There’s something unbelievably relaxing and therapeutic about digging your hands into the soft, wet sand and searching for clams.
This is what my friends and I were doing last Monday (oh how to start every week on the beach, clam-pickin’!) on La Baule beach. A chance stroll down to the beach to awaken our senses led us to hunt for clams for hours. The tide was low and the Baulois were out in full force with their buckets and spades.
We looked so out of place in our beach/running gear with no bucket and certainly no spade! But off we went, happily squatting down and plunging our hands into the sand.
After a while we realised that we would not be able to put the clams into our pockets and that our shoes weren’t going to held as many as we thought so one of us went back to a bucket and spade!
I got chatting to a lovely lady who told me how to wash and cook them. She also gave us a plastic bag as she could see we were struggling with our mass of clams! She also taught me the difference between the variety of clams – one you must cook and one can eat raw like an oyster (Delicious!)
We were beyond successful in our first clam-picking adventure and went home with two bucketfulls! For four of us.......A little optimistic but hey, it was our first time....
Together with google, painters’ tips and our French lady friend from the beach we produced this:
Mini recipe if you ever find yourself picking clams on a September morning...!
*Wash the clams out at least 5-6 times to get rid of the sand
*Separate out the darker ones so you can open them and eat them raw with a hint of lemon – YUM!
*Cook white wine (not too much....!), shallots and garlic
*Add clams and put lid on
*Add cream when they start opening
*Eat with bread or spaghetti (you can even make yourself a spaghetti alle vongole)
It is such a lovely lovely feeling being able to eat what you’ve spent hours collecting, washing and cooking. It feels clean, natural and fresh. You’re fruits of labour are rewarded with a rich and delicious meal .... There’s definitely something to be said for pre supermarket days when you had to go and pick your food from the land.
Here’s to my first fishing experience (of sorts) and to the many more that are to come!