Hoquiam Farmer’s Market News – Spring Edition

In anticipation of gardening season, now is a good time to start some seeds inside. Last year many of us planted seed in the garden three times before the weather warmed up enough for the seed to germinate and grow. By starting your seedlings now, you can avoid the heartbreak of watching your tiny sprouts wither beneath a sudden May frost or monsoon, and be assured a harvest before October. Sure, you can always buy starts, and I’ll certainly have veggie starts available at the market later on, but you can save so much money by starting your own seedlings. Besides, it’s very gratifying and lots of fun! No, you do not have to invest in special tiny plastic pots, use egg cartons! Fill each cardboard cup with some good soil, plant the seed , spritz each cup with water, and keep in a sunny window. Keep the soil moist, but not so wet that the seed rots. Since you have used the recyclable cardboard cartons, you can plant the whole cup in the garden, providing more nourishment for your seedling.
Next Saturday is a busy time, with everything happening at the beach. Get an early start for clam digging, and get over to The Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival. They open at 7am with the Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast. A brisk dig will give you a hearty appetite. Aside from the vendor booths, clam chowder contest and creative clam entree competition, what I really want to see is the ten foot clam and his dancers. I expect the dancers to have some pretty swift moves, a clam on the run goes down the hole at lightening speed.
When the festival ends, come on over to the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino for the Coastal Harvest ‘Music By The Sea’ benefit dinner and auction. For forty dollars per person you’ll have an outstanding evening of food, entertainment, auction items and the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to end hunger. Coastal Harvest distributes food to over fifty Food Banks, senior centers, and community free meal programs- at absolutely no cost. Call 532-6315 to reserve your tickets!
An ongoing debate amongst us clamheads is the manner in which the clam is removed from the shell. Having grown up in the old days when a limit of clams was, gasp, 30 clams, cutting them out of the shell was an ordeal if the whole family went digging. We opted for the quick dunk in boiling water method. Luckily, I married a man who takes his time. He carefully runs a thin bladed knife around the shell to pry the clam out. The biggest advantage to this method is that you may then cut the clam muscles ( there are two) away from the shell. In my days of ignorance, I paid the clam muscles no heed. Big mistake! It’s the finest part of the clam. Scrambled egg and clam sandwiches are a delicacy- quickly saute the muscles in butter, sprinkle with garlic salt, add 4 slices of cooked crumbled bacon, then 4 eggs whisked with 2 tblp. milk, scramble and spoon out onto toasted bread spread with mayo and some dijon mustard. Simple, delicious, and nutritious. If you are in too big of a hurry to cut the clam out of the shell, you can make the clam sandwich by cutting small pieces of digger to saute instead of using muscles.
Barbara Bennett Parsons, manager of the Grays Harbor Farmers Market in Hoquiam. 1958 Riverside, ph 538-9747
Deidra’s Deli is open 7 days a week! Weekday evenings until 7pm- call her to place your order, 538-5880