We had lots of fun on land and in sea this past weekend. Our excursion to Sea Girt consisted of among other things, the 2012 Clambake, the Sea Girt 5k, perfect ocean swimming, delicious meals and spirited Scrabble.
We arrived, sans kids and dog, on Friday afternoon. Grace was home with cheerleading practice for the weekend, Julia and Charlie were joining us later. Al and I hurried to join everyone at the beach to get some end of the day rays but just as we arrived lightning turned us away. Back at the house, we settled in to catching up on what’s new and some dinner planning. On Friday night, Jim Dale’s menu consisted of clams on the half shell, linguine and clams topped with pancetta and lobster tails sprinkled with a confetti of red, green and jalapeno peppers. For a little more color we had sauteed spinach and the watermelon tomato and feta salad. The meal was pared perfectly with carefully selected white wine. For dessert we enjoyed Nonna’s blueberry crumb topped with vanilla ice cream among other things.
The Sea Girt 5k was held on Saturday this year. Our participants were sister-in-law Jodi, her 8yr old son Theo, Jim Dale and son James, and nephew Dr. Paul Carey. Little Theo came in at an impressive 159th out of 1599 participants. He was first place in his age group. Lightning speed James, who usually is 1st place from our group, fell ill mid way and bowed out. Jim and Paul had very respectable times and it seemed like they all had fun. Theo was riding high on his great time and wearing his medal proudly. The rest of the day we spent lounging on the beach and enjoying the perfect ocean temperature. It seemed like we were in the water more than we were out. It was very hot and humid but there was just enough of a breeze to keep comfortable and make it a perfect beach day.
Saturday’s dinner was a gold medal meal. Jane sponsored and Jim planned and grilled, a meal of pork chops, which were brined all day waiting to be grilled, a large portion of lamb chops, grilled corn on the cob smothered with lime butter, salad-just because, Jane’s stuffed tomatoes and a selection of red wines. We were celebrating Paul Carey’s 30th birthday so we had not one, but two ice cream cakes. Why not? Not to forget, Michele made Betsy’s peach and polenta upside down cake, very nicely done and we toasted Happy Birthday with Prosecco.
Dishes done, tables cleared, out came Scrabble. It always starts out nice enough but boy does that game get crazy. The teams were: Jodi and Theo, John Michael and our God son Vincent, Deb and James, and Julia and I. Everyone was working on winning for their team but it was clear me not winning was also their priority- so much for the God son. After lots of discussion about questionable words, Jodi seemed to be in the homestretch. Fortunately for Jul and I, we put down our last letters to go out first and collect everyone’s points for the win. Redemption would have to wait, Jodi and Vincent went off to pack because they were leaving to go back to NC early in the morning. Next game Margaret, who is usually a quiet bystander, decided she wanted to play. She is never crazy for mine and Deb’s “Scrabble words that aren’t words”–even though they are– qi, qat, za, et to name a few. It was a quiet and silly game. Margaret, slow and steady with all clearly defined words, was victorious in the end.
Clambake morning was bustling and busy. Lots of activity, all methodically planned. The garage was organized, 10 coolers were filled and ready, the bar stocked and food stations including the new fryer location were set. Al prepared the “Clam Can” for the lobster and shrimp. Dr. John Carey, who is a bicyclist extraordinaire, had an audience while he tuned up some bikes and put fancy new white walls on one. Food prep and kitchen detail were a breeze because after 5o+ years of Clambake, this being the new generation, hired two helpers to do what needed to be done in that regard. We tried that out last year and it’s basically a no brainer. Our Clambake Captain, Paul Antinori, delegated David Rahner to pick up the lobsters, shrimp and other seafood. There was a little talk of being shorted a few pounds of fish but I think that was corrected easily.
The 52 in attendance consisted of Antinoris, Ruethers, Marrones, Diehls and Rahners.
It seemed like a smaller group than usual. The cuisine consisted of the old time favorites mozz and tomatoes, clams on the half (niece Alessa did a great job opening the clams) steamers, mussels, linguine and clams, chili, the clampot of shrimp and lobster and salad. New this year were fried calamari and the grilled corn with lime butter. It was a very hot and humid day and the air condition was key for quick refuge. Lois Marrone’s sangria (aka Reuther Juice) and Pina Coladas were popular as always and the kids enjoyed cold yoohoo and soda. Fruit and ice cream were refreshing desserts.
It seemed that even at what appeared to be the end of the party the party was still going on. Unfortunately, I had to leave to get home to Grace, the dog, and to work in the morning. Al, Charlie and Julia enjoyed another stellar beach day on Monday before coming home.
Here are some photos Debbi and I took from the weekend: