Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cockles, cockles, cockles

It's been a while, so hello to you all. I promise to be a bit better from here on in.

Now, those of you in the UK would have to be pretty dopey not to have noticed that it is October and well over twenty degrees outside - providing ample opportunity for fun times in the sun.

Yesterday we decided to capitalise on said sunshine and head down to Camber Sands. This wasn't any old trip though. We didn't have towels, bikinis or swimmers. What we did have was a kick ass big bucket and spade and an iron will. We were on the hunt, the hunt for cockles.

Camber sands, love it or hate it, it looks pretty damned good first thing in the morning. The sun glittering on the shallow water, the glitter of potential finds to our still sleepy eyes.

Having got up at 7am for low tide on a Saturday morning, it would have been disappointing to come back home empty handed. Luckily that was not the case.

We struck treasure pretty quickly, one errant cockle poking out of the sand led us to another, and another and another. They often live in "nests" meaning that there's a very good chance if you have found one, that you are going to find quite a few in the same area.

And so passed the next hour. We picked and picked, sometimes getting the spade of for extra help but mostly filling our bucket of seawater with our newly found produce.

We set off home with the bucket in the boot and covered from head to toe in sand and silt.

Cockles need to be cleaned before eating to get rid of the sand and grit inside the shells.

Again, the process was pretty simple. We filled a bucket with clean water and cleaned the cockles off. After emptying the bucket, we refilled it with fresh water, this time adding salt and oatmeal and left them for a few hours to clean themselves out.

And that was it. Cooking involved a bastardised version of Rick Steins Moules Mariniere, substituting the mussels with cockles and leaving the bay and parsley free rather than tied into a bouquet garni. And voila, the final product.... Delicious!

Now, does anyone know anywhere good on the Kent / Sussex coast for razor clams??


Food Urchin said...

Now that sounds like a brilliant way to spend a day, hunting cockles, basking in surreal October sun, drinking beer. (I'm jealous)

If you find razor clams, please let me know

vintagemacaroon said...

So satisfying to harvest your own food. I used to collect pipis, as a child, for fun, shame I didn't realise you could eat them. Was such a waste when I think how many we used to gather. Razor Clams would be great fun.

Julianna Barnaby said...

It was lovely! have fingers crossed for next weekend and a similar adventure. But maybe a bit ambitious weatherwise. Such a shame macaroon, although hakf the fun is in the collecting. Will definitely give a shout out to people if I find razor clams.....

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