Bringing New England Seafood Flavor to our Arizona Home
As a native New Englander, I grew up in Massachusetts surrounded by ocean activities - spending summer days at the beach (Wingaersheek, Good Harbor, Old Orchard, Hampton, Nantasket), rafting our boats at Misery Island on the North Shore, lobster picnics at Chauncey Creek Pier, dining on fresh-from-the-ocean seafood steps from a dock in Nantucket, clamming on Martha’s Vineyard, and feasting at lobster pounds in Bar Harbor. Even living in our downtown condo at Harbor Towers on Boston’s waterfront, we were still spoiled - the lobster tanks at James Hook’s Lobster Company were a 5-minute stroll from our front door. Lobster rolls and oysters at Neptune in Boston’s North End, stuffed quahogs in Menemsha on The Vineyard, steamers at cookouts in Essex, fried scallops in Ogunquit, fish and chips on The Cape, and fried clams in Ipswich…so many delicious memories.
As seen in these pictures, now we’ve brought that New England flavor here to Arizona to remind us of home Back East. Since my parents moved from Massachusetts to join me in Phoenix, dad has introduced a new tradition. One thing he really missed were good New England fried clams, those crispy oceanic bites made from soft-shelled steamer clams native to the Northeast.
After ordering fresh clams from Woodman’s of Essex (home to the original New England fried clam) a couple of years ago, he was hooked. Twice a year - every Memorial Day and Labor Day - he orders a Chubby’s Fried Clam Kit delivered to our door, and I do the cooking.
Fresh steamer clams are delivered pre-shucked in vacuum-sealed packages, along with evaporated milk for soaking, a corn flour batter mixture, tartar sauce, clam boxes, and cooking instructions (I use a deep fryer set at 350 degrees - 60 seconds for clams, 3 minutes for scallops). Thanks for making it easy dad!
We’re often joined by our good friends Bill (a fellow MA native) and Lill of AZ Bitters Lab. Avid wine collectors, they always make sure we have perfect bottles to pair…
…and also contribute their own platter of seafood goodies, such as lobster rolls with lobster shipped in from Boston’s J. Hook’s.
And sometimes Clams Casino added to their J. Hook’s order.
Thanks to our wonderful family and friends, we look forward to gathering together every spring and fall for a taste of home.