Hard to believe, but Saturday was the last evening razor-clam opener of the season, and we didn’t want to miss it. Skyla was literally bouncing off the walls, stoked to dig, and then realized she had already committed to a dinner with friends that night. I was bummed she couldn’t go with us, but was also proud that she stuck to her word. Then Weston woke up not feeling well. And I was left to go it alone, perhaps an early preview of kids growing up and having lives of their own? With a twinge of sadness, I decided to roll anyway, and lucky for me, had plenty of friends to join the fun. That’s Honey, David and Sam Smart, and Doc hitting the beach early.
The dig started off slow, with a big swell pushing the wash up the beach and making it tough. We scratched out a few nice ones ahead of the tide, then, as it the water receded, it was on.
Nothing like good friends on a day at the beach. That’s Dan and Mia Sweeney and me for a quick, sandy-handed selfie. Dry weather, full daylight, no lanterns…what’s not to like?
Once the razors started to show, we filled our limits with big, fat, tasty clams in minutes. That’s Sweeney double checking the Smart boys’ count.
Finished the night at the Sweeneys for a team clam-cleaning session and more good times hanging out with friends. That’s Sweeney and Smarty (with Hefty-sack wrapped wrist he broke to avoid having to clean clams) waiting for the watched pot to boil. I missed the kids, but ended up having a fantastic time anyway. Love this crew.
As our good friend Smarty says, it just wouldn’t be a spot-prawn opener without weather. And so it was. After days and days of blue skies and sunshine, our Puget Sound shrimp season–now down to a single, partial day–arrived with rain and wind. The kids and I joined Smarty for a few quick pulls and found serious abundance, which is, I suppose, one of the benefits of such a limited season. Since he moved away for work, we miss Smarty, and it was great to be out on the water with him again.
Spot prawns spoil quickly if the heads are left on, so the kids made fast work of cleaning and counting our haul. That’s Skyla and Weston, above, twisting shrimp heads.
Since we were already running late for a dinner party at our friends, Earl and Doreen Harper’s, place in Seattle, we ran for the ferry, hauling a big container of prawn tails on ice. That’s Chef Earl, working his magic in the kitchen, under the watchful supervision of the peanut gallery, aka, Dave McCoy.
And…Voila! The best spot prawns I’ve ever eaten, by far. Earl’s secret was a fast, hot, dry saute, followed by salt, butter, garlic and parsley in a hot–and humongous–pan. Seared on the outside, coated in salty, garlic-y butter, and firm and sweet inside, they were magnificent. Of course, Earl’s other 9 courses–including Spanish blood sausage and shredded apples wrapped in nettle leaves, and marinated pork skewers with roasted tomatoes–were off the hook as well. On the long, late drive home, full, happy and tired, we felt lucky to have such great friends and days.