A Clambake is a great way to throw an outdoor party with a unique twist. Traditional clambakes are held on a New England beach. If you have access to a beach, then by all means have your party there. Be sure to check with local regulations, as not all stretches of beach allow clam baking. But even if you're totally landlocked, you can re-create many aspects of a clambake in your own back yard. Choose your guest list and send out rehearsal dinner invitations about two weeks in advance. Check out our online store for great themed invitations.
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If you're holding your clambake on the beach, here's how to create your pit for cooking. Traditional clambakes include soft shell clams, native seaweed, corn, potatoes, and lobsters all cooked together. Make substitutions based on your preferences and what's fresh and available - crabs work great as well. Don't eliminate the seaweed if you're cooking in a pit, it helps with the cooking process and insulation.
If you're nowhere near a beach, you can host a clambake at home. You can boil your seafood over a fire pit in your yard or even on your stove. For this party, which is more of a boil than a bake, you'll use a large pot filled with water and steam your food (unless you want to have enough sand to build a pit delivered to your back yard).
To recreate the beach atmosphere, use picnic tables covered with red and white checked table cloths and have ice chests filled with beer and other beverages right in the back yard. Bring blankets if the evenings get chilly and have plenty of lanterns for outdoor light. If you like, buy a CD of ocean sounds to make your backyard feel more like the beach.
To set your table, put a sand pail on each table and fill it with packaged oyster crackers, salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning, utensils and napkins. Have other pails available for shells and other trash.
A clambake is a fun way to spend an evening, especially when the evenings are starting to cool just a bit in early fall. Whether your clambake is held on the beach or in your yard, your guests are certain to have a great time!