Thursday, June 10, 2010

Couple of hours off, on the clam flats




Some of you may be tired of clam-related non-pottery posts. Well ... sorry. One of the great things about living near the ocean is the occasional opportunity to go out and wrest your dinner from below the water. Around here, it's oysters, clams, sea and bay scallops, striped bass, bluefish, flounder, scup, blue crabs ... and a few other tasty sea creatures.
The bisque kiln was still cooling yesterday (mandatory pottery reference), so I joined our friend Tammy Race in raking the low-tide rocky and sandy bottom for quahaugs, those small hardshell clams I've written about before. Tammy and I went to our usual place, which will remain geographically unspecified for fear that UK and Australian and North Carolina potters will flood the flats with foreign rakes and make bare our favorite flats. (Dan Finnegan has actually paddled a kayak from this very spot, so only he among the blog-readers knows the place.)
It was a gray mid-day as we walked out into the warm water, clouds gathering in the west and southwest for the rain that came later in the day. We've been here three times in the past few weeks and never failed to gather our limit of one-half peck of clams in about an hour. It was the same story this time, each of us finding one or two "holes" with plentiful clams coming up in our rakes. There's something about taking your food from the earth - submerged or cultivated - that beats picking up California or Florida or Mexican produce at the grocery store, or even fish from nearby waters at a fish market.
Dee joined us during a lull in her day of massage therapy, setting up a lawn chair on the dry sand, opening her mystery and doing nothing whatsoever to help, though she did provide spectator support and encouragement.
Once we reached our limit, we went on to The Lobster Trap, a nearby summer fish joint and all had delicious fish tacos.
Now, to decide how to prepare the new clams ...



18 comments:

cindy shake said...

How wonderful!! When we go clamming it is for Razor Clams and oh how I wish our waters were as warm!! We've been enjoying the fresh food we've purchased at the Farmer's Market but nothing like same day catching and grilling!

Hollis Engley said...

We should trade clams some day, Cindy. I've heard how good razor clams are, but never had any to eat.

cookingwithgas said...

could you just fix me a take out box????????
Drool!
I love seafood and am happy to just watch you get your fill.
(well maybe there is a little envy in there...)

potterboy said...

Well, that's my mud flat shore plundering plans scuppered.

I wish our local estuary (the wash at King's Lynn) was quite as appealing as that. I think if I ventured on to it, I'd never get out.

Tracey Broome said...

YUM! Drool!
The clam photo would make a nice framed piece of art for a kitchen. Maybe you should start selling some prints in your gallery with your pottery:)

Hollis Engley said...

Come on over, Andrew. We'll take you with us to the secret spot. But like the wash at King's Lynn, if you go to the wrong spot, the mud will hang on to you.
Don't drool, Tracey. It's not ladylike.
And I'm thinking of photos, too. But I need to think a long time about it.

Mr. Young's Art said...

Hey Hollis! Want to trade some fresh clams for some fresh octopus?? (See todays entry)

Hollis Engley said...

I'll take octopus any time. Can I fly out and pick it up?

MVBLH said...

I make a killer chowder and love to share…just need the quahaugs (hint hint) :-)

esthermelvin said...

愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。............................................................

Amy said...

I've never eaten clams but this makes me want to try them--- and now I'm jealous! Wow... sounds like quite an adventure.

yolande clark said...

Sigh. I do miss living by the ocean sometimes! I'm looking forward to your upcoming article in Studio Potter, Hollis. Mine will be in there too! Take good care, Yolande

Hollis Engley said...

Will do, Yolande.

Mr. Young's Art said...

More than welcome to come and visit anytime Hollis! We don't get many visitors out here at all. I'll provide all the octopus, squid, and other seafood you can eat!

hernande said...

要持續更新下去喲!!祝你心情愉快 ........................................

Barry said...

Terri and I got our shellfish license for the first time this year... Perhaps you could blindfold us to keep your spot secret and we could join you for some lessons. ;)

Hollis Engley said...

Remember, Barry, we were fishing in ... oops. I didn't mean to give this away. Well ... it's not specific, so ... we were quahogging in Bourne on Tammy's license. So even if I showed you, your Falmouth license wouldn't mean you'd still be illegal. But I know a good spot on Washburn Island in Waquoit Bay ...

Barry said...

We did get out on Monday. I had a feeling you were in Bourne.

Waquoit Bay is our next spot to try via kayak, I think, though we need to take about half what we did on Monday. Good stuff.