Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Strictly Speaking ...

Because today's subject is a clam chowder cook-off I wanted to use the phrase "Happy as a clam." And then began wondering (as so many have done before me) why would a clam be happy and who'd know the difference? Several online references assured me that we are saying only half of the phrase -- properly it's "Happy as a clam at high tide" (when predators can't get at them.

A phrase the Brits use is "As happy as a sandboy" and the story behind that is: back in olden times, boys were hired by bar owners to go to beach caves and bring back sand for the barroom floor (instead of putting down sawdust.) These "sandboys" were paid in drink. Of course, they were as happy as larks! Oops! Let's not go there...

Saturday, March 28th, from 1 to 4 p.m. there will be a clam chowder cook-off in front of Quality Seafood, International Boardwalk, Redondo Pier, to benefit the Wellness Community, a non-profit that offers free support services to cancer patients, survivors and families. (Note: I once volunteered there only to be handed a huge pile of stuff to be filed which was not my idea of warm and fuzzy service to others. I never went back.)

Categories include professional and amateur, Manhattan and New England chowders and you can register online at At the event you'll be offered five tastings from various contestants for $5.

Richie once clammed on Long Island (his brother Charlie still does) and he loves New England clam chowder. Naturally, he is planning to go. Since I would rather set my hair on fire than eat that stuff -- if you're going, could you please take Richie, too?

No comments: