I’m on vacation in Massachusetts, land of the optional “r.” Since I’ve been on Cape Cod, I’ve eaten lobstah. I’ve eaten steamahs. I haven’t had any chowdah yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

At a restaurant one night, I saw someone eating a lobster. I’ve never eaten a whole lobster in a restaurant for a couple of reasons. One: bibs are not a good look for me. Two: you can buy lobster from a fish market for about a third the price. Here are the remains from a recent lobster dinner. (Yes, a “before” shot would have been more attractive, but we were hungry.)

Worried about buying and cooking live lobsters? Don’t be. Here are detailed instructions:


Don’t. Just call a fish market in the morning and order your lobsters cooked and cracked. Then, at dinner time, go get them. It’s like picking up a pizza.

As long as you’re at the fish store, you might as well pick up some steamers, which are clams that you steam. (But if you are in New England, do not call them “clams that you steam” — or even just plain clams — because everyone will think you’re a wicked moron.)

HOW TO COOK STEAMERS (on Cape Cod or anywhere):

Don’t. Get your sistuh to do them.


  • Put steamers (1/3-1/2 lb. per person) in a pot and cover with cold water.
  • Cook over medium heat until the clams start to open, “several to ten minutes.”
  • Once they are all — or mostly all — open (“They will spit out sand on their deathbed”), remove with slotted spoon. Discard any unopened clams (or you will be sorry).
  • Reserve broth.
  • Serve with broth for dipping (to remove any remaining sand) and butter (because everything tastes better with butter).

And yes, you can eat the black “neck.” Just peel off the membrane first.

Where steamers are concerned, there are two kinds of people: those who love them and those who are too scared to eat them. So if you consider words like sand, deathbed and membrane to be off-putting in a recipe, all I can say is:

1. Now you know why I don’t write recipes for a living; and

2. More for me.

Note: Do NOT eat unopened steamers. These guys were already dead when they went in the pot. A already dead clam = a bad clam.