Fresh catch! (Indian River Inlet, DE)
There’s nothing like reaping the rewards of a hard day’s work (of someone else) and eating food freshly caught with your own two hands (or the two hands of one of your friends). The highly anticipated, long awaited “Living with Wife Party” had finally arrived, and we drove down to Seaford, DE to celebrate with our friends LS and SS. We took a ride down to the Indian River Inlet, hopped on a boat, found a sandbar, and started digging for clams!
DE fishing license regulations limited our intake to 400 clams in total, so of course we left with no less than 400 clams. You might think, “WTF, why would 7 people ever need 400 clams?”. Good question. Cos we care so deeply about sustainable fishing? (JK - but we did send half the clams to SS’s mom whose clam chowder is the talk of the town). All I know is the boys got super into this easy little “hunting” game and could stop at no less than our statutory max. A couple of hours in, all the girls were lounging on the boat, taking down beers and gossip, and the boys were digging away, hands pruney and blisters forming on all of their thumbs. For the rest of the weekend, we kept hearing about SS’s “clam back” whenever he made quick movements or bent down.
But the hard work wasn’t over yet! Before consumption, the clams must be scrubbed and cleaned….a dirty, exhausting and painstakingly monotonous job. Although I wouldn’t really know, cos JS and ATO took care of it all (I got to shower and put out dip and chips and veggies). Thanks JS and ATO for taking one for the team!
Steamed clams….finally ready to eat! The little ones were the best!
Everything is better when dipped in butter. And with the naturally salty taste of the clams, everything was simple but seasoned just right.
The sides…. super sweet corn on the cob, fresh veggies with a thick, creamy ranch dip, fruit salad on skewers and salsa and chips!
But those were just the starters. The main dish was the freshly-caught crabs. Just set the traps, lounge for a few hours, and come back to find your meal awaiting!
Steaming in a pot with some Old Bay. Can never go wrong with crabs and Old Bay.
Beer and mallets and you’re set!
Fun bonus fact: Did you know a soft-shell crab is not a different species of crab from the regular blue crab? Apparently I was misguided for the past 31 years of my life! Turns out soft-shell crabs are in fact just plain ordinary blue crabs that have recently molted their old shells in order to grow, and are therefore still soft. A crab goes through several cycles of this growing process in its lifetime (well, unless it’s eaten first - ha) and timing is everything; the crabs are only soft for a few hours after they’ve molted. Photo Hungry! = science class today ;-). Above are our soft-shell crabs lightly battered and fried.
And served with some Old Bay between two slices of white bread. (I couldn’t bring myself to eat it, but I had a juicy cheeseburger and nicely grilled hot dog in its stead!)
A delicious, fun and informative weekend. Thanks LS and SS!!
PS - SS definitely gets drafted first in our post-apocalyptic island league for his skills in driving a boat, finding food, catching food and cooking food!