BY PAT BURNS
Longer days and warmer nights are just two of the more pleasant highlights we’re able to enjoy during summertime. Perfect for entertaining. And … nothing says summertime like the beach. If you’re not able to leave home and get to a beach, then here’s a way to bring the beach to your home.
“This month’s summer-themed tablescape is all about seashells, candles, and lighthouses … oh my!”
A little back story, my lure of lighthouses started when I was traveling and touring the east coast. While on one particular business trip to Maine, I happened upon The Lobster Shack at Two Lights. No one told me about The Lobster Shack. I just stumbled upon it as I was randomly driving down side roads sightseeing. Just exploring where roads would lead. Then, out of nowhere, there it was. Located at the end of Two Lights Road on the rocky shores of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, I discovered the award-winning restaurant that’s been a local landmark since the 1920s. Not only did I have a breath-taking ocean view – I also had the best lobster roll of my life.
See below for the best lobster roll recipe
Is it any wonder many are awe-struck by lighthouses? A lighthouse can symbolize various things, such as overcoming challenges and adversity or as a beacon of guidance. However, it is most commonly used to symbolize a way forward and help in navigating through the world. Using the lighthouse for my summer theme brings meaning to all who dine at this table.
Alright, let’s get back on track about tablescaping. Once I found lighthouse-themed plates – the rest all came together. The plate’s colors of pale blues and white, with a splash of red and yellow, set the color palette for the rest of the table.
Assembling an easy and delicious meal to this tablescape would, of course, have to include lobster rolls!
Surprise your guests with this authentic Maine treat and you’ll become the symbol for a way forward navigating through the world as the hostess with the mostest.
Tablescaping centerpieces should draw the eye and highlight the theme. Piles of seashells and blue colored stones lined down the center create the feel of the ocean’s bottom. There are so many other possibilities. With tablescaping colors, whether you use royal blue, light blue or teal, it all goes so well and can be accented with yellows and white. Use small vases with fresh flowers, and add both real and LED candles. For a truly beachy feel, you could even play sounds of waves crashing found on YouTube. You could also have fun playing this underwater video on your smart TV. It’s like having an aquarium in your living room with the relaxing accompaniment of music to enjoy while dining.
If you’d like to take your experience to the next level, check out the links below:
Waves crashing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JekUNGo-RVk
Two choices of Underwater
With piano https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQRDv3HtmUA
With music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G52dUQLxPzg
The BEST Lobster Rolls
(With butter and mayonnaise)
- 1 pound frozen lobster meat, thawed, or cooked meat from two 1 1/2 – 2 pound live lobsters
- 1/4 cup minced celery
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 split-top brioche, New England style hot dog buns, with sides trimmed off
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- Rinse the lobster meat and pick through for any loose shells. Drain thoroughly so the mayo sauce doesn’t get watery. Chop or tear into large chunks and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the celery, mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice, lemon zest, kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Taste for seasoning.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the lobster meat. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes until warmed through and buttery all over. Use a slotted spoon to dish the lobster meat into the mayonnaise mixture and toss to coat. Discard butter and juice released from the lobster and wipe out the skillet. Melt the remaining butter in the skillet over medium heat; toast the buns on the cut sides for about 2 minutes each side until golden and toasty.
- Load each bun equally with lobster meat and garnish with more chives if desired. Serve with potato chips.
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time:19 minutes Servings: 4
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – PAT BURNS
Pat Burns is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Orange County Children’s Book Festival; a Celebrity Journalist, Film Reporter, the author of Grandparents Rock®. Also, a happy grandmother of four.
See more tablescaping from Pat Burns here