Recollections of the twinkle in his eye, the grin on his face will forever fill me with delight. The sky was always bluer, the sun shone brighter when we spent time with him. Each year I looked forward to the Labor Day weekends when he generously opened his house in Maine to share with us.
The weekends always involved trips on the boat; he would have a fascinating story about each point or inlet we passed. Sundays meant holding on for dear life in the jeep as he brought us out on another adventure to get all the fixins for that nights clambake. The farmers and fishermen of Christmas Cove all knew his smile.
This is how I remember putting it all together.
- 10 (1 lb) lobsters
- 10 lb clams, scrubbed
- 10 lb mussels, cleaned
- 20 new potatoes
- 10 ears corn
- 3 lb sweet onions
At the beach dig a hole in the sand with the approximate proportions: width = 2 feet, length = 4 feet, depth = 1-1/2 feet. Line the hole with stones from the beach. Build a fire inside of the hole and cover with rocks from the beach. Heat the stones for 3 hours. Remove embers from the hole. Arrange hot stones evenly across the bottom of the hole. Place fresh 1/2 bushel seaweed (wet) on top of the hot stones. Working quickly layer the food on top of the seaweed, the food should be layered evenly on top of each other in the following order: clams, mussels, onions, potatoes, corn, and finally lobsters.
Cover food with a clean, wet cloth. Place remaining seaweed on top of cloth. Cover entire hole with a wet tarpaulin. Allow a very small amount of steam to escape to relieve pressure. Let bake cook for 1 or more hours. The bake is completed when the potatoes are soft. Serve with generous servings of Clam Bake Butter butter for dipping.
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Photo Credit: Julie Cecchini