Treasure the Water with prayer, Hands Across the Sand and Jersey Fresh Clams

Weeks of feeling helpless about the disaster in the Gulf are giving way this afternoon to hopeful anticipation at the thought of linking up on the beach in Asbury Park at noon tomorrow with scores of folks in a 15-minute cry from the heart for responsible energy conduct.

The event is called “Hands Across the Sand” and those who join in on beaches in the Trenton Diocese — Asbury Park and Seaside Heights — for

People will line the beaches Saturday to join 'Hands Across the Sand'

the 15 minute demonstration — can really take inspiration from the fact like minded folks will be showing their support for clean energy on nearly a thousand beaches world-wide at the same time.

I hadn’t orginally intended to go but a column by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi — the Vatican spokesman — really compelled me to add this event to my weekend schedule and to pester good friends and family members to come along. In his column, Father Lombardi called the gulf spill and its ongoing after shocks a “lesson in the limits of technology” that we all need to pay attention to.

The more I thought about it, the more I agreed that if you can’t fix it — and BP clearly hasn’t been able to fix it yet — you shouldn’t  be able to get the permits to drill it in the first place.

This conclusion is fed by a life lived by the water. Since childhood, the family has done so — first in a town on the Raritan Bay, then in Point Pleasant Beach. Now brother Pete and I live accross from the banks of Lake Carasaljo in Lakewood and brother Mark and his family are a stone throw away – literally – from a lovely winding stream in Newark Delaware.

Since childhood, we have all derived pleasure,gathered inspiration and found solace by walking near the water, sitting on the sand and swimming in the waves. In my porch, a sign bears the legend “If you’re lucky enough to live by the water, you’re lucky enough.” I know that to be true. The thought that a spill like the one in the gulf could happen off New Jersey or, for that matter, Delaware, is more than I can bear.

So attending the event isn’t just a good idea, for me, it’s a must. If you happen to be in Asbury Park tomorrow, look for the middle-aged clam digger lady with the Monitor ID tag and say hi.

Click here for complete information about Hands Across the Sand in New Jersey

This recipe is an adaptation of one created by my dad that was a Friday staple when we were growing up. It gave him the greatest pleasure to either pull the clams himself or buy them directly from the fish market. I hope you like it.

Linguini with Jersey Clams

Ingredients: 24-32 littleneck clams; 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling; 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley; 2-4 large garlic cloves, chopped; 1 pound linguini cooked according the package directions, reserving a cup of pasta water; 4 plum tomatoes, chopped, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste; 1/2 cup clam juice

Directions: Place the clams in a large strainer and run cold water through them while shaking the strainer to get rid of sand and shell fragments. Discard any clams which are open and do not close when tapped. Soak the clams in cold, salted water for 20 minutes or more. If you see debris, change the water and repeat. Strain and rinse the clams. Place the clams and clam juice into a large saute pan or frying pan, cover and cook over high heat for five minutes, removing and setting aside the open ones. Discard any that do not open in 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes, oil and garlic to the clam broth and cook over high heat until boiling, then add the clams and linguini and cook for 3 minutes, stirring and adding reserved pasta water if necessary. Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste and parsley; toss and then serve immediately, drizzling each serving with extra virgin olive oil.

Below is a link to a prayer about water which is long enough to read as a family meditation


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