Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Clambake

From a story perspective, there really isn't much of one from this weekend's events. No one fell in the fire. No one got arrested. A good story should have at least rising action and a riveting climax. Me trying to tell the entire story of this past weekend's clambake would come off as a "I had fun and all of you should be jealous" post. That's not what this is for. That's what Facebook photo albums are for. But for those of you who have never been to a clambake, you can look at this as a simple instructional guide if you ever want to put on a clambake of your own. And if you do, invite me. Because clambakes are fucking awesome.

First, a picture of the finished product:

Or more specifically, this is the finished product:

Yes, that's me in a glorious, glorious full-on food coma. And now, some understanding of what went into the making of this picture:

First off, have lawn games. Lawn games are absolutely perfect for an event like this. We got to the clambake at about 1PM. The fire was already going, so we decided to grab some drinks and play some lawn games -- specifically ladderball, cornhole, and polish horseshoes.

An awesome appetizer table is a must. It's gonna be a while before the main course is ready, so give people something to eat while they wait. We were feeling a little hungry after a while, so we meandered over to the appetizer table, feasted on some maple bacon-wrapped scallops and some amazing italian sausage. Not wanting to fill up too much, though, we held back. Difficult, yes -- but it paid off later.

We hung out for a little while longer, and before we knew it, it was time to start cooking the seafood. The fire had been going since long before we'd gotten there, and it had been sitting atop a large pile of rocks, getting the rocks nice and hot. A large portion of the wood was removed, and then piles of seaweed were layered on top. And yes, that is Little George in the sunglasses, wrist-deep in seaweed, embracing the role of clambaker. And here he is drinking a beer on a tractor, also embracing the role, while simultaneously living the American dream.

After the seaweed, the food, which in our case was lobsters and clams, is piled on top, and then the whole thing is covered in a heavy-duty (and I'm guessing fireproof) tarp. Sand is dumped around the edges of the tarp to keep the whole thing insulated. Then....we wait.

After another hour and a half or so, the tarps are removed to reveal the beautiful, beautiful food underneath. And then, you eat. And eat. And eat.

And just so I can have it on the official record, the final count: three lobsters, two servings of steamers, and a healthy swig of melted butter to wash it all down. The picture of me above? Not surprisingly, it was taken about ten seconds after the aforementioned butter drink. Maybe not a wise move, but I was feeling adventurous.

After taking some time off to digest, having a few more activities later on to round out the day is always a good idea. Traditions at this clambake included a giant flipcup game -- yes, even the grandmothers played -- and hanging out around the bonfire after the sun finally set. Finally, after a long day, we headed back home, exhausted, full, and ready to do the whole thing again a year from now.

The next day, we headed home, but not before stopping at a local supermarket and picking up some supplies for the road. There's nothing like blasting "God Bless the U.S.A." with the windows down while feasting on whoopie pies. It's truly the American dream. God bless this country.


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  2. As proprietor of the clambake, I would like to an extend an invite to all couchwarmer is the best party of the year. Good review, Sam.

  3. don't say that. some of us would fly across the country for lobster and flip cup.