The swans have moved on, most of them anyhow. On my run to the beach this afternoon I only saw 2 mixed in with the hundreds of Canada geese that reside on Hook pond this time of the year. Last week we had a cold spell with the temperature dipping into the teens for several days. As the pond began to freeze solid, I came across an older swan in a small hole in the ice just to the south of the 4th tee box. The bird was moving in a sluggish manner and had little room to move. I did my best to get it to fly by brushing a long branch within 2 feet of the hole in the ice, to no avail. The next day as it was even colder I set out to check and found the bird totally frozen in but still alive, there was nothing to do but wait. That night the weather broke and in the morning of the third day the temperature had reached 40 degrees. In the afternoon I was pleased to see that the hole was empty and it appeared that there had been no struggle as I checked the remaining Ice. Today the ice is gone and the thermometer outside our kitchen door reads 52 degrees.
Mid winter heat waves are always welcome. One of the benefits that I revel in is the return of my parsley in the planter outside our kitchen door in East Hampton. It’s Wednesday night and I’m on my own having just returned from New York. The kids are out to dinner at the Italian restaurant Vicco on Madison Ave. with Jess so I’ve decided to have some pasta, too.
For Manilla clam and parsley spaghetti with garlic and chili flakes:
¼ box spaghetti
2 dozen Manilla clams, scrub clean with cold water and a clean scrub pad
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small wedge Parmesan reggiano
Fill a 2 quart sauce pan ½ way with water and bring it to a boil, then salt it with sea salt.
Add the pasta and maintain the boil.
In a sauté pan combine the olive oil with the garlic and chili flakes over medium heat. As the garlic begins to sizzle add the clams, then the wine, bring to a boil. When the clams open add the parsley and finally the drained pasta. Serve on a large plate and finish with grated Parmesan cheese.