Friday, 9 April 2010

Snack My Beach Up

This is a new blog about the beach in front of my house and the good (and sometimes rank) things I can find there to eat. I intend to positively "snack up" my beach to the point of seafood transcendence. I will become a gastropod gastronaut; hopefully avoiding gastro-enteritis along the way.

The idea came about as a result of a recent visit by some good friends. I took them out on a mollusc-scavenging trip; welly boots on and rake in hand - instantly transformed into my dad. One of my friends, a London music journalist, reckoned that his city pals would positively (metaphorically) lap this stuff up. I just slugged back my whisky and called him a "metropolitan c**t". He took it in good heart and we all continued, drunkenly, to assemble a sequence of some of the worst sea/seafood-related puns you've never heard. I intend to make use of those in my blog. Further suggestions welcome. Music references preferred.

We then talked about loss, death, grief. The sort of stuff that naturally follows on from seafood puns.

I've lived close to this particular beach for most of my life. During my upbringing I seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time being dragged around the shore while my mother picked wilks (winkles), which she then sold to scrape together a few quid towards the mortgage. My younger brother was fascinated with the entire ecosystem of the beach and even said that he wanted to become a marine biologist when he grew up. I thought it was cold, wet and boring. Later in life I ended up back there picking wilks towards my own mortgage. The beach was still there, hard and cold, not offering up its bounty willingly.

Now that life is a little easier for me, and I have discovered the joys of seafood (especially free seafood), I have found that spending time on the beach, scavenging, is a pleasure.

What did we eat the night of the puns? Most of the contingent at the table were full on veggies and wouldn't touch the vaguely-gynaecological-looking contents of the molluscs with a bargepole. For those who did choose to dig in there was rich garlic, tomato and basil linguine with mussels, surf-clams and cockles. There was also a large pot of the same shellfish but unshelled and flavoured with cajun chilli sauce. We scoffed the lot and threw the shells back on the shore.

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