By Leila Elamine
I left corporate America to travel the world discovering the personal stories and craftsmanship behind artisan foods and traditional recipes that are ‘Made with Love’. My fascination for experiencing traditions, and for collecting, preparing, and sharing food began on the sandy, windswept shores of Duxbury beach with my brothers and sisters, a small yet scrappy army of five, while digging with love… for dinner.
“UP!!!! You scrawny necked suckers!!!” We would shout at the smooth low-tide sand as we charged toward the waves, ever anxious to feel a cold spatter of water upon our bare legs. One tell-tale squirt from a clam would signal our call to action. Knees to the sand and fists armed with shovels, we would pour over the exposed, tiny hole, digging and digging, faster and faster, in a race against the clam’s burrowing. Suddenly, we’d spot the triumphant gray-blueish peak and ditch our shovels in a mad dash to use the full force of our thumb and forefinger, to tweeze the mollusk out of its hole. Hoorayyyy!!! We got one!!! And another and another until our pails were full to the brim with blue-black glistening jewels. Sun-brazen, tired, and hungry we would head home.
Southeastern Massachusetts is known for its generation sold clam chowder recipes and my mom’s is legendary in our household. Not only did she make the hearty soup out of love for her children, but she used the clams we collected ourselves. The meal was our celebration, our prize, which filled up our bellies and our hearts.
My clam chowder tradition is found in differing forms throughout the world, but with the same centerpiece: the communion of sharing love as family around the dinner table. I am on a global mission to discover these traditions and recipes that exist in the households of strangers throughout the world, and share them with my community.
Made With Love
Leila Elamine and her best friend Anthony Morano hunt the world over for recipes ‘Made with Love’. She hails from the South Shore and shares her adventures and traditional recipes through journalism, photography, and film.