Hanging on the beach and cooking!!!

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
Trip End Sep 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Pemaquid Point Campground
What I did
Pemaquid Beach

Flag of United States  , Maine
Monday, August 6, 2012

At 7:42 the Heidmanns in the large tent at Pemaquid campground were roused from their slumber by the sight of dear, sweet Aunt Ruth peering through the door of the screen room at Pete, as she watched carefully to ensure that he was still breathing. As it turned out, she had been so excited to see us in the morning, that she had walked down to the campground to make sure we were all right after having had to pitch the tent in the dark. Aroused and slightly under the weather due to the bourbon, we made our way to the house for some breakfast and continued hanging out time with the cousins and Heidmanns. By mid-morning, people were ready to go out and do things and a contingent of cousins, Jess and the kids and Karen went to the local beach for a swim and play in the sand. Tim and Pete went shopping as we had volunteered to cook tonight's dinner and because we had had 10 hours in the car yesterday to plan, we knew there were several items required for the extensive menu. A couple of stops later, we had all the requisite ingredients and Pete went to the house to start cooking while Kiwis went out for lunch with Karen. Finishing up at the Bristol Diner, well worth stopping for a meal at, we went back to the house to cook and prep for dinner. At this point it started to become clear how great and interactive the older cousins were with Lily and Eli. They were the youngest at the reunion by 10 years and yet were thoroughly included and involved in all activities and games with their older family members. There were card games, walks to the lighthouse by the shore, explores that involved berry picking and general conviviality in and around the house as conversations and activities were started and finished and different small groups and knots of people mixed and mingled. 
All through this afternoon of relaxation and exchange, Tim, Pete and Jess were cooking and chopping, stirring and mixing, boiling and baking until finally the appetizers were ready to be served. This first course consisted of: clams casino (this is clams mixed with bacon, herbs and bread crumbs that has been re-presented in the half clam shell and baked with a crisp outer crust), carpaccio of seared and herb crusted tuna, cucumbers with a soy sauce marinade, balsamic drizzled mozzarella, fresh basil and tomatoes and cheese and crackers. At this point, I should also add that as cooks we had the luxury of lots of beautiful and fresh vegetables of all shapes, flavors and sizes (think 7 different kinds of tomatoes) provided by Tim's dad Mark courtesy of his farm and business; Maple Springs Farm. Everyone seemed to be impressed with and enjoy this offering and despite the variety of options, all bits and pieces were quickly hoovered up by the 16 Heidmann descendants. This may have been helped by Uncle Kevin mixing and distributing margaritas…..
Before we served the main course, Pete displayed and gave to everyone present, a t-shirt that he had made up specifically for the reunion. The front of the t-shirt had a screen print of the wedding photo of our Grandparents; Claire and Albert and on the back "Heidmann family reunion - Maine 2012". Claire and Albert were the parents of Mark, Ruth and Lois and the connection between us all. Then Tim and Jess presented to the members of the reunion, Rimu bookmarks (rimu is a native NZ timber) which were made for us Jess's Dad Marc and his company MZ Design in New Zealand, and were also labelled with Heidmann Family Reunion - Maine 2012. All present were suitably impressed and chuffed with their parcels. After this, and before the t-shirts were put on and covered with dinner juices, it was time for the main course. The main course consisted of either fresh maine lobster or poached herb butter haddock, and pasta salad, roasted corn and bean salad and fresh crusty bread. All again was eaten quickly and there was more than one lobster eating virgin who had to be walked through the process of extracting the meat from the shell. We were lucky that 'shedders' (pronounced shed-dah) were in season because these are recently molted and quite soft-shelled lobsters that do not require nut crackers to get inside of. Dinner sure seemed to be a huge hit!
Then it was time to put on t-shirts and we all went outside to pose against the side of the house for a reunion photo of us all in our new shirts. In the middle of the pack of Heidmanns was Mark, the oldest current member of the clan and he was appropriately decked out in a matching pattern, yet boldly and loudly and aggressively pink shirt! He wore it with good grace as it was meant to be a practical joke from Tim and Pete, but on every subsequent t-shirt wearing occasion, he was emblazoned in pink with a picture of his parents across his chest and belly!!!! We were taking turns with photo taking so that everyone's camera was used and all people would be represented when a man driving his pickup truck down the road past the house, stopped, got out and offered to take a photo of us all together. This offer was warmly received and he was soon festooned with many cameras and his kind gesture ended up taking 15 minutes of his time.
The final act of the night was the fire that Tim built in the fire pit off the back porch of the house. This heat source was the item required for dessert: SMORES!!!! I think almost everyone knows that this traditional dessert consists of roasted marshmallows and chocolate served warm and gooey between two graham crackers (think cinnamon coated superwines). Pete even went into the woods, ran the gauntlet of poison ivy and returned with sharpened sticks to use as roasting devices. Everyone got stuck into this sweet dessert and for several minutes the glow of marshmallow torches filled the night sky as smore after smore was prepared, glued together and eaten. This final act soon led to the return of people to beds and sleeping bags as all retired over-full and satiated: we were quite proud of the dinner we had designed and created!
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