Several years ago the hubs and I chatted about how fun it would be to have a Clam Bake. Being that we are in the Southwest and our nearest water is a resort’s pool we knew we couldn’t dig a pit in the sand and start a fire. So that brought us to a kitchen clam bake as the Barefoot Contessa calls it. We use our 20 quart stock pot and fill it with corn, shrimp, mussels, clams, potatoes, onions, spicy sausage, minced garlic, white wine, and a generous amount of Old Bay Seasoning. I love the recipe because in one pot you make most of the dinner and it is done in a jiffy once you prep everything. So bake to a few years ago when we thought it would be fun to have a Clam Bake graduation party when the hubby graduated from his Masters degree. It was such a fun event we have be having one ever since on Memorial Day weekend. This is our official kick off to summer.
Something like this is easier to see in days and a timeline (at least that is how my brain works), so this is the general plan I use:
4 to 6 weeks before
- Create invites and mail them
- I like the RSVP to be 10 days before the event to allow me a weekend to prep the shopping list
1 week before (the weekend before)
- Major deep cleaning and decorating (or if you are a seasonal decorator like me then you might have decorated after Easter as you transition to summer)
- Make grocery list based on RSVPs. Besides clam bake pot ingredients I like to buy loaves of fresh sourdough, green salad fixings, wild smoked salmon, more corn on the cob, and dessert ingredients (think fruit cobblers).
1 day before (I do this on a Friday night)
- We get amazing fresh seafood, veggies and more from Costco, our particular Costco has a seafood show set up every weekend
- Get your groceries (don’t forget ice) and bring your ice chest with you to the store
- Treat your hubby to a slice of pizza and perhaps even a soft serve for his help
- When you get home or in the parking lot ice down the ice chest and store seafood overnight
- I also set up the plates, napkins, and any last minute decor
Day of event (Saturday morning)
- Prepare the cobbler, salad, and drinks.
- Ice down the drink containers, chill the wine and beer.
- Put the clams and mussels in the sink with ice and water so they can naturally clean themselves.
Day of event (Saturday afternoon/evening)
- One hour before the start time prepare the clam bake pot.
- When guests arrive put the cobbler in the oven so it is nice and hot after dinner.