Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Travel Bites - Kelp Hunting

Last week, I got to spend three fun days in Massachusetts with my father-in-law's family. His mother turned 80 and the whole clan gathered to celebrate with a big New England clam bake. 

Now, I've been to more than my fair share of crawfish/crab/shrimp boils, but clam bakes are a whole different ball game. I really had no idea what was involved, but was excited to find out. In addition to procuring and prepping all of the food, you need to dig a hole for the pit, gather rocks and wood for the fire, and collect seaweed to help steam (and not burn) the seafood.

When they first told me that I was on seaweed duty, I figured we'd just be picking it up from some specialty shop. But nope! Off we went to the Westport River to yank kelp off of rocks.
 My new uncle- and cousin-in-law corralled us into the truck to head towards the coast. We arrived at an amazing house that Hans (uncle-in-law) built and got down to business. Step one: ready the sea vessels. Oh, and debug them.
Step two: make our way to the rocks. This, for the most part, was pretty smooth. Except for the fact that we forgot a few things on shore and had to send Jared back.
Now on to the main event: harvesting the rockweed! We braved the calm waters of the river, mucking through the mud to fill our bags with kelp for the clam bake. So, we pulled rockweeds . . .
 And pulled more rockweeds.
 And pulled more rockweeds. And ran from monster crabs that were attacking our toes.
Final step: throw some sea water into a barrel and head back home . . . easier said than done, though, as is turns out. We seriously misjudged the slope of the hill leading to the car. And it took some sweating, some cursing, and a few extra hands, but we managed to get it done. Especially with the help and support of Lydia.
Definitely a productive and hilarious day with the in-laws.
Cousins: Angus, Jared and Lyd
Operation Kelp Hunt = Success!

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