(Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, 1884)
Wash and scrub the shells.
Put them in a kettle without water, cover closely, and cook till the shells open.
Take them out with a skimmer, pour the clam water into a pitcher, and let it settle.
Straining is not sufficient, as the fine sand will go through the finest strainer; but the water will be clear if care be taken not to disturb the sediment.
Remove the clams from the shells, peel off the thin skin around the edge, and cut off the whole of the black end. Scissors are better than a knife for this purpose.
Rinse each clam in a little of the clam water, and if very large, cut the tough part into small pieces.
When the water is clear, pour it into a saucepan, add the clams, and heat again till just hot, but do not let them boil.
Serve with brown bread, or toasted crackers; and let each person season them to taste with melted butter, pepper, and vinegar.