When done this should be thick enough to be eaten with a fork.
Among the good Bohemians who lived in San Francisco as a child when it was in the post-pioneer days, and who has enjoyed the good things of all the famous restaurants is Mrs. Emma Sterett, who has given us the following recipe for clam fritters which we consider the most delicious of all we have ever eaten, and when you try them you will agree with us:
Take two dozen clams, washed thoroughly and drained. Put in chopping bowl and chop, not too fine. Add to these one clove of garlic mashed, one medium-sized onion chopped fine, add bread crumbs sufficient to stiffen the mass, chopped parsley, celery and herbs to taste. Beat two eggs separately and add to the clams. If too stiff to drop from a spoon add the strained liquor of clams. Drop tablespoonfuls of this mixture into hot fat, turn and cook for sufficient time to cook through, then drain on brown paper and serve.
Abalone's are a univalve that has been much in vogue among the Chinese but has seldom found place on the tables of restaurants owing to the difficulty in preparing them, as they are tough and insipid under ordinary circumstances. When made tender either by the Chinese method of pounding, or by steeping in vinegar, they serve the purpose of clams but have not the fine flavor. The Hof Brau restaurant is now making a specialty of abalone's, but it takes sentiment to say that one really finds anything extra good in them.
Another shell fish much in vogue among the Italian restaurants is mussels, which are found to perfection along the coast. These are usually served Bordelaise, and make quite a pleasant change when one is surfeited with other shell fish, but the best recipe is:
Thoroughly clean the mussels and then put them in a deep pan and pour over them half a glass of white wine. Chop an onion, a clove of garlic and some parsley fine and put in the pan, together with a tablespoonful of butter. Let these boil very quick for twelve minutes, keeping the pan tightly covered. Take off half shells and place the mussels in a chafing dish and pour over them Bechamel sauce and then add sufficient milk gravy to cover. Serve hot from chafing dish.
Where Fish Abound
According to David Starr Jordan, acknowledged world authority on fish, there is greater variety of fish in Monterey Bay than anywhere else in the world. Monterey Bay is one of San Francisco's sources of supply consequently we have a greater variety of fish in our markets than are to be found anywhere else. In the markets are fish from all parts of the Pacific Ocean, from the Tropics to far north in the Arctics, while denizens of the waters all the way, between add to the variety.
The essential element of goodness in fish is freshness, and it is always fresh in San Francisco markets, and also in the restaurants. Of all varieties two rank first in the estimation of gourmets, but, of course, that is purely a matter of individual taste. According to the above-mentioned authority, "the finest fish that swims is the sand-dab." Some gourmets, however, will take issue with him on this and say the pompano is better. Others will prefer the mountain trout. Be that as it may they all are good, with many others following close in choice.
Fine striped bass from the ocean, or black bass from the fresh water takes high place in preference. Then there is sole, both in the fillet and Rex, as prepared at Jule's under the Monadnock building. Tom cod, rock cod, fresh mackerel and fresh cod, white bait and boned smelt all are excellent fish, but were we to attempt to tell of all the fish to be found here we would have to reproduce a piscatorial directory. There are two good methods of acquiring knowledge of the fish of San Francisco. Go to the wharves and see them come and and go to the wholesale markets down in Clay street, below Montgomery. You will then begin to realize that we certainly do have a variety of good fish.
Now for a little Bohemianism of a different sort: Recently there came to San Francisco, with his wife, an actor whose name used to be almost a household word among theater-goers, and when we say "the villain still pursued her," all you old timers will know whom we mean.