An Essex boy at heart

Essex, Massachusetts, that is.

My view of the salt marsh during tonight’s dinner at J.T. Farnham’s; click for a larger version

This year’s menu:

I got my usual clam plate with fries and onion rings, plus a quart each of clam chowder and haddock chowder to bring home. Market price on the clam plate was US$24, lower by a few dollars than last year.

I was more interested in eating than taking pictures, so here’s a plate they made earlier. They look this scrumpdillyicious every time. This is what I think of whenever I use or hear the phrase “golden brown and delicious”.

Better than no clams

Before picking up the repaired Boop standup this week, I was disappointed to learn that J.T. Farnham’s closed for the season on Christmas Eve, but the nearby and year-round Woodman’s, more touristy but in relative terms quiet as a ghost town in late December, is a helluva lot better than no clams. Their combination plate of clams, buttery soft scallops, shrimp, cod, onion rings, and fries (US$31.99) was huge, nearly three times what you see here, so I saved some and had the leftovers just now.

The informative part of this post: I usually reheat fried food in a convection toaster oven at 225F/110C for 30 minutes, more or less, after taking it out of the fridge an hour ahead. The fan heat at a low temperature restores a good amount of the crispness without drying the food out. To be sure, it’s not like fresh, but it’s half to two-thirds of the way there – again, better than no clams at all.

It’s like Christmas in December

Click for a larger version

I was a fair bit off in my fried clam estimate the other day – it was more like thirty clams on the clam plate today, which was the same US$28 as last time at J.T. Farnham’s. The total was $72 for that plus the lobster roll and quart of seafood chowder that I brought home – four meals in all.

It was strange to see ice on the salt marsh and 29°F/-2°C on the outside thermometer, but the food was no less delicious than on a hot night in July.

A more traditional view from one of the picnic tables at Farnham’s in May 2014:

Click for a larger version

Click below for a behind-the-scenes video at Farnham’s – please excuse the Fieri: