Posts Tagged ‘clamming’

While the rain has been happily absent for the past week,  I’ve spent most of my time at the machine, both sewing, and un-sewing.

The sewing was to put together a bunch of goods for a ‘trunk show’ that I participated in at the local coffee roasters.  It was a small group pf ‘artists’ consisting of two women who made jewelry, one newfound friend (who is an amazing baker)  along with a photographer, and a painter. And me. I brought the wine bottle candles, several handbags, headbands, make-up bags, and grocery/tote bags.  It was all day both Saturday and Sunday, and I ended up doing okay. Well, none of the grocery bags sold, but several of the other things did, and the shop owner elected to keep a few things there to sell as well.    The un-sewing was/ is a boatload of alterations that have been stacking up, and a couple of ‘urgent’ things for two new clients.  One of them was this prom dress ( from the picture I can understand why she ordered it – but it looked Nothing like the photo; it was just a limp and cheap poly silky with bad embroidery and beading) It needed a bit more modesty, and I converted it to a halter as well. Quickly. The prom here is tonight, and I’m hoping the girl, who was very sweet, has a good time.  A couple more days, and I will be completely caught up and ready to take on the next round of things that are coming up this week.

The weather has been so beautiful and it finally feels like spring. There was a four day clam dig, which ended today. This morning a friend and I went down to the beach to participate in the quarterly beach cleanup, then stayed to dig clams. It was so balmy out that we were without jackets  – what a treat. And, we got our limit in about fifteen minutes. A far cry from the last time a couple weeks ago when we wandered around for nearly two hours and barely got our limit of 15 between the two of us.( That time it was the first non-raining day for three weeks, and the clams had buried themselves well and deep.)  Yesterday Richard and I went and dug and it was pretty good too – I got a giant one and took it to a local restaurant to enter in their Clam Derby. Here’s a shot of the ‘big one’ which weighed in at 183 grams on my scale:

This is what a typical clam looks like on the scale:

And I took this one just because it made me think of my dad – I don’t fish, but here is part of the catch nonetheless 

Looks like chowder tonight. Poor Richard has had plenty to clean the last couple days. Lucky for him the season is nearly ended. We have a freezer full of them. If only I could walk down to the beach and get crab. There would be none in the freezer, but I would be a happy woman.

Doing a bit of research on clams I found this article which told me that what I dug up was nothing. Damn! Yeah, well, they can keep their monsters.  😉

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 We’ve been inundated with rain, and everywhere I go, that is the topic of conversation. Overheard in the next line at the store, between any two people whether they be strangers or not. How much rain? Over eleven inches since the start of the year, which is a lot even for here. It’s hard to not be a bit depressed about it, but on the other hand it’s a little comical. It’s as though no one has anything else to say to each other, or they all want someone to commiserate with.
All of this makes the occasional sunny day that much nicer. The sun seems almost painfully bright when it peeks out, as noticed when you go out and people are smiling and squinting at the same time. 
The other night we decided to go clamming on the spur of the moment. We have plenty in our freezer, and it had been raining the first two nights of the three day dig. But, it had cleared up, and there was no wind so…….. off we went with head-lights and a lantern to help with the hunt in the dark.  Now, I don’t really eat clams. But, I love to dig them. Love. it. And I will cook them, but the cleaning needs to be done by someone else. I suppose it’s the thrill of the hunt – looking for some small hole in the sand, or a slight indentation even. Of course there are the ‘doughnut holes’ that are the clear markers, but if the water is washing over the sand you just don’t get those. I’ll dig anything that looks ‘different’  – and often I get lucky.( I secretly like to think of myself as the most skilled clam hunter in the house. ) It is hard in the dark – did I say that already? But I can’t get enough of wandering around at a minus tide, and looking up and down the beach at the hundreds of lanterns in the dark. There are headlights from the vehicles that drive by, higher up on the beach; but the people are all out nearer the water, and all you see is the lanterns. There is no other light. As far north or south as you can see, its a magical glittering portrait with the sound only of the waves breaking and an occasional ‘woo-hooo!’ from someone who just scored one more toward their limit of 15. Every now and again someone hollers ‘run’ if a wave breaks and is flowing in with a little more gusto. When it’s clear like it was on Saturday, there is the bonus of looking up at the sky. It is breathtaking seeing the billion stars that show up, as there’s hardly any other light here.  
The catch wasn’t so good – we only got ten clams between the three of us. One person held the lantern while the other two dug; we wandered for an hour and a half; I dug dozens of holes at anything I thought might be a winner, and ended up with five in my bag. The guys got three and one. Richard got swamped by a wave, and his boots full of water (which makes you cold and not much in the mood to keep on). Me, with my down coat on, made sure I ran when the waves approached and managed to stay dry and warm. I could have stayed out there for another couple hours, but the guys had had enough. Next time, maybe. The spring digs will all be in the morning, which is fun too, but the magic is not the same without all the stars above and the tiny lights in the distance. 

The last few nights have seen the return of the crab boats on the water. I can’t help but do a count when I look out the window and see their lights shimmering out in the darkness. If it’s clear like it was last night, I can see them if I wake in the middle of the night. I watch them slowly rise and fall with the ocean swells, and peeking in and out through the trees that are between us and the beach. It’s sort of mesmerizing, and sometimes when there’s a light fog just above the waters’ surface, there’s an added glow when they get close in to shore. The last few nights (and this morning) there have been no fewer than a dozen boats all working the area that I can see. Some are way out near the horizon, and those are like tiny stars that come and go as they weave and dip in the water. I know that they’re working during the day too, but it is literally a sea of grey, and they’re hard to spot.  It looks as if they mostly come out at night. Just for me. 
All this thinking about boats has me decided on what’s for dinner: last nights’ catch of crab. 
I’ll be heading down to Ilwaco this afternoon to pick some up from our favorite fish market. The boats ( from in front of our house) bring them to her, she cooks it in the big kettle out front, and it’s on the table tonight. Add in a couple artichokes, sourdough bread, a little lemon and some butter. 
The only decision left is what’s for dessert. 
Hmm, what can I make thats sparkle-y?

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in the spirit of the season, though I’d share something really creepy:
I mean, we all collect something; and I believe you can get a lot of insight by learning what someone collects. But that’s just …… icky.

On a more somber note, still no confirmation on whether or not Richard’s brother and family lost their home. It’s still in the no-go zone.  We found a cool tool though that lets you see the total impact of the fires in an interactive way.  Just go to Google, click on ‘maps’, then to the San Diego fire map.  Lots of good stats there. 

Ethan and my mom are coming today. Yay! It will be good to visit, even though the time will be short. We’ll have birthday dinner for Mom tonight. 
Then they will head back to Seattle tomorrow afternoon.
I picked up a clam licence yesterday, for tonight’s dig.  Just one person, though.  Might be a fun thing under the near full moon. Low tide is around 8:20 p.m.  And it should be very crowded at the beach.

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