Sunday, December 05, 2010

We’re clamming

So i came back from a trip to New York on business. i was helping with the set up of a new shirt shop in a nicer area of midtown.
It’s the weekend so our hosts Jason and Elise offered to take us clamming as this is the season. Steph, having always wanted to do this realised an ambition and we foraged for some tasty seafood at the same time.
Pacific beach state park was the venue for this event where many go in search of Razor-clams and  $5 gets you a licence to harvest 15 of these critters per day.
This is the quarry, and the process for getting them is as a little bit of a trick. They live about 18inches to 2 feet under the sand so you have to dig them out with a shovel or tube. We were using shovels and the operation goes like this: Go and find the clam-beds. These are usually easy to find as many folks with shovels and tubes are wondering around staring at the sand. Go over there and look for the holes in the sand. The holes are about 5mm in diameter and are recessed rather than raised, the raised ones are shrimp and who can be bothered with them?
Once you find your little hole in the sand you can confirm clam-ness by tapping on the sand. Tapping makes them react and a little water bubble might appear, if so, get digging. You have to get down about 18-24 inches and you’d better be quick.

They dig down fast and they stick fast in the sand. It’s also best to get to them without smashing them with the shovel so you can only really take a couple of shovel-fulls, then you have to dig by hand. If and when you find it then get there you grab it and gently wiggle and pull it upwards until it’s yours

They’re called razor clams not for nothing. I cut my hands up with their shells and am still hurting whilst typing this. Knowing this, the veterans show up with their tubes which pull out a core of sand that usually contains the clam. Easy, and requires no painful digging – next time
We got 4 during daylight and went back after dark after taking advice from the campsite neighbours. We got about 20 more.

IMG_8823Next step is to take them and clean them by firstly dropping them in hot water to release the meat from the shells, then you can clean them and they’re ready to eat.
We made dinner of them with cocunut milk, pok choi, jalapenos, noodles and carrots. Very nice!

Whilst we were out on the beach after dark a car came by. You can drive on this beach and the owner of this car was out looking for her friend. She drove close, stopped, circled back, talked to us, carried on towards some other beach-goers and drove the car into the sea. Oops.
Here’s the car just visible in the ocean. That dark strip in the middle of the images is the car’s roof.

Here it is after 2 incoming tides bashed it about a bit.

Breakfast? Fried clams and beer of course, sitting on the beach.


We stayed in a rain forest campsite, and the next day we headed to see our nice neighbours who offered to put us up for a night and take us out crabbing. More on that later.

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