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Clams!!

A field trip to Shi Shi Beach

I must admit, there is no point to this posting - it's simply a recounting of an event from long ago. While sitting around and recovering from a recent heart attack, I've been poking around in my cob webbed memory banks and recalled a geology field trip years ago led by Dr. Larry Hansen, a most gifted teacher at the Yew Dub. As he - at the time at least - was interested only in teaching - and not making money and prestige for the Yew Dub via research and publication, he was not granted tenure and ANOTHER gifted teacher was shot down.

Yeah I'm bitter - but I digress. It seems one particular field trip - an overnight - we trooped out to Shi Shi beach on the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, a spectacular place, right on the ocean. We were there due to evidence some of the upthrust rocks were among the oldest yet found on the continent. After wandering around and admiring the rocks, we found the beach supported - clams! Yum!!

Gathering a bunch of clams, we proceeded to have a clam dinner - with a group of dubious "flat lander" college kids watching us. These kids from the mid West ( I maintain it's the mid East part of the U.S. - it's all in your perspective ) who had never seen an ocean, eaten clams, etc watched us closely. We managed to find someone with a little butter, someone else gave us some garlic, and, of course, being a college age group of kids there was quite a bit of "the libation from the grape" and we had the makings of a real feast!

Into the pot went the clams, a bit of light "grape juice" was added, the butter and the garlic and water. We boiled them up and went at it to the amazement of the "flatters."

First we were asked how to eat clams - we showed 'em - you grabbed an opened shell and slurped - none too daintily a slurp may I add. In a bit we got down to the nectar, I slurped a big clam up and began drinking the nectar. Finally someone noticed what I was doing, asked if the nectar was good & I shook my head no - dumb question, if it wasn't good I wouldn't have been drinking it! So all the West Coast people began scarfing down the juice - darn! - when one of the flatters asked how we cleaned the clams. ( Even though they could see we were not cleaning them.) When told you eat the WHOLE clam, guts and all, some got a bit squeamish.

Finally one brave soul asked if he could have one, and after some hesitation finally slurped one up, chewed a bit tentatively, then swallowed, almost convulsively. ( Put your self in THEIR place! ) For a few minutes he literally turned a bit green around the gills, but managed to keep it down. With a little wine to cover the taste he was fine.

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