It was one of those wandering days, open to suggestion. We’d driven from Dunedin to Port Chalmers, stopping to pick up a hitchhiker making his way back from the market. In town on the main drag we ran into our friend’s boyfriend’s office mate, and we stopped to chat. She enthusiastically encouraged us that the very best thing to do on a sunny afternoon in Aramoana was to go digging for cockles in the bay. Will and I are (mostly) vegetarians, but jumped at the chance to forage for our supper straight from the source. After a loan of a red bucket for collecting, we made our way to the spot.
The little shells are just underneath the top layer of sand, where the water is very shallow. It was warm, the sand was soft, and we gathered them up, using our toes to seek out the little cockles. Before we knew it we had too many, and stopped by our friend’s house, the one who gave us the idea, on the way back to share the loot. At home we cooked them up with pasta salad, red wine, with chocolate and a dance party for desert. A perfect afternoon and evening, if ever there was one.
*The title of this post goes out to a certain southern gentleman, who may have coined the game of the same name.