On a drive to Mercer the other day, I saw a sign that said "Clambake" on a certain date. I thought immediately, "Hmm, that sounds good." Then realized I really don't like clams. Yet, the word "Clambake" whips up images of fun, carousing people and joy.
Other words denoting that fun came to mind- Lobster Bake, Ice cream social, strawberry festival, and barbeque! Pig roast! All those wonderful ways we celebrate with food. Even our simple wienie roast last evening around our modest fire had an element of pleasure.
How much of it is memories or expectations from media? Clams and lobster make me think of Carousel, picnic baskets-Oklahoma! S'mores- any camp- Girl Scout, Church camp, family camping. Mountain pie, anyone?
Bring food and people together, put a name on the gathering and you have success! We are just getting over the Open House season in Western PA. I think this is one of the few places that have these grand parties for our graduates and invite the world. When I was small, they were held at the homes, friends mingled inside and out. Outside could be romantic reminding me of old movies. I always hoped to find a new friend.
I know the cookie table for weddings started in our area- Youngstown. I think we know how to eat and celebrate, just about everything! Why else would we have beer gardens?
Our area is a melting pot of nationalities with many ways to share our food. As a child, there were certain wedding receptions that were much more fun than the quiet tea and cake ones. No one has those anymore, but at one time it was a mark of your religion and nationality, the kind of reception you held. It seems it just took over a hundred years for the cultures to melt some.
So I may not eat any clams at the clambake, but it sure sounds like fun! Are you coming with me?