Today’s NaBloPoMo prompt asks, “What dish did you dread being served as a kid?” My answer required no thought at all, as it was instantaneous and shuddering: Clamburgers!
Clamburgers don’t ring any bells for you? Let me explain.
My parents were always very thrifty. Ours was a stay-at-home mom (as were most back in the early ’60s), and with a family of five to feed, she was always on the hunt for food bargains. When I was in elementary school, Mom and Dad went deer hunting every year to add to our food supplies. By the time I was in high school, we had moved to the central coast, so instead of hunting, they fished and clammed.
Back then the Pismo clams were so plentiful that at low tide you could easily get your limit by simply walking down the beach with your clam fork and digging them up from the edge of the water. Quite often on weekend mornings Mom and Dad would go clamming early, while us kids were still sleeping.
Mom made excellent clam chowder (if you liked clam chowder, that is, and I didn’t). But her specialty, the one that earned her the most frugality points, was when she ground the clams up and added them to ground beef, turning them into (drum roll, please) Clamburgers!
I did my best to avoid clamburgers. Mom assured me that they didn’t taste any different from regular hamburgers, and that I really couldn’t tell them apart. But I didn’t have to taste them to know…the frying patties reeked of clam! (Have I mentioned that my mom had no sense of smell?)