Every season of life on Cape Cod, I discover an amazing experience that leads me to pinch myself and excitedly share stories with others. In the summer, it's clamming. And in the fall last year, it was taking my mother-in-law oystering. As a Midwestern woman, she had never seen an oyster in the water. We explained the process, and then one early morning, she and I set out to Ellis Landing Beach, on the Bay.
We were somewhat prepared with long rubber boots, an official bucket, and my shellfishing license. Luckily my cousin joined us and supplied the tongs, a much needed tool for picking up the oysters in the cold, November waters. We were both amazed. I had been before, and each time I marvel at the power of the tides and the wildlife that is effected by and reliant on the changing water levels.
We collected our allotted amount and took them home to my husband, who is a talented shucker. His mom was not ready to try one, as they are a little scary looking, but my husband and I gobbled them up with a little lemon and cocktail sauce. It's a day I'll never forget - both the beauty of the process and seeing it through her wide eyes.
Clamming is another fun activity that often produces tasty meals. Recently our friends from Carlisle visited, and their son was fascinated with the clamming process. With his rake and bucket, he collected over ten clams one afternoon at Jackknife Beach. Their plan was to take them back to their rental and eat them raw. Last spring, my uncle went clamming and made delicious clam chowder with the many quahogs he claimed, and we were lucky enough to enjoy it, too.