The Traditional Plymouth Clambake is prepared in great barrels over a gas or wood fire. Each barrel feeds 16-18 diners, and another two barrels are needed for lobsters and corn.
To prepare a Traditional Plymouth Clambake:
Prepare the fire at least an hour in advance.
Ready a long table near the fire with trays, paper cups, paper plates, plastic utensils, and lots of paper towels. Include a bucket of cole slaw, a basket of hot dog rolls, about two pounds of melted butter, and a cut up watermelon. At the far end set up a large trash container.
Set over the coals one 55-gallon drum, thoroughly cleaned and suitable for cooking.
In the bottom of the barrel put 5 gallons of water, a bunch of fresh celery in the water, and a screen above the water.
On the screen, place a cheesecloth sack containing 5 pounds of potatoes, scrubbed.
On top of the potatoes, place another cheesecloth sack containing 2 pounds of smallish yellow onions, peeled.
On top of the onions, place another cheesecloth sack containing 4 pounds hot dogs.
On top of the hot dogs, place another cheesecloth sack containing 4 pounds pork breakfast sausages.
On top of the sausages, place another cheesecloth sack containing 20 pounds steamers.
Let steam for 15 minutes or so after the water in the bottom is boiling vigorously and there is plenty of steam.
When the clams are well open, start to remove the sacks one by one to the table, as you are sure their contents are finished.
Drag the hot, mostly empty barrel off the heat and carefully ladle out the remaining broth from under the screen into a large pot.
Lay the sacks on a great table and let diners serve themselves. Each diner needs:
3 cups, one for clam broth and one for butter and the third for a drink
1 plate (it's a good idea to double up if they are not strong)
Some paper towels
The lobsters should be cooked in a separate barrel, as should the corn, as both of them will overpower the delicate flavor of the clams. The barrels can be set up as above, without need for the celery. One lobster barrel can hold many lobsters, and a corn barrel can hold more corn than your diners will eat. To feed 100 people, use seven clam barrels, one lobster barrel, and one corn barrel for a total of 9 barrels. You will need:
7 bunches celery
35 pounds potatoes
14 pounds yellow onions
30 pounds hot dogs
30 pounds pork breakfast sausages
150 pounds steamers
200 ears of corn
25 pounds butter
50 gallons water
enormous quantities of beer and soft drinks
There exist reports from reliable sources that the clambake was often preceded by a great platter of cold cuts and Italian bread. Perhaps the extra food was necessary to stoke the men who stoked the fire...the content appears to have been selected by the Linguica Contingent.