Friday, September 30, 2011

A Real Nice Clambake

This was a real nice clambake,
We're mighty glad we came.
The vittles we et
Were good, you bet,
The company was the same.
Our hearts are warm, our bellies are full,
And we are feeling prime.
This was a real nice clambake,
And we all had a real good time.

                                from "Carousel"
                                                       lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein

      While Hurricane Irene moved up the east coast, Carole and Tom were preparing to host a clambake on the east coast of Cincinnati.  They own and operate the 1861 Inn Bed & Breakfast in Batavia (the link is in our sidebar), a historic and inviting establishment that served as the setting for their afternoon and evening dinner party.   

Those Real Nice Clams
      When we arrived a little late, they were in the kitchen making last minute preparations.  All eyes were on the steamer pot filled with chicken, sausage, and mussels,—topped off with the clams.  Carole asked that we
gather near the stove for a picture, a touch that she conjured up in order to record the evening's participants.

The Guests Outside of the Poolhouse
Lemonade and
Beverage Stand
The other guests were already gathered outside around the the long poolside table enjoying drinks and conversation.

Flatware Prepared
Seaport Style

The Clambake Buffet
Freshly Steamed and Ready for Shucking
Mussels, Chicken,
and Biscuits
       The time had come for the dinner, and quite a spread it was!  Everything from cheddar biscuits and corn on the cob to mussels and garden fresh vegetables.  And, of course, the stars of the show...the clams.  They had a mild, briny taste with a more or less chewy texture just as they should have been.  Eric and I preferred the mussels since they were easier to handle and more attuned to our taste palates.  Individual vessels of melted butter were provided for dipping along with cups of the clam broth to accompany the theme and provide a tasty diversion for those guests that did not want to deal with shucking.

Desserts by Claudia
      After dinner, Carole came around with dessert pops made of French vanilla ice cream rolled in creamsicle sprinkles and Oreo cookie crumbs.  Her long time friend, Claudia, made the other desserts consisting of lemon bars, chocolate brownies, and blondies.  They were all highly praised as was the entire meal.  Now it was time for the entertainment.  Tom is a part of a quartet that gets together weekly to work on timeless songs.  They're a cross between a barbershop quartet and a small version of a show choir.  Their tunes and humor hit the spot and encouraged the guests to linger.  Relaxing next to the quiet pool and taking in the surroundings of the country manor was a perfect ending to the weekend and the beginning of another week.

Tom's Quartet

Boy, that sure sounded like fun! Even though I'm not big on seafood, I'm sure I would have had a real nice time.

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