My early life by the sea in Tasmania taught me many things.
Digging for cockles in the sand with my toes and scraping mussels from the rocks at low tide came well before I heard of Jacques Cousteau.
These things gave rise to the need to cook and eat and fortunately for my future wife, they coincided with the advent of the 26 oz beer can.
Cold winter afternoons on the Tasman Peninsula were warmed by lighting a fire on the beach and heating seawater in a steel beer can to cook and eat vongole and blacklip mussels.
A wonderful pastime for a small boy.
Years later I took my wife to be Mary on a boat trip to an island off the Peninsula and anchoring off a calm rocky bay we went ashore to investigate the rock pools.
Mary was fascinated with the star fish and anemones but more-so when we lit a fire and shared a feast of mussels cooked in beer in the can.
That was the beginning of a lifetime (til now anyway) of love and a lifetime of cooking with love for the love of my life.
The wedding breakfast on the eastern shore of Hobart, after the bridge over the River Derwent collapsed on the night I proposed to Mary, was a pale thing by comparison to mussels on the beach.