We just returned from a long weekend in Cape Cod. I'm already missing the break in humidity, the cool nights, the sea breeze, and the fresh seafood. While visiting a friend in Eastham, we unexpectedly attended a lobster and clam bake. The affair was relaxed and friendly: old friends caught up with each other; kids played on the jungle gym; there was a well-meaning DJ giving out door prizes.
Apparently, the town eagerly anticipates next year's bake as soon this year's is over. Each time the cooks checked on the food's progress, the crowd rose from the picnic tables and excitedly rushed over to the long table. All of the food bakes in wooden crates, deep inside a fire pit. The crates are wrapped together in thick plastic and the food--lobsters, mussels, clams, corn, potatoes, onions--bakes for as long as it takes.
After the food was read, it was proudly carried over and laid out on the long table. Then, you just pick up a plastic tray, load it up with everything you want, and dig in. Just don't forget your bib...or the butter!