“A Family Tradition Since 1901″….., that’s impressive!!
The dinner table has long been the meeting place of family and what better way to connect with friends than over a meal? Carver Old Home Day is an event for past and present Carverites to connect with friends, share a meal, and enjoy a day filled with activities. It runs deep with tradition and is organized by Carver families passing the torch from one generation to another all volunteering to keep the tradition going. Yes, I’ve lived here in Carver nearly my whole life but have not watched this clambake from start to finish before. This year my photography interests lured me to the event and I ventured off on Saturday to photograph it from start to finish. I had no idea I’d leave feeling so nostalgic and wanting in on this tradition. The clam bake is orderly and almost processional. Feeding a group of 600 people is no easy task and this group of volunteers not only made it look easy but they made it fun to watch!
First up ticket purchasing.
Tickets are purchased well in advance of the event so the food can be ordered.
The bake master arrives at Shurtleff Park early in the morning to get the fire going A large team of volunteers is assembled ahead of time. Recruiting starts early from what I’m told. There’s a Clambake Committee of 12 people that work to host this event, not to mention the numerous volunteers helping to cook, prep food, serve food, organize, collect money, etc. The OHD t-shirts make it festive! While I didn’t know everyone volunteering I was sure each person was tied to someone with roots to Carver.
There’s certainly no time to stop for a quick bite when you’re feeding 600 so a bake master has to do what a bake master has to do!!!!! Putting that pitchfork to good use! Rinsing the clams & checking for any broken shells
There was lots of prep work onions, potatoes,corn, fish….. Watching this makes you think they’ve been doing this for years OR maybe there were countless organizational meetings??? Or maybe folks just come back year after year and they simple know what to do? Lend a hand, dig in, and roll up their sleeves?
So I asked the bake master, how many pounds of clams do you have to cook, thinking that would be fun to share with you all.
42 bushel or 2100 pounds of clams!!! I’m even more impressed at what this team does!
200 lbs hot dogs
150 lbs sausage
180 lbs haddock
200 lbs potatoes
165 lbs sweet potatoes
65 dozen ears of corn
Bake master takes his final counts Now the large roaring fire needs to be knocked down so it’s low to the ground. Another cool thing to watch. Firemen circle the fire in an orderly fashion with pitchforks while pointing out any coals that need to be pushed back into the circle. Safety was utmost!
Many members of the Carver Fire department are there to help out, including our Fire ChiefYou cannot imagine how hot this fire! When I then see the guys bundled up in gear, it looks unbearable! They all seem to do it for the love of tradition, friendship, & family.
The fire trucks are conveniently lined up and located just behind the fire! Boots ready to go if needed.
Here comes the seaweed which is then spread over the hot coals.
The food is stacked on top of the seaweed
There is always one person in charge making sure everything is perfect and that’s the bake master!
The food is covered with cloth tarps and cooks for approximately 2 hours
The food is checked to see if it’s ready
Official taste testing
Time to Unload. I swear someone said, “ready, set, go” because this part happens so fast!!!!!!!!!
Looks good right? You can almost smell it!
This is like a procession.
Last minute server instructions
And here’s the crew that does all the heavy lifting & fire handling. I would say it’s an event filled with pride & tradition and it seems like an honor to be part of this year after year.
Nice Job Carver~
Old Home Day has so much beyond the bake. I’ll share those photos next.
FELLOW CARVERITES. IF I PHOTOGRAPHED YOU AND YOU’D LIKE A COPY OF YOUR PHOTO, “LIKE MICHELLE MURPHY PHOTOGRAPHY ON FACEBOOK”, THEN MESSAGE ME THE PHOTO YOU ARE IN AND I’LL SEND YOU THE PHOTO DIRECTLY