A few weeks ago a group of us went out to my friends family beach cabin on the Washington coast. For the record, it's my favorite spot to be on the West Coast. When we were there in April, it was the official 'Razor Clam' season and we woke up to dozens of personal planes, a scattering of helicopters and many a 4 wheel drive vehicle on the beach, accompanied by a bajillion people digging for razor clams. A few friendly clammers showed us their loot and we were certainly impressed - the clams were huge!
This time around, the personal planes weren't there, but as the tide went
down we noticed a bunch of locals headed out to the beach to dig for clams. We thought, hey, we should give it a go! So we headed out tothe beach with our snazzy clam digging piece of metal and tried our luck. The first few holes provided us with some funny looking shrimp things, or nothing at all...making us a bit nervous about our prospects, but we persevered and headed out closer to the edge of the water and sure enough, we started getting clams! To 'dig' for the clams, you take the metal cylinder (shown here) and wiggle it with all your might straight down into the sand over an air hole. You cover the two metal holes with your fingers and you pull with your whole body, till you've got the cylinder out of the sand. You release your fingers, releasing the suction, and dump the sand out. If all goes as planned, there's a nice big razor clam in the middle of it!
Once we got our fair share of clams (not many, as we didn't quite expect to actually be successful), we headed back to the house. Our friend with an iPhone managed to get reception for JUST long enough to read the first few paragraphs of 'How to Clean a Razor Clam', which proved very helpful. We soaked them in freshwater to purge the sand, dropped them in boiling water for 7-10 seconds to release them from their shells, cut the 'razor' off as well as the black tip of the foot and the guts, then sliced them in half. We then sauted them with butter, lemon and salt and pepper (I believe). The final product was a bit iffy. We let them overcook a bit, and in our nervousness to taste them, let them cool off a bit too...so they weren't the most delicious thing I've ever eaten, but you could tell they COULD be good, if done correctly.
The point is. We dug those clams ourselves. Yeehaw!