Q:

What are some tips for hosting a backyard clambake?

A:

Quick Answer

Keep the guest list limited, pick up plenty of seaweed and be cognizant of food safety when hosting a backyard clambake. Decorate the yard with summery touches that remind guests of being at the beach.

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Full Answer

Because cooking clams on the grill is a lengthy process, it's not the ideal food to serve to dozens of hungry guests. Four to six people is a manageable number to serve at a backyard clambake.

Cook the seafood on a thick layer of seaweed to give the food briny, beachy flavor. Prepare shrimp and lobster as well as clams. Keep the rest of the menu simple; a few simple sides such as grilled potatoes or chips, coleslaw and berry pie with ice cream is sufficient.

Discard any clams that don't open during cooking and any seafood that smells like ammonia. Serve seafood while it's still hot. Any leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking or within one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter.

Cover picnic tables with paper tablecloths, and set up beach chairs around the yard. Set up lanterns in the yard to create atmospheric lighting. Fill buckets with sand, plunge paper umbrellas into the sand, and use the buckets as table centerpieces.

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