Are You Really All That Surprised?

I’ve been studying nutrition for chronic pain in class and learned about the benefits of Vitamin B12 for ouchy dogs.

With Sarah in mind as my test subject, I carefully researched the best sources of Vitamin B12 I could add to her diet without increasing the caloric intake significantly.  It is the humble clam that contains the most B12 per gram than any other food.

Canned clams are not a consideration because who knows what contaminants got through in the processing?  Fresh is what it has to be.

The not so funny thing about fresh clams is that they’re alive, right up to many seconds after placing them into the steamer.

I presented myself several times at the seafood counter of my local grocery store, only to lose my nerve and return home absent the magical all natural Vitamin B12 boost for Sarah.

After a few weeks, I finally mustered the courage and purchased 6 fresh clams. Since I have never prepared clams before, I asked for advice at the seafood counter.

I was instructed to first put the clams in the refrigerator in a bowl of water for a couple of hours to allow them to ‘burp’ out any toxins they may have ingested, then place them in a rapidly boiling steamer until the shells open.

I can do this!

I figured, if fresh water is good, salt water would be better to ‘burp’ the clams in.  Remember, we have a salt water aquarium.  I put some salt water in a bowl, added the clams, then placed them in the refrigerator.

A while later, I prepared the double boiler, and brought the water to a rapid boil.

I then went to the refrigerator to retrieve the clams.  It was as I was reaching for the first clam, the first clam to be placed in the double boiler, the first live clam to be exposed to the steam of rapidly boiling water, that I noticed all 6 clams had extended their feet.  But as I reached for that first clam, all 6 quickly retracted their feet.

That was soooo not good!

I only had one choice at that point.

The pot that previously contained rapidly boiling water, with which to steam open the clams.
The pot that previously contained rapidly boiling water, with which to steam open the clams.
Rather than ending up in the pot, the clams ended up in the sump of our aquarium, after a lengthy acclimation process.
Rather than ending up in the pot, the clams ended up in the sump of our aquarium, after a lengthy acclimation process.

The clam were moved to the main tank today.
The clam were moved to the main tank today.
This is Wesley.  He was poking his foot out earlier this evening, so he was removed from the bowl and turned loose in the aquarium,
This is Wesley. He was poking his foot out earlier this evening, so he was removed from the bowl and turned loose in the aquarium,

Wesley sticking his foot out today was the first sign of life I’ve seen since Thursday.  There’s been no movement out of the other 5, at least so far.  Realistically, we can’t put too much hope in any of them surviving, but at least they have a better shot in a salt water aquarium than a cooking pot.

It is our sincerest hope that tomorrow morning Wesley will be burrowed into the sand, never to be seen again, and that he won’t realize he’s no longer in the sea.  It is also our hope that, like the dogs, Wesley forgets he came from a bad place – a bed of ice at the seafood counter of a grocery store.

Welcome to Run A Muck Ranch Wesley Clam!  May you live a long and sedentary life!

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30 thoughts on “Are You Really All That Surprised?

    1. I’m sure we can find stickers somewhere….

      Fingers crossed they live. There’s no telling how long ago they were harvested, or where along the Pacific Coast they came from. Hopefully we can create the proper conditions.

  1. Poor little clams! I know I also could not have subjected the clams to a steamy death. Is a B12 vitamin pill not good?

    1. Synthetic, or even so called ‘natural’ supplements are still just poor copies of the real thing. The purest, most useable form of any vitamin comes from whole foods. Accept no imitations!

  2. I’m for the supplement solution. There are B-complex pills that contain all the B vitamins-including 12 and having the others also can’t hurt, they’re necessary.

    1. Seems every week there’s an expose on vitamins. Many don’t have what’s claimed on the label, or if they do, it is in a form that isn’t useable by the body, or it’s concentration isn’t as much as is claimed. If you were to compare natural forms of vitamins to manufactured ones, even so called ‘natural’ ones, the chromatographs aren’t even the same! Also, absent other elements in the food item (I.e. certain other vitamins and minerals, or in the case of fat soluble ones, fat) even if the supplement were any good, it can’t work anyway. Food is the best delivery system – not pills.

    1. The middle clam shall forever be known as Clamity Jane 🙂 I released them all into general population today, in a straight line. We now have from left to right: Unnamed Clam #1, Unnamed Clam #2, Clamity Jane, Carl and Wesley.

      Clamity Jane and Carl popped their feet out today and opened their shells enough to breath. Unnamed #1 and 2 haven’t budged. Wesley has me a little worried because, though his shell isn’t completely open (dead), it’s wider than C. Jane’s and Carl’s.

      For the record, I’m not allowed to try live food ever again.

      1. Hahahahah yep good idea..it is not for the faint hearted (sucker) I hope Wesley rallies..in our house it seems every time we name something we curse it bwaaaah….I am sure number 1 and 2 wil eventually make an appearance..like divas 🙂 xxx

      2. Apparently a closed shell = a live clam. They are filter feeders so they only need to crack their shells to eat and breath.

        I’d send you a pic of your Clamity Jane, probing with her foot, but I don’t see a contact e-mail on your blog.

      3. I’ll keep your e-mail, but I think it’s best not to send you a pic of Clamity Jane She and Unnamed Clam #2 passed away last night 😦 If you want her picture to remember her by, let me know 🙂

        Think healthy thoughts for Unnamed Clam #1 and Carl!

      4. Sob… rip little clams 😦 Carl was the last and he passed away last night. No more live food/rescue of live food for me!

      5. Damn…..our baby tortoises seem to be thriving in the dam..the next new one I see I will name Clem…not quite clam but you get my drift..big hugs 😦

    1. First we have to see if the little guys make it. It’s a hard life being harvested from a sand bed, shipped on ice, stored on ice, refrigerated, and then put in an aquarium. Hopefully at least one will make it, being my apology to the clam tribe for even considering trying live food.

  3. I don’t blame you for not being able to cook the clams. It is for that reason (boiling watery death) I won’t eat lobster. I ate it once – the taste (good) could not out way the nauseau I felt when cracking open the shell to get to the meat. Bless you and your clams!

  4. OMG! I’m laughing so hard. I’m sorry! Do you not cook shrimp, crabs, nor lobster? You know its better to get them fresh because after a few days, they throw them away and they die. It’s better to cook and eat them, it’s their purpose in life, to feed us. Artificial B12 isn’t as good as the real thing. I’m sorry, I know it’s horrifying for you, most people will never know the sweet taste of seafood because it’s alive right up until it’s cooked. If you really want Sarah to have real B12, talk to your deli person, ask them to ‘cook’ them because of your inability to kill the little things. Most of them are happy to ‘flash cook’ them so they are dead upon purchasing and you just take them home, finish cooking them and Sarah will be in high cotton!

    1. Put it this way…. the only reason we can’r produce our own eggs is that we would end up with 100’s of pet chickens….

  5. Wow! You are so much like me it’s scarry….. When we moved to iowa, our intention was to live off the land and what we could raise, the garden was awesome no problem there, but when we went to purchase a cow, pig, and chickens, my children had names picked out, needles to say we never purchased said animals, there was no way any of them would have made it to the table…. We just buy our meat from the grocery store, I know this makes me a hipocrit but, somebody else killed it, it’s allready dead, it won’t come back to life if I don’t eat it so, in my mind its ok ! Pretty bad right! But I’m sad to say I couldn’t make it as a vegetarian!

    1. I think if we were all closer to the food chain there would be so much less waste, and the animals that give us our food would be respected. Alas, I am with you – no raising of livestock since they would all end up named!

    1. If I were amazing, then the clams would have lived. Alas, we lost all of them. As Crabby said though, we gave them more time and a much gentler death than death by steaming.

      1. We didn’t actually go that far, but I did feel really sad when Carl, the last clam died. I wish we could have saved one.

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