How to have fresh mussels on the beach:
- Get into a wetsuit and goggles, brave the cold water, and spend a considerable amount of time hacking off mussels in the swell bashing you against rocks and the pier. Or, preferably, get somebody else to do that for you.
- Scrape the mussels clean from seaweed, barnacles, and tiny baby mussels. Cut your fingers at least twice.
- Place each individual mussel flat on the barbecue, burning your fingers in the run.
- Cook the mussels in their own brine.
- Throw the cooked mussels into the potjie they were originally supposed to be cooked in.
- Enjoy the obviously sub-optimal energy acquisition vs. expenditure in preparing the dish – and the delicious flavor of the ocean.
(Pelican Point, Walvis Bay, Namibia; July 2017)