Saturday, April 30

Lobster, Grand Beach, Frozen Lake Winnipeg

The 39 New Things I am doing this year continues: 

My friend Christa's brother, Randy, came into town and the next thing I know they have planned a clambake on Grand Beach, one of the first places I was told to visit when I moved to Manitoba.  OK, maybe not a clambake, but not having every lived near an ocean since childhood, I can only make reference to the 1945 Rogers & Hammerstein musical, Carousel and the song "A Real Nice Clambake".  I sang this song on stage with the rest of the junior high and high school cast at the International School of Brussels in the mid-1980's.  Here I was years later going to my first real clam/lobster/mussel bake!

Listen to the song while you read:
This Was a Real Nice Clambake
by Rodgers and Hammerstein

Press play and keep reading!!!

The tricky part being the gag reflex that my body experiences when I try to eat seafood.  Then again, I reminded myself that I am trying new things and these two Nova Scotia native friends promised delightful lobsters, fresh from the coast, over an open fire on a beach.  Sounded like a fantabulous end to a long semester to me!  The trick was they only had three lobsters and I was an added forth.  A quick stop off at a local grocery store to pick up a fresh east-coast lobster solved that problem.  In a portable box, on the way out of the store I named him/her Blaire, after the young man questioning our lobster and 'smore-like purchases when spring had not yet arrived in the province.

Blaire in a box.
The ride out was longer than my other friend, Stephanie, and I expected but we arrived, lugged our assorted accoutrements around the 'do not cross' tape, after hitting my tall head on two 'be careful, do not enter' signs, we finally found the shore, friends and fire.  To my chagrin I shook my head and laughed at my strange country.  Is was the end of April, spring in many places in the world but Lake Winnipeg was still frozen over, with the shore only slightly showing signs of spring defrost.  Crazy cold country!

Lobsters cooking near a frozen Lake Winnipeg
I was elated when I found out not only were there lobsters a brewin', Christa and Randy had added garlic bread, corn, and mussels to the dinner menu.  With my intense knowledge of seafood and my clambake memories, I kept referring to the mussels as clams, but everyone kindly corrected me about 20 times over the course of the next 3 hours until I dropped 'clams' from my vocabulary.

The Feast!
These Nova Scotian's taught me how to cook, crack, dip, 
slurp, nibble and chew on lobster and I liked it!

The mussels (a.k.a. clams) were a little too fishy for me but I soldiered on.

Blair about the become dead and pink.
Randy stirring the mussel-clams ;)
We laughed, we cracked jokes, we stuffed our faces, 
we tried drying our synthetic wet socks on the fire....

Sock on marshmallow stick
...which did not work....

Christa's melted sock
we tempted the lakes shore, we gathered more sticks 
and washed it all down with 'smores and beautiful sunset.  

Charlie, the beach, the sunset

The entire experience was a reminder that trying new things at any age 
can turn into a memorable and marvellous day!  Great idea!  Great friends!

More pictures shared with using the lyrics from Carousel's song 'A Real Nice Clambake':

"This was a real nice clambake.  We're mighty glad we came.  
The vitals we et were good you bet.  The company was the same."

"Our hearts are warm, our bellies are full, and we are feeling fine."

"Reeeeeemember when we raked them red hot lobsters out o' the drift wood fire?  
They sizzled and crackled and sputtered a song, fittin' for an angels' choir."

"We slit 'em down the back 'n peppered 'em good and doused 'em in melted butter.  
Then we tore away the claws and cracked 'em with our teeth cuz we weren't in a mood to 'putter."

"Then at last come de clams!  De clams!  Steamed under rock-weed and poppin' from der shells. 
Just how many of them galloped down our gullets?  We couldn't say ourselves."

"This was a real nice clambake, and we all had a real good time.  
We said it 'afore and we'll say it again, we all had a real good tiiiiiiiiime!"  


  1. I LOVE your blog! I am so glad that you posted this one about your lobster experience! It was such a great day and it was made even better by having you along. We will have to make sure we do this again....when the ice has melted and we can go late night skinny dipping and show the locals what "real women" look like lol!

  2. It was an absolutely marvelous idea and an absolutely amazing night! The food was delicious (thanks Randy for doing almost all the cooking!), the sunset was stunning and the company was fantastic!