Hamptons Phys Ed

In food on 07/09/2011 at 5:08 pm

Although we were required to take a physical fitness test the other morning, which consisted of running one mile, and doing push-ups and sit-ups (the most you can manage in 2 minutes), I much prefer my version of Hamptons exercise: digging for clams in the local inlets and coves scattered along the bay side.

Ski Patrol was recounting his clamming feats for the past two weeks and getting me very excited about the prospect of hunting and gathering my own food, straight from the ocean. Finally, this morning, after shopping for the proper pair of board shorts at Tarjhay and obtaining a proper shellfish permit, the other half and I dove in, literally, into the secret location of the clam motherload pictured above. Not only is it gorgeous and idyllic, it is also chockfull of mud, algae and rocks.

We waded and dug around for a good 20 minutes before finally scooping up a small clam with the special clam rake we found in our shed, feeling quite victorious. We knew from last week, when Ski Patrol generously gifted us half his haul, that smaller clams are better raw. The large ones have a well-developed muscle that tends to be very QQ, but not in a good way.

Per instructions, we took our stash of 30 clams (after 1 hr of hard work) and let them purge out all the mud and silt and crud in fresh saltwater for 3-4 hours in the fridge. Then you pour the water out, scrub the shells vigorously, and pat them dry. They keep for up to 2 weeks. Before we moved here, we both preferred raw oysters to clams. For us, the more meat, the better. But after sampling locally caught (not by us) clams, we have developed quite a taste for their sweet meat.

Sure, oysters are more complex in flavor, and more exotic, but you really can’t beat the freshness of your own backyard. Soon, we will shuck our catch, open them like a prized jewel, sip the brine like a fine wine, and slurp them down with an appreciative nod to Mother Nature.

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