Did you know oysters are ticklish?

I’ve managed to have packed a month’s worth of activities in Seattle into a weekend. We (my luggage and I) were in Seattle for BlogHer Food, a conference where 500 food bloggers congregate in one spot to talk about food, eat food, take pictures of food and gush about how great we all are. No joke. I love it. We can solve world peace with this kind of positive energy.

The fun began even before I checked into the hotel. With an event like BlogHer, where things can get a little crazy with the fun, I needed to establish a theme. A theme keeps me focused. It’s my safe word. Otherwise I might wake up one afternoon and find myself drunk, staring at rainbows and singing cheesy songs.

Theme. Right. When you’re in the Pacific NW, you do what any local would do, start the day with oysters. 1 dozen raw (slurp slurp) and 7 all cooked in different ways.

Good theme.

Somehow I ended up in a stretch limo with 9 other gals. Complete with neon, stars on the ceiling, lava lamps. I was half expecting a stripper pole to drop down from the top of the limo. You’d think that instead of coffee in my hand, it should have probably been flutes of champagne. But it was 9am and we were all going to be shooting video.

I was hosting a fun day with my friends at Pork Board for several of my favorite bloggy buddies, Diana (Eating Richly), Lauren (Lauren’s Latest), Amanda (Kevin & Amanda), Jenny (Picky Palate), Sandy & Paul (Reluctant Entertainer) and Jessica (The Novice Chef).

There was hair, makeup, media training, food styling, videographers, directors, producers, camera men, sound guy and a whole bunch of yummy pork of course.

That entire experience is for another post, when I can show you the finished video clips plus the blooper reel.

Why is my face red? Because we had to do 63 takes on video of us toasting with wine. My mama said that you cannot toast without taking a sip. So sip I did. Many, many sips.

All that was just during the day. That night, party hosted by Recipe Girl and Two Peas and Their Pod.

Somehow between photo 1 and photo 2 (about 2.2561 seconds) half of us got stupid. What’s up other half!?

A little too crazy….so I had to remember….THEME. What’s my theme???

Oysters shucked by a professional shucker, David from Taylor Shellfish Farms, on one of the best backyard decks in Seattle belonging to Salty Seattle. David, oh David with his 30 dozen Kumamoto oysters.

One of the days was spent hanging out in town, lunch with my publisher and a little shopping. Gorgeous gorgeous flowers.

pitter patter….

One of my favorite flowers of all time.

I wanted so badly to buy a whole bunch of ’em and take them home with me.

“Ms. Florist, Is there any any possible way to get these shipped to my home in Florida?”

“No ma’am, I’m sorry….but you can buy deer antlers and bring those home instead.”


Yes, I really did.

There’s a fur patch on my antlers!!

Things were veering waaaaay too close to crazy again, so THEME. Back to THEME. Safe word…oysters.

Elise and her b-friend, Guy, had just texted me, “Hey, want to join us for oysters at Taylor Shellfish Farms?”

The florist was next door to the lunch place, and the oyster place was next door to the florist.


That was tray #1.

We had all different kinds of oysters (and also clam, mussel and geoduck)

And it was the very French Guy, who grew up eating oysters every day as a boy, who showed us that oysters were ticklish.

When you poke at a very fresh oyster, just at the edges, IT WILL MOVE.

Platter #2

After oysters was a trip to Glassybaby, which I’ll save for another post because they are so gorgeous that they deserve own space here.

That night was our closing party. My blogging besties, EliseRee and I were co-hostess for the very last party. We gave away lots of fab prizes.

Do you get nervous when you hold the winning raffle tickets, prizes and you have this on your left?

In front of you…..

And to the right…..HUH???? Why were these people on the right doing the electric slide!???????

Hey. I don’t remember this either!? Despite the way I was holding clutching the wine glass, I really was very very sober. It was AFTER this party that we went to visit a museum! Who does that?! Well, apparently us.

The next morning, while packing, I had totally forgotten about the antlers. Crap. Uh, I guess I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to pack deer antlers in my suitcase.

So I just carried it along with my carry-on. Not only did TSA make me walk through the scanner machine twice. They hand-frisked me, ran the antlers through x-ray and used that wipey thing all over the antlers to detect explosive residue.

Like, if I was ever going to carry something illegal, wouldn’t you think I’d be less conspicuous and not carry DEER ANTLERS and wear them on my head???


p.s. I couldn’t help but end the post with oysters too. The day after I got back, I ordered them at a seafood restaurant here in Florida. These are gulf oysters on the left and clams on the half shell on the right. Clams were great. Gulf oysters….blech….I was spoiled in Seattle with their sweet, briney, minerally and crazy fresh oysters.

Also, my Gulf coast oysters WERE NOT TICKLISH. bleh.

“Waiter….I’d like to send these oysters back…they’re not ticklish.” (just kidding. I still ate ’em)


This is my room mate during Seattle, Alex. I’m showing you this photo so you don’t think I was the ONLY crazy one at Blogher Food!

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Comments 16

  1. Winter

    I love that you’re busting an Asian pose (with your peace signs) in one of the pics–I try to go for Asian at least once in my pics!

  2. Nicole

    yum! I was in Seattle about two weeks ago and made two trips to Taylor’s – their Kumamoto oysters can’t be beat!

  3. Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    Ha! That is funny. I won one of the prizes at the wrap party and was nervous walking up to pick it up. Stage fright! You are so right about the oysters here though – they are amazing! Thanks for the great advice – it was nice to meet you 🙂

  4. Laura @ GotChocolate

    Funny! You can have our oysters though. Pass me the Theo Chocolate!

    Glad you had fun! BlogHer Food was awesome! I’d never been to a blogging conference before and I loved it and loved meeting you, Jaden! 😀

  5. Chris

    You are a riot! I don’t mean to alarm you but you might want to get an Epilady…you have a bit of an – um – errr – upper lip facial hair issue.

  6. JulieD

    Love love love! It was so good to see you in Seattle…but we have a problem…we keep seeing each other in other states besides our own. 🙂 My favorite picture is the one of you and your new antlers. So funny! xoxo

  7. Heather

    I thought that patio view looked familiar, it’s the same as my view and I went for a walk and it’s only the house diagonal from me across the street. What a small small world! Glad you had fun in Deattle. I’m a transplant from the south but I love everything this place has to offer and won’t be leaving anytime soon 🙂

  8. Kim in MD

    I laughed out loud while reading this post, Jaden! It looks like so much fun, and that photo of you and Ree with those fake mustaches (or, err…wooly bear caterpillars!) on your lip- priceless! Thanks for sharing your trip, Jaden!

  9. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals

    Baaaaa haaaaaaa haaaaaaaaa! This post is awesome! I’ve been a fan of yours for quite some time, checked out your book “The Steamy Kitchen cookbook” 3-4 times this year already (will have to buy 1 real soon since your recipes are AHHHMAAAZING!). Love the moostach photos, my daughter has 1 with her buddies, they are 8 years old but the photos are almost as awesome as yours. She’s the one sporting the biggest handlebar-stach, yes she’s a nut!

  10. saltyseattle

    Was wonderful to see you in Seattle, sister. Guess what? I just closed on my own private 5 acres, so I’m scanning your blog looking at the trajectory of your remodel. I’m askaired. But you give me hope that it will all be worth it in the end…

  11. madshan

    Unticklish oysters isn’t sad, it’s dangerous. Likely the reason your gulf oysters were “blech” and not ticklish is because they were too dead to be eaten. You should *always* tickle your oysters! If they _don’t_ move, don’t eat them!

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