The other night I made pasta with white clam sauce for the boys. But even though I was standing in my kitchen, I was really with my family at the beach where I vacationed as a child. It was always a vacation near the ocean, probably because my dad grew up in the city, and longed to give his children national parks and beachside cottages for summer respite. He always had a talent for finding the local clam shack, where we gobbled up orders of steamed clams with drawn butter, deep-fried clams strips with fresh lemons and tartar sauce, and clam chowder. I was in heaven the summer I discovered the clam roll, a bun filled with fried clams and eaten like a hot dog! We became clam aficionados, even learning to like “whole belly” fried clams. My grandfather taught us how to go “clamming” where we used our bare toes to push down into the soft wet sand and feel around for our clam prize! Bringing them home, my grandmother made the most amazing breaded baked clams, and while she cooked and chopped, she let me drink some of the warm clam broth. I’ll never forget tipping the cup up for the final drops of broth and getting sand in the last swallow! The taste of clams brings on powerful memories of those family vacations. This is my taste of summer.