Monday, 19 September 2011

Here We 'R' Again

It may have not have escaped your attention that September has an 'r' in it. That's a (very) rough reminder of the fact that the sea temperature is now dropping again and it's safer to commence collection and consumption of tasty bivalves.

In a spirit of determined foraging enthusiasm my brother, my wife and I headed for the shore on Saturday afternoon; rake and bucket in hand. We had intended to collect surf clams but the tide wasn't really big enough to reveal the sandier areas where surf clams are more abundant. So we settled for a decent pile of juicy cockles which we found further up the shore in the gravelly areas.

As usual we ended up separating off into different parts of the bay, following our own personal cockle-finding trails. My wife was scanning the bottom of a small stream when she saw what she thought was a bubble. She prodded it gingerly, fully expecting it to have been produced by some sea creature still hidden in the adjacent seaweed. It turned out instead to be a clear marble.

My brother made a delicious chowder with the cockles (and few surf clams) we had collected. He used some squat lobster stock that I had in my freezer left over from my party a few months ago. He added smoked haddock, potato, onion and milk and, finally, some cream and the cockles and clams. An excellent start to the shellfish-foraging season and a reminder of the need for hearty comfort food and good company during the cold, dark months ahead.

My wife reckons I'm losing my marbles when I go swimming in the cold sea. After her peculiar find on Saturday I'm starting to wonder if that might be literally true.

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