The Payoff


After our nocturnal clam dig, we returned to the Sweeney home for a most welcome, hot dinner (Thanks, Mia!) and cozy bedtime for kids. Then, despite an increasing gravitational pull that seemed to be strongest on the couch, Sweeney and I headed out to the garage for a long session of clam cleaning. The perfect post-dinner activity.

We dipped the clams in boiling water to remove the shells, then plunged them into cold water to keep ’em from cooking. Pictured above, razors minus their shells, ready for cleaning. A little scissor work to remove guts and a quick rinse and they were good to go. Of course, it sounds quick and easy, but when you multiply by 70 or 80 clams, well…Sweeney and I had a good long stretch of work. But I actually enjoyed the time, just shooting the breeze and hanging out with a good buddy. Finished up and hit the rack around 2:00am.

Next night, back at home, the kids and I went for a major-league clam feast. Here they are covered in crispy panko, fresh out of the pan.┬áTender, sweet, meaty, crisp, savory…the best-eating bivalve on the planet. And completely worth the effort.