Killing and eating dinner, and other summer fun

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I’m not a novice when it comes to killing what I eat. When my son was 3, he and I were walking along Atlantic Beach after a storm. As the gentle surf rolled in, a rather large lobster walked right out of the ocean in front of us. Jason saw a marvelous sea creature in its natural environment. I saw dinner.

I grabbed a piece of board, slid it under the lobster and, to the delight and happy shrieks of my little boy, I carried the beast back to our cabana and put it in the sink “to play.” I called my husband and whispered, “Bring the lobster pot.”

He did, and we cooked it, only slightly put off by the dancing sound it made in the pot. We used a hammer to crack it and we ate it all up. I’m not sure Jason has ever been the same. But I do know he was especially well behaved after that experience.

Clams offer less drama. In 1962, a friend ordered steamers, which I’d never seen before, and if you’ve never seen them, you can’t believe that people would actually put them in their mouths. My friend was patient. She showed me how to grab the “foot” of the steamer, remove the body from the shell, dip it in broth and then butter and then plop it into your open mouth. I was hooked. The taste is pure, briny summer, with a hint of fresh ocean. Sun and surf combine in a succulent blend.

We have friends who are our steamer buddies. They just eat the necks, and in that they are a find. Because nobody eats just the necks. It’s like eating the handle. So when we dine with them, we give them our necks and they give us their bodies. It’s a beautiful thing.

A dozen steamers are a healthy serving in every way. They’re only 100 calories, 22 grams of protein, with vitamin A, C, calcium, iron and omega three fatty oils. My favorite steamers are those I cook at home. I buy more than we think we can eat. Hey, the summer is short. Moderation is not acceptable. So I buy three or four pounds. I put them in a pot with water, celery, carrots, onion, pepper corns and white wine. I steam them until the shells open fully — about five minutes. We drink the broth and eat the clams.

So forget your exquisitely plated sushi. Don’t waste your effort on crabs. Life is short. The summer is almost over. Eat steamers. Drink the broth. Then lasso a lobster.

Copyright © 2013 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at

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