayed in the gentle surf, I began planning for a smorgasbord.
The sea was generous and I was grateful. It was nice to see so many huge lobsters as well...now that the season is closed, they seemed to give me a clever grin and say "move along, nothing to see here!" I managed a pair of giant keyhole limpets, a small pacific rock scallop, a Norris top snail, some sea water for another batch of sea salt, and a few fish. As always, the pure pleasure of flying through the giant kelp forests had me smiling big and breathing deeply all the way home.
I pulled the last two lobster tails from last season and the last of the abalone from the freezer and set to work. I even grabbed a couple more cactus pads from the yard to throw on the grill.
I made a batch of teriyaki abalone skewers (which my buddy Bill seared perfectly on the grill), a big batch of lobster Mexican seafood cocktails, sautéed limpet, sautéed fish tacos, and nopales (also expertly grilled by Bill), which we added to a whole slew of tasty carne asada. We feasted, flintknapped, and had a lot of laughs…but totally forgot to get photos of the food, with one exception (thanks to Katie), the sautéed limpet.
My buddy Mitch gleaned quite a few grapefruit as well, so we’ll be making some grayhounds and palomas soon! All in all it was a great party and a good feast. Oh, and Queeny ate a bit of every wild foraged sea delicacy. Happy birthday Jessica. Keep the old ways alive!