I am 27 years old and I’ve already had two knee surgeries. Yay. I tore both of my ACLs (and one meniscus) playing basketball. I grew up playing basketball in school and on club teams. The first tear happened when I was 22. Just when I was starting to feel confident with my knee again three years later and back to snowboarding and playing basketball, I got fouled in a charity league and heard that familiar popping sound as I landed on my then good knee. I won’t pretend it was an easy recovery because the post-surgery pain was pretty awful.
After each surgery, my mom took me to the Cliff House, an oceanside restaurant in San Francisco, for my first meal out of the house. It became our tradition (although I sincerely hope the tradition ended there). At the Cliff House, clams were a must. The heaping pile of clams came out in a big bowl with a white wine broth that we sopped up using their signature fresh popovers.
Although it may seem that steamed clams take me back to a time of pain, it doesn’t at all. Instead, to me, this dish reminds me of how much my parents love me. During both of my recoveries, they made sure that I was as comfortable as possible, had all the prescription pain killers I needed, and made sure to feed me since I was stuck in bed. A dish that reminds me of my mom taking care of me? Now, that’s comfort food.
I made my steamed clams with a different twist, beer instead of wine. You’ll need:
1 12 oz bottle of any IPA
2 lbs Littleneck clams (or any other clam you prefer)
Cilantro for garnish
Simply bring the bottle of IPA to a boil in a large pan or pot. I tried an IPA called New Belgium Ranger. I had never tried it before and it seemed extra hoppy than typical IPAs, but it did the trick for the clams. Then add 2 lbs of Littleneck clams into the boiling beer. Cover the pot, reduce to medium heat, and allow the clams to steam for about 6-8 minutes until they open. Discard any of the clams that do not open, as those were already dead for who knows how long prior to cooking. Squeeze lemon juice into the broth and over the clams. Garnish with lemon slices and cilantro. I slathered my favorite butter, Beurdell French Butter, onto some french bread then toasted it on a pan. Compared to American butter, this French butter is so savory, creamy, and salty…not to mention, the aroma that fills the kitchen while you’re cooking is intoxicating. If anything, melt some of it in a pan if you have company over for dinner, and wait for the comments on how good it smells in the kitchen.
This business casual outfit highlights the grey tones of the clam shells. It is perfect workday attire that’s conservative, but still expresses a little bit of fashionable edge with the mesh sleeves on the Harlowe & Graham mesh sleeve print top. This top has detailed stitching around the front of the shoulders overlapping the mesh with the patterned print. It’s a beautiful design that bring out the colors from the grey shells and the beige and yellowish meat of the clams. These grey Express Columnist slacks are not only form fitting, but stretchy enough for those longs days sitting at your desk. I have recently been turned on to Express pants and am pleasantly surprised at how well they fit. My BCBGeneration Cynthia Ankle Strap Mesh Pumps are perfect for the work place as they are closed toed and look much like a typical pump when wearing slacks. However, for the days when you feel like drawing more attention to your footwear (likely everyday), the ankle strap and mesh sides pick up an otherwise flat and dull work appropriate outfit. Since these are so comfortable and versatile, they’re are also great for a night out.
Please feel free to comment or contact me with any of your favorite workday outfits, ACL surgery experiences, yummy steamed clam recipes or anything else that's on your mind! Thanks for reading!