Cousin Clam Digging Feast

My dear cousin Elisabeth is freaking amazing. Why, just the other day, she dug up, killed, dismembered, cooked and overconsumed some massive razor clams. This is her story (and recipe!) This is what says about her:

Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan is Grist’s “Greenie Pig” — weathering all manner of inconvenience and insult in the name of forging a more eco-friendly life. She is a freelance writer and former editor at Backpacker magazine. Her writing has also appeared in 5280 (Denver’s city magazine), Women’s Adventure, and Spry.

Adorable little cousins in Stoughton

Early August 1987 in Stoughton, WI. Elisabeth, left, age 5, me, right, age 4. We were inspecting shells.

In my Homemade Jam for Christmas post I gushed about her a bit too. She has always had this thing about mollusks, though. See?

Read on for the full story and recipes…

What will you need to make Elisabeth’s tasty feast? Clams you dig yourself are not required. Some clams will be needed, however. If you can get them fresh, she even tells you how to kill and dissect them.

Italian Razor Clams

adapted from Michael Lalewicz’s recipe in the Seattle Times

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium-to-large cleaned, fresh razor clams
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
  • Pasta of choice, cooked and drained

Pacific Clam Chowder

adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8-10 razor clams, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Get the full story and recipes: Hard to stomach: How a fresh clam feast got the best of me

And just for good measure, another nostalgia moment with our squishy little gang of four.

Cousins in Stoughton

(left to right) Elisabeth's little brother John, me, leetle seester Gwen and Elisabeth, June 1988. Up at their place in Wisconsin, we had a pretty magical childhood.

Are you an adventurous eater? Ever foraged for your grub? Share your stories in the comments!