Monday, July 9, 2012

Home is the sailor home from sea and the hunter home from the hill

One of Joe's favorite avocations when anchored at Dutch Harbor in Narragansett Bay is quohogging. Most people other than Rhode Islanders refer to this odd Native American term as clamming. Joe has one tenacious issue with this hobby and that is that he doesn't know when to stop digging (experts agree that this activity can be addictive.) Each time he heads out in the dinghy with his rake, inflated tube and net in which he stores the day's bounty, I remind him not to bring too many back to the boat.

He nods his head in agreement and heads off into shallow waters hour or two or three. Last summer he headed out for two hours and very proudly rushed back to the boat with one hundred forty four very large quahogs. This wouldn't be an issue if he was a commercial quohogger. The problem lies in the fact that the chief cook and bottle washer is expected to make "stuffies" with his catch and each quohog makes two stuffies. You can do the math. Needless to say it I worked for three days to complete the task of steaming, grinding, sautéing and stuffing these mollusks with a mixture of bread stuffing, sausage, onions, chilies, and clam juice. I was exhausted and Joe was a happy hunter.

Earlier this summer Joe headed out once again with a very stern warning. He had a catch limit of no more than twelve to fifteen and they had to be cherry stone size no big ones. His time limit was one half hour and he was to return to the boat. The chef was on strike. In a short order the dinghy was tied up to Simple Life within the allotted time and the catch was right on the money. Everyone was happy especially the chef. I was so proud of him and quite relieved. It appeared at least for now "quohogger rehab" had worked. We prepared a wonderful meal that night. A couple of stuffies for appetizers, and a main course of spaghetti alle vongole.

Location:Dutch Harbor, Jamestown, Rhode Island