Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Clams Redux

i went clamming again yesterday. this is not a major expedition for me. i drive about 3 miles, park, change foot gear for calf-high rubber boots and walk half a mile along port townsend bay to the mouth of chimacum creek ( the watershed we live in). last year i had it wired. i could easily find my dinner of six or nine of my favorite clams in 5 minutes. native littlenecks (Protothaca staminea). there was a kind of sandbar along the creek, above water at even a plus 1 foot tide, covered with barnacle encrusted rocks and empty clamshells, where i would find littlenecks two to eight inches down.

as the low tides, even plus 1 foot, are all in the dark of night in winter, i have not been out there for months. so winter happened, with big winds at tides low and high, altering the intertidal topology in my absence. poor me. i have to spend more time out there, where i look up to see all sorts of birds and forested hillsides and a grand expanse of sky and water, to find the clams i like. i found them after a while. and some mussels, which struggle with barnacles for living space. i came home with ten clams and six mussels.

i put the usual suspects, celery, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, in a pot with some water and tomato paste, simmered it for a while and put in the clams and mussels. i am fortunate to have some soupbowls from a great grandmother. hand painted by her. pictured below is a bowl perfect for my bivalve dinner.

and here is the dinner itself. this is pirate food. RD is clam free. we had rice, sauteed tofu, and salad too.

plate update: my great grandmother katherine taylor (nee messinger) painted that bowl. we have a dozen bowls and a dozen salad plates that she painted. she was raised by an aunt in boston after her parents died, married charles taylor, a "penniless lawyer," as my mother heard the story, and settled in yreka, california, where my grandmother was born in 1896.

1 comment:

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