Monday, September 6, 2010

Mama's Little Baby Loves Clambake, Clambake

We spent the weekend attending the wedding of some friends in Burlington, Vermont. While up there we were able to enjoy a lot of Vermont favorites. We were able to purchase many things you can purchase anywhere else in the United States but get them from the original source. We went to the original Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop which is just like every other Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop in the country but this is the original one! That means that you get the exact same ice cream but you get to wait in line for twenty minutes to do so. And that, my friends, is the key to authenticity.

At an apple orchard just outside of Burlington we were able to pick up some Cabot cheddar, again from the original source. This served as a snack on the way home and as a great accompaniment to some Granny Smith apple slices. There is nothing quite like Cabot cheddar purchased from a farm stand outside of Burlington, Vermont. So much more authentic than purchasing it from the Supermarket down the street.

Once we made it back to New York we picked up a variety of heirloom tomatoes to try to enjoy the end of the season. They were good but you can tell the peak is over. It's like those kids from high school who are now thirty and still go out to the same bar they went to when they were twenty-one and try to force the fun without admitting that their glory days are over.

Okay, it wasn't quite that sad.

All summer Jen and I have been talking about having a clambake. Having just returned to town there really wasn't enough time to rally up any guests to this clambake. So, instead, we opted to have what may be the smallest clambake of all time. We had a busy weekend so that was just fine with me. Jen spent the time I was preparing the clambake to fold and iron laundry while I spent the entire time singing Elvis's song "Clambake" from the album and movie of the same name.

Our clambake was almost exactly like the video above.

The hardest part of the clambake was finding a place, late on Labor Day afternoon, that was open and sold whole lobsters. I was able to find somewhere in Greenwich and the rest of the ingredients were easy to find: red potatoes, onion, corn on the cob, littleneck clams, and Italian sausage.

For beer we got this Circus Boy from Magic Hat which is a Hefeweizen that, for some reason, has lemongrass in it. Our hotel in Burlington was directly across the street from the Magic Hat Brewery which, from the outside, looks more like a Halloween store than a brewery. A Halloween store that also serves as a drop off spot for used tires.

For dessert we had some fresh berries on cream in a patriotic display of red, white, and blue. Unfortunately it was more symbolic of French patriotism but I just didn't have the time to do anything more American. Our flag is just too complicated.

We also enjoyed these chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolates, something else you can get outside of Vermont but getting it close to the source is just that much more sweet.

My only regret is that we did not get to see Champy, the real monster that lives in Lake Champlain. In September of 2008, at our friends Paul and Caolan's wedding, I received maple sugar medallions commemorating the beast. Ever since that day I've dreamt of being able to see him, maybe even dive into the water and swim alongside him. Sadly that was not to be. On our way back on Sunday night I was able to stop by a friend's house and see Jupiter and four of its moons through a telescope.

That's the next best thing.


caolan said...

From the surprised way in which Paul's cousin Jasper is looking offscreen in that photo, I wonder if maybe Champy was secretly a guest at our wedding brunch! You missed your chance TWICE IN A ROW.

Unknown said...

Champy, we need to stop not meeting each other like this.