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Clambake \’klam’bāk\ 1 a: an outdoor party; especially : a seashore outing where food is cooked on heated rocks covered by seaweed b: the food served at a clambake 2: gathering characterized by noisy sociability
Clambakes are the Fleury family schtick — we have about four every summer, usually around holidays or special occasions. They certainly live up to the characterization of noisy sociability described above. For the uninitiated, a clambake truly is a no-frills, day-long affair, often stretching into twilight, with laughter and conversation, good Maine food, and plenty of libations. In our family, clambakes mark many important milestones — weddings, graduations, reunions — and in turn have become part of our collective family lore, what relatives and friends equate with a perfect Maine summer weekend.
This month’s cover story combines my family tradition with my favorite place on the planet: Popham Beach. Like clambakes, Popham is a family touchstone. I grew up spending hot summer days playing in the waves there. I still have the sand dollars that my mom collected while combing the shoreline in the early morning. Popham is where my newborn daughter took her first bath and was in her great-grandmother’s arms for the last time.
So last summer, our editorial staff decided to rent a house, throw a big party, photograph it, and share my family tradition with you. Anyone can throw an authentic Maine clambake — and we’ve provided step-by-step instructions for a simple method on page 60. Don’t let anyone (even us) tell you that there is only one way to do an authentic Maine clambake. The essence of the clambake isn’t about the method — nor does it require a fancy beachfront house or a quintessential Maine view. All you need is the courage to try it, delicious Maine seafood, and some good company. That’s Maine summer perfection. — Kathleen Fleury[/item]
✧ Online Extras ✧
Fifty years since the designation of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway — one of the country’s more remarkable experiments in wilderness preservation — a trip along the river is as sublime as ever. By Brian Kevin