Last week I was chatting with my grandma on the phone and I made a comment about it being mid-August. No, Elena, she said (laughing) it’s late August. Oops. I lost a few weeks.
That’s common this time of year, watching the days and nights and weeks and weekends blur past, particularly because our house has been filled to the brim with guests. Dan and Kaylee are getting a little bit exhausted by the revolving door of friends and loved ones, but I’m soaking it up. This is a perk of living at the beach, right?
Last weekend I drove to Richmond to meet my sister in law Megan and pick up our niece, Meredith, who just turned 7. A few years ago we started taking Meredith for visits with us all on her own, and this past week we had the pleasure of hosting her for the first time in North Carolina. We spent the beginning of the week soaking in the sun and sand (Meredith’s two requests were to find shells everyday and take a bubble bath every night. We were happy to try and help her realize that dream), and the Turcottes (Megan, John, and almost three year old Amelie) joined us on Thursday.
Meredith is a bright, sweet, fun, and funny girl, and I absolutely cherished getting to spend the week with her. She came to school with me during our in-service week and it was a delight having the opportunity to watch her in the classroom, talk to her about what she was reading and doing, and explore Wilmington through her eyes. I haven’t been so engrossed in shell hunting since I was 7 myself, and I loved it.
On Saturday we drove down to Kure Beach to hunt shells and fossils and relax in the sand. It wasn’t a great day for swimming (it was pretty rough and the coquina rocks make it difficult to navigate the water), but it was beautiful and I had a lot of fun sitting in the surf with Amelie. We stopped by Seaview on the way home and picked up a red drum and two dozen Stump Sound clams, as well as a bounty of vegetables from their food stand. That night we feasted on seafood and end-of-summer peppers and beans, rounding it all out with a salted caramel peach pie.
It was hard saying goodbye to our sweet nieces and their parents this morning, and our house is all the quieter without them. All the reason to start planning for next year’s Auntie Elena & Uncle Dan camp!
Grilled Clams with Rosemary Butter Sauce
2 dozen top neck clams
2 sticks butter
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves
In a saucepan melt butter over low heat. Mince garlic and slice shallots and add to the pan, along with rosemary. Simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Scrub clams thoroughly, discarding any that are open. Grill over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until they’ve opened wide. Top with butter sauce and serve immediately.