Down East 2013 ©
The Fourth of July means one thing to me: clambake. Ever since I was born, my family has been doing clambakes every Fourth on Cousins Island in Yarmouth. (It’s rumored that Bobby Flay came to this very island on his show Food Nation to attend a clambake. See his recipe here . I have three words: Throwdown, Bobby, and my Dad!) It’s not just about the smoky, seawater-infused taste that permeates the sweet lobster tails and the chewy clams. It’s the crisp white wine, the roast chickens that are more succulent than any I’ve tasted (recipe available upon request), the fresh crabmeat on Pepperidge Farm wheat crackers with Ken’s Cocktail Sauce. And, of course, the blueberry pie. In the July issue of Down East  I outlined my family’s method to the madness that is a clambake. The best tip: eat it all outside on a table covered in a plastic-lined paper cloth. Then, you can throw all the shells and debris on the table, remove the silverware and anything else valuable, roll it up, and throw it out. No mess.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing a clambake Fleury-style. It’s followed by my mother’s recipe for blueberry pie, the essential ending to a true Maine summer feast.
1. Start off by finding a location. It’s best to do it on your own property, but any campfire station or beach pit (check to make sure that such fires are allowed first) will do.
2. Use four cinder blocks positioned vertically to make a square foundation, in the middle of which you will build a fire. (If you are at a campfire site, make do with the pre-existing structure. You can even get creative with a grill. Just remember that the experience boils down to enjoying fully-cooked lobster and clams outside.)
3. Build the fire with wood and newspaper, but don’t light it just yet.
4. Place a sheet of metal over the wood so that it is sturdy and centered, with the four corners resting on top of the cinder blocks.
5. Pile a layer of seaweed — it makes a fun morning activity to gather it — on the metal sheet so it is covered entirely.
6. Nestle in some eggs (leave them in the cardboard carton), potatoes, and onions. Add the live lobsters, clams, and ears of corn on top.
7. Cover the pile of food with seaweed again.
8. Cover the seaweed with aluminum foil (making sure to tuck it between the seaweed and the metal sheet so that all the heat stays in).
9. Cover the foil with another layer of seaweed to keep it from blowing away.
10. Light the fire. The flame should be steady and very hot. Let it cook for an hour and a half.
11. Use oven mitts to remove the food, and then enjoy most everything with drawn butter and lots of paper towels.
Mom’s Blueberry Pie
About 5 cups blueberries (I use half fresh, half wild frozen)
3⁄4 to 1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
Standard crust recipe or store-bought crust
1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
3⁄4 cup sugar
3⁄4 to 1 cup flour
Preheat the oven to 400. Mix all in ingredients in bowl and pour into crust. Cream (mix together with fork until little balls, crumbs) the butter, sugar, then flour. Pat the topping over the blueberries. Bake for 45-55 minutes — I bake it on a cookie sheet because it can bubble over! Cool before cutting. If you’re into your pies staying congealed, add a bit of cornstarch. Personally I like this one a bit runny — it mixes so well with the vanilla ice cream!