I’ve never been one for American traditions. Who really loves Halloween? Handing out lollies to random children to avoid being egged doesn’t sound like my sort of fun!
But traditions which involve good food…that’s another matter!
So, on the Fourth of July, American Independence Day, we went on a clambake.
I was at a loss to begin with. I don’t like US TV shows (where clambakes are occasionally featured), would rather follow Mary Moody than Martha Stewart, and have never been to Maine… What had we signed up for?
A little research told me that a clambake is a social gathering on the beach where seafood is cooked in a large pot over an open fire pit dug into the sand.
I’ve eaten meals in the middle of the rainforest, in a huge bamboo grove, in a jail, why not on a beach at night!
I can hear you guys already. It’s frigging freezing on the Goldie right now, especially on the beach at night. Hey! Where’s your sense of adventure? Life’s to be lived!
So we rugged up in multi-layers, leather jackets, scarves and ugg boots and followed the map to our location.
Bree, from Goldtoast Supper Club, was already waiting. Against the glittering of distant highrise, a lone fairy lit marquee stood on the beach, pots already boiling, table set, and chairs arranged around a gas heater. Magical, and all for us!
Historically, the event begins with the group gathering seaweed from the shoreline, together with stones for the fire pit. But due to council regulations, this was going to be a ‘clam steam’, cooked over a camp stove.
Together with about sixteen others, we chatted and watched as the seafood cooked. Starters of Oysters with beetroot and black pepper granita washed down with a Star Spangled Spritzer, Crab cakes with zesty avocado, and a Salmon and wasabi slider paved the way for a bowl of steaming hot Clambake – fresh seafood (clams, mussels, prawns), chorizo, corn and new potato cooked in a seaweed and vermouth-laced broth. It’s hands in, peeling and sucking out the juices before you chuck the shells in the bucket; drip down the chin eating territory.
Further along the beach a lone fisherman tries his luck against the wintery tides. It’s too dark to judge how he’s doing, and none of us are venturing away from the stove to find out!
Besides, there’s Raspberry and coconut angel food cake for dessert, a touch of sweet decadence to finish off the rustic fare.
Yes, it was cold, a bit of a wild adventure, but well worth a little discomfort.
So, brave the weather! Step out of the comfort zone away from the crowds. Follow Goldtoast Supper Club to choose your next adventure! Life’s to be lived!