Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Opening Clams

Just a few photos of me opening clams Sunday afternoon...and Amy cutting the bacon to make clams casino. (I'm probably not smiling because I'm concentrating so I don't cut myself...I didn't!)

(Photos by Jim Fineman. Click to enlarge.)

It doesn't get much better -- out in the sound for an hour or so, quiet and peaceful, raking clams...back home sitting in the yard opening clams and listening to the mockingbirds...then savoring the rewards of a fine day's work with family & friends.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the autobiography of Frank Treat Fulcher. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news052111.htm.


  1. Anonymous6:36 AM

    Do you put them in the freezer for a 1/2 hour or so before opening?? Makes it a lot easier.... an old O'cocker taught me this trick many years ago :-)

  2. Anonymous10:06 AM

    Severe Ocracoke/Clam envy has set in for this Richmond, VA person!! Hope to get there in September!

  3. Anonymous10:56 AM

    how necessary is it to keep shellfish on ice. during prep?

  4. pat perks11:05 AM

    Phillip I just thought I should finely tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog and see the pictures. for lots of reasons I havw not been to OI since 2005. before that we had been every year, but 1 since 1989 and a couple of years we made it 2 times. My husband and I accidentally stumbled (we say we "discovered" Ocracoke) upon it when taking one of those see where you end up vacations. We only came over because we were driving up the coast from Ga and in NC saw a sign for Cedar Island ferry and he wanted to ride it. We had never heard of OI. We took the ferry over and fell inn love as soon as our car rolled off the ferry and started driving down rt 12. We had planned on catching the hatteras ferry, but we didn't leave. I hope to get back this year if at all possible. My husband has passed, and I have so many happy memories of "our island"

  5. Anonymous2:15 PM

    To Pat Perks....I'm a fellow long-time blogger/reader of Philip's blog and I just want to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your comments. I lost my husband two years ago and Ocracoke Island was always "our" place to go, too. It holds a lot of dear memories for me now. I hope you will be able to visit OI one day before too long. I was able to go "alone" in October of 2009 and it was most sentimental. I went back again last October and took my 79 year old Mom with me. In the meantime, hold on to those "happy memories of our island"....no one can ever take those memories away from you!!!!

    From a Person county NC mainlander...

  6. Thank you so much NC mainlander, for those words they mean a lot. what year did you first go to OI?
    sorry Philip for using your blog to communicate

  7. Julie S.3:06 PM

    Don't know if you've seen it or not but this month's issue of "Our State" magazine has a nice article about OI with an especially lovely photo of your kinswoman, Mrs. Joliff.

  8. I'll look for it. My husband and i started going alone but starting taking 2 granddaughters in 1997 until about 13 or more were going with us, I finally did not want to let anyone else in on the "secret"

  9. Anonymous3:55 PM

    How come no info yet on the Festival next week-end (6/3-6/5)?

  10. Many thanks to all of our faithful readers. I am happy you have such wonderful memories of Ocracoke, especially the good times you spent on the island with family members who are no longer with us.

    Marcy, look for Festival news coming up soon.

  11. It is not necessary to keep fresh clams on ice if you keep them in the shade, and open them within a couple of days...as long as they don't start to open up on their own they're OK.

  12. Putting clams in the freezer for a while does make them easier to open. Actually my clams were very easy to open. I wasn't in any great danger of cutting myself. But I am careful.

  13. The Our State magazine article is wonderful! And, as you say, it has a great photo of Blanche.

  14. Anonymous9:43 AM

    Yes, please everyone, check out the June edition of "Our State". Blanch is a hit....both her picture and the precious, personal interview is so warm and down-to-earth. I have read the article twice already!

    To Pat....I visited OI w/ my family before I was married, but Scott/I visited every so often from 1983 to 1997, when it was Scott's final trip. By then, his MS was just too difficult for us to travel even though he had family located in Belhaven, NC. I didn't return to OI until Oct 2009, after Scott's death in April, when I made a very special "pilgrimage" to scatter Scott's ashes.

    It was on this intensely personal trip that Philip was enjoying a nice fall afternoon rocking on the Community Store porch & he invited me to "sit a spell" and chat. Such a nice memory!

    Scott could go inside the Village Craftsmen w/ his motorized scooter and/or wheelchair because of Philip's well-made ramp. It was one of the few businesses he could really enjoy visiting at that time and Howard Street was a special spot because of the shade (vital for someone who suffers from progressive MS) and seeing the local families cemetery! We both loved reading the headstones and thinking about the people whom had passed on.

    Oh, the memories are so dear!

  15. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Philip, you and your lovely daughter, Amy, make a great team! You definitely were concentrating when opening up those clams. Glad there were no injuries this time!

  16. the reamp was a thought addition I always made at least one trip to the Craftsman. i love Howard St took many pics and we also liked the cemeteries

  17. Ron Kostar1:42 PM

    So you got that outbaord engine running, Phillip? I bet it was a dirty carburetor!

  18. Ron, sad to say, but my outboard is not running. But I've been clamming a couple of times with friends.

    Back to the outboard -- I am 99% sure it is the carburetor, as you suspect. I've had both carbs off and cleaned them. It still didn't work. Just today I ordered carburetor repair kits and float valve assemblies. I've got my fingers crossed!