Scalloping, An Unexpected Chance to Educate Kids

Over Columbus Day weekend I went scalloping for the first time off of Nantucket, MA.  It was the perfect day and the fact that I got to spend it outdoors with people that I love made it unforgettable.  We spent the morning clad in waders and warm clothes carrying nets and baskets.  We were all first timers and having this shared experience made us all closer and started the day off on a great note.  –

We all learned how to properly use the net to collect the scallops and where to look for them.  In just a few minutes we all learned about the habitat, habits, and preferences of an animal that we had only ever encountered in a restaurant without giving much thought to it in the wild.  As a huntress and fisher women I am always curious about the food on my plate.  I was so excited to experience this new adventure gathering food with my own hands.  It could not have been more fun spending time with loved ones with the shared goal of finding dinner.

When I saw the first scallop in my net I was overjoyed!  Even though I could feel scallops under my feet almost every step I took it was harder than expected to get the correct net angle to collect them.  After about an hour or so of collecting my boyfriend’s father called me over because he had pinned a scallop between his boots.  We developed a method of retrieving scallops from between the toes of another person’s waders.  While this was certainly not the way to collect the most scallops it was a great way to interact and participate since we only had two nets and four people (and collecting the most was not our goal anyway!).  When we finally left the water with our bounty my boyfriend was determined to learn how to shuck the scallops.

I had never done it before but we shucked other shellfish in culinary school so I had the general motions down.  We learned the intricacies and took off cleaning what we had just caught.  One of my favorite parts of the day was when the children who had come to watch came over to our table to see how we were cleaning the scallops.  With my biology background I was able to teach them the anatomy of the scallop, how to clean it properly, and how to use it to the fullest.  I couldn’t help but smile when the mother of one of the kids came up to me as I was leaving to thank me for sparking an interest in the process and teaching her child a responsible method for utilizing and appreciating an animal that you have killed.


Apr 20, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: none

 

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