In the sultry days of summer, you can take your mind off the heat with a New England Clambake party. Let your friends experience the cool New England shoreline as you conjure up thoughts of salty sea captains and screeching seagulls. Ideally you should host this party at your own local beach, if the laws permit it. If not, you can still recreate the menu and the mood in your own kitchen and backyard.
Setting the Stage
Set your tables with simple red and white checkered tablecloths and napkins. Bring large picnic style blankets to a party at the beach.
If your party is at home, bring a little bit of the shore to your table by decorating with seashells, ship's wheel, hemp ropes, and fishing nets. Scatter shells on top of your table, drape ropes on the backs of chairs, and hang nets off the ceiling filled with plastic fish, crabs, and starfish.
If you have access to beach gear such as crab traps or fishing tackle, add these to your decorations, as well.
Fill vases with white daisies or tall, ornamental grasses.
Create an Easy Seashell Centerpiece for your tables.
It's easy to add the sound of the surf to a party at home with an ocean soundtrack.
Set a beach pail and shovel at each place as a party favor/decoration. Fill each one with oyster crackers, Old Bay seasoning, a lobster claw cracker and pick.
When your party's on the beach, bring along lots of paper towels or hand wipes for personal clean-up as well as trash bags for everything else.
A New England Clambake traditionally includes lobster, crabs, potatoes and corn on the cob. How you cook the ingredients will depend on where you hold the party.
Derrick Riches, About's Guide to Barbecues and Grilling will tell you how to prepare a Clambake on the beach.
On the other hand, if you're hosting this party in your home, Peggy Trowbridge, Guide to Home Cooking will tell you how to prepare a Stove-Top New England Clambake.
Remember to bring coolers full of cold beverages to the beach. Great beverages for this party are lemonade, iced tea, cold beer and, of course, plenty of water.
Serve Peanut Butter Pie for dessert. This recipe from an inn located in coastal Maine. Keep it cool when transporting to the beach.
If you'd like to find more of Donna Pilato's advice on hosting parties and entertaining friends and family you can visit her at The Delicious Dozen.