Parks and Points - You must have the recipe

Leonardtown, MD - The 51st Annual St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Lexington Park, will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 21-22 at the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds in Leonardtown. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday’s hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Festival’s traditions continue as the home of the US National Oyster Shucking Competition (the winner on October 21 goes on to participate in the International Competition to be held in Galway, Ireland in September of 2018) and the National Oyster Cook-off. Admission is $10; kids under age 12 are admitted free of charge.

The three categories of the Cook-off are: Hors D’oeuvres at 10 a.m. (with Hidemi Walsh’s Mayo Oyster Gratin, Suzanne Boisseau’s Chard Grilled Oysters, and Thomas Faglon’s Fennel and Orange Oysters Baked in Parchment); Soups and Stews at 11:15 p.m. (with Tammy Davis’s Oyster Pan Roast with Harissa and Spicy Pita Chips – Tammy was the 2017 NOF Grand Champion), yours truly’s, Ellynne Brice Davis’s Old Chesapeake Bay Oyster Chowder, and Ronna Farley’s Cheesy Oyster Bisque with Crunchy Garlic Croutons); and Main Dish at 12:30 p.m. with Jack Campbell’s Oysters Over Cauliflower Rice with Fennel Cream Sauce, Rod Borowy’s Chesapeake Oyster Shepherd’s Pie, and Mary Edwards’ Thai Red Curry with Crispy Oysters. The Awards ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. at the Grandstand.

Ms. Farley, of Rockville, MD, won first prize in the 2015 31st National Oyster Cook-off’s Hors d’oeuvres category. She graciously shares that prize-winning recipe with The
Pistachio-Crusted Oysters (serves 8)
½ cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped
½ cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. seafood seasoning
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 dozen Maryland oysters on the half-shell
Rock salt
Lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine nuts, bread crumbs, seasoning and lemon zest. Spoon and spread 1 tsps. Dijon mustard onto each oyster; top with panko mixture, pressing gently. Spread rock salt on a jellyroll pan; arrange oysters on the salt to steady them. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. Place oysters on a serving platter. Garnish with kale and lemon wedges.

Ms. Farley is the winner of the National Festival of Breads competition in June of 2017. She will compete in the World Food Championship – along with previous NOF winners Tammy Davis and Robert Bonner - in Orange Beach, Alabama in just a few weeks. Her previous accomplishments include winning first place in her category in the Pillsbury Bakeoff in 2006, and winning the National Cornbread Cook-off in 2016. She is the mother of two and grandmother of three. She has worked as a cashier at Giant for almost 33 years.

The Republican Women of St. Mary’s County will be meeting at the Front Porch Restaurant in Leonardtown on Monday, October 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Guest Speaker will be George Matisick who will talk about the St. Francis Xavier Church and Manor House. Lunch will be available for purchase. The meeting is open to the public and all are welcomed to attend.

The Ghosts of Sotterley: Death, Despair and Darkness walking tours begin October 20 and will run October 21, 26, 27 and 28. Tickets are now on sale at

The annual “On Watch” Memorial Service to honor the veterans of the past by supporting our service men and women of today will be held on Sunday, November 5 at 2:00 p.m. at the “On Watch” Monument site on Dowell Road in Dowell, MD. Light refreshments will follow the ceremony. This event is sponsored by the Calvert County Board of Commissioners and you may RSVP to (410)326-2042, ext. 19.

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