Saturday, September 10, 2016

Clam Bake!

Another of the things occupying me since we returned from our trek through the northeast was the annual family clambake out in West Wareham, Mass.Technically Terry and I are not members of the family (The Westlakes), but we have been pretty much adopted.

We try to get out there the day before The Bake because that's when Bruce leads an excursion to Buzzards Bay to do some quahogging. These are mostly clams to be used in the chowder but the smaller ones end up either being eaten raw or grilled Friday night. Tides weren't really the best this year so Bruce, his brother and sister got out there on Thursday and got themselves three pecks of clams. We still went out again on Friday and got another three. We also harvested some sea weed (fucus) to use in the baking process.

Thursday night's snack before broiled chicken dinner on the grill.
Bruce opens a clam on the beach of Buzzards Bay
Gotta sample the product!
 In addition to the clams we harvested, Bruce and Co. ordered 2-1/2 bushels of steamers plus a dozen or so oysters. These needed to be cleansed before they were steamed in the bake and served up to be eaten. To that end, they went out Saturday morning to get two large garbage cans of sea water. The clams were placed in large coolers, covered with sea water and then stirred. They sat for a 30 to 45 minutes, and then were moved to clean water. They were moved three or four times before deemed ready for cooking.
Clams placed in coolers for cleaning.

Clams in sea water
Meanwhile the chowder was being prepared. Veggies sliced and diced, what could be called a rue prepared, and then everything went into the pot with plenty of butter and cream.

Working on the chowder.

Veggies getting peeled and diced.

Preparing the bed of coals on which the bake will cook.

With the bed of coals hot, the metal cover goes on and then a layer of sea weed. The Bake Box goes on top of that.
Shade was at a premium. People moved around all day trying to find some and stay in it once they had.
 Terry and I had a great time but were happy to head home with only a few squash from Bruce's garden. (Last year he gave us a very large garbage bag of Swiss chard! We still have some in the freezer.)

Saturday was the day of The Bake and the clan gathered from far and wide.

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