I haven’t been to the Bite of Seattle — coming up this weekend — in years, but there’s another annual food-focused event I haven’t missed for the past four: the Samish Bay Bivalve Bash and Low Tide Mud Run, to be held this Saturday, July 19th, at Taylor Shellfish Farms in Bow. Admission is $5 (kids six and under and registered mud-runners are free), and you buy scrip for food, drink and games. The bash is a fundraiser for the Skagit Conservation Education Alliance, and helps the MudUp campaign clean and restore the water and shoreline of Puget Sound. That do-gooding aside, I go because watching the ridiculously filthy and strenuous mud run on the tideflats is a kick in the pants (though I’ve yet to duct-tape my running shoes to my ankles and have at it myself):
Unlike the Bite of Seattle, the Bivalve Bash is really low-key. And if, like my family, you like to tool around on the beach (there’s an oyster sculpture contest), sing stupid songs (see below) and eat a ton of great shellfish (among other offerings), this is the foodified festival for you.
I can never make up my mind which part of the day is more fun, because it pretty much all is. Everything from the gorgeous drive there (you have to wait to take shuttle buses to the actual event from a nearby church parking lot, but it’s no biggie), to listening to the band play and sing the “Geoduck Song” (which goes like this: “You can hear the diggers say, as they’re heading for the bay, oh I gotta-dig-a-duck, gotta dig-a-duck a day, ’cause I get a buck-a-duck, if I dig a geoduck, so I gotta-dig-a-duck, gotta dig-a-duck a day”). And of course, there’s the food and drink.
I always eat plenty of oysters, both raw and barbecued, plus at least one helping of Xinh Dwelley’s incredible curried mussels served over rice. By the way: if you haven’t been to Xinh’s restaurant, in Shelton, where her geoduck is as good as it gets, you haven’t lived. Mac and Nate’s favorite Bivalve Bash-eats, hands down, is the fresh raspberry shortcake — it’s the Anthony’s Restaurants recipe, and they donate the shortcake.
Last year, Nate was finally old enough to wander off on his own to play oyster shuffleboard while Mac and I had a chance to down a cold one in the beer garden. It was a win-win situation for us all: he won the shuffleboard contest: