Monday, March 5, 2018

Clamming


In my blog I recently wrote about all the clams I found on the beach that were still whole, some even alive. Well, I‘ve embarked on a new project now that sparked my interest when I bumped into a clam collector on the beach recently. I‘ve seen the lady out there before so I just approached her and asked about clamming. She said the clams are rare on this beach, that she usually goes clamming in Súðavík. She explained what to look for and how to choose the right ones, and in no time at all I had three beauties to take back home and experiment with.
 

With no greater ado, I boiled them in water and dunked them in melted herb butter. They were quite tough but tasty. I read up on clamming on the internet and found out that this type is quite the delicacy. In Reykjavík they sell for 1000 kr a piece in restaurants! The next day I headed out again and found about 10 good ones. After boiling them good, rinsing the sand from them and letting them cool, I chopped them up and fried them with butter and garlic. I made rice and vegetables with this and it was quite tasty all mixed together. But I can do better. 


Clam chowder! Why didn’t I think of that in the first place? This type of clam - The ocean quahog (Arctica islandica) - is perfectly predestined for one of my favorite all-time dishes. Well, the clams are disappearing on the beach as the tides and moon phase change, so I will have to wait until the next time around to try my new recipe. In the meantime, I still find the occasional one or two stragglers, so I cook them up and freeze them until it’s chowder time.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Þjóðakvöld

Lis has been in town for nearly a week now; thanks to the Icelandic weather gods who grounded flights for a couple of days, that was a bit longer than planned. She is finally able to fly back to Reykjavík with today’s morning flight but the involuntary extension of her stay gave us a nice opportunity to do lots of nice things.

The weather proudly displayed all of its various moods – often all within the space of just an hour. The safest thing to do is swim, and we did that as much as possible. We ventured out a bit to the neighboring villages, walked and enjoyed plenty of good food, drink and conversation. 

On her last evening, we risked the harrowing drive to Súðavík despite flight-grounding adverse weather, to attend Þjóðakvöld – an evening to celebrate the various nationalities alll living in the tiny village (pop. 150) of Súðavík. 

Ten countries were represented and each prepared a bit of traditional food to create a true multicultural buffet. 

Afterwards a few people got up on stage and told their stories of how they came from their corner of the world to live here. Later, two contributors each played and sang a traditional song from their respective countries. It was a charming little event that was attended by many of the locals.  


Today is sólarkaffi in Suðureyri. They sure do have to wait a long time for the sun! The other fjords celebrated their sunny day a month ago. Indeed Súgandafjörður (the fjord where Suðureyri lies) is long (13.5 km) and narrow (1.5 km wide) so there never is really a lot of room left for the sun to make an appearance, no matter what time of year. I will skip this event today and enjoy my coffee at home where the sun shines bright onto the sofa and the warm, sleeping cat.