Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to dig clams for those that don't know any better

It started one February
 A friend of mine took me to the ocean up here in the great NorthWet in the middle of February one weekend.  We went on an adventure to dig for Razor Clams which are indigenous to the area.  I am smiling in the picture because I have several (as in many) layers of clothing on under the raincoat.  (Side note: the person that figured out neoprene waders has a special place in my heart.) 
 Actually, I'm smiling because this is all so new to me.  I'm smiling because I love adventure.  I'm smiling while I wait for the surf to recede so I can see if the clam is still there under my gun.  I'm smiling because my friend was laughing with me while we waited for the water to flow back out to the ocean.

I don't eat clams.  I don't like them.  One is allowed to dig 15 clams per person per day.  We dug clams for two days and came home with 60 cleaned, washed clams ready to clook up.  While I don't eat these things I sure had a great time digging.  This makes no sense to me now, in retrospect.  It was cold.  It was cold and windy.  It was cold and windy and usually dark.  It was cold and windy and dark and I didn't know any better that I can wait for summer when it is warm and windy and light.  Oh, it was cold and windy and dark and raining SIDEWAYS.  You can't see that in the picture, but I wasn't sure if I was being sand blasted or power washed.

It was just such a thrill to actually pull one of these clams up out of the sand, and it was so relatively easy and often, that both days when we reached limit I was willing to help out fellow clammers. (Like they needed it, doh)

Of course after a healthy morning outside in the surf digging clams one does well to find a cheap breakfast at the local casino and a couple Bloody Mary's to ward off any colds from being power washed by the sideways rain.  It wasn't until later that we started cleaning the clams.
 It takes several steps to get razor clams ready to eat.
 Ya gotta open 'em up and cut them along the outer edge.  And then cut again along the inner edge.  Then you get to cut away the gills.  Then rinse.  Cut out the digger and rinse that in another bucket while you cut away the gungula.  (I think that's how you spell that highly technical term referring to the intestines(?) of the clam.)  Rinse again.

And rinse and rinse and rinse.  And when you get home it is imperative that you make baked clams for the girl you take to the ocean to dig clams, even if she doesn't like clams.  And it's kind of interesting that she eats 'em because you made them.  Even more interesting is she says she'd eat 'em again too if you wanted.  They weren't so bad.

Reprise:  Several weekends later (months?) she is stealing the manila clams the two of you dug up on a north shore out of your bowl to eat them before you do.


  1. Whatever makes you smile is less important than the smile itself.
    Clams are a taste I do not wish to acquire ;-)