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 ...