A bountiful coastal area can supply us with many delectable wild foods. From clams and lobsters, to edible seaweeds and crabs – these tasty foods provide us with great nutrition and the beach provides us with all the necessary materials to cook them. Rather than digging a pit to cook our food at the beach, we can take a page from our ancestor’s cook book and create a steam mound. The beach gives us the food, sand, seaweed and even driftwood for the fire. You’ll just need some rocks gathered from a dry location (not on the beach), and a tarp will help tremendously. Start your traditional “clam bake” by firing your dry rocks for about two hours. While they heat, gather your edibles and some seaweed. If you are familiar with your local species of edible seaweed, include some in your harvest. Otherwise, grab what’s available to surround your food in the mound. Using a stick, roll or slide your hot rocks out of the fire to form hot rock platform. Quickly cover this with several inches of damp sand. Then add a similar thickness of seaweed and place your food on top of the seaweed in one layer. Cover this with another seaweed layer to insulate the mound, and if you have a tarp, drape it over the top to keep the sand from sifting through into your food. As a final layer, heap up sand over the entire mound to seal in the heat and the steam. Allow this mound to cook for at least 2 hours, but 3 hours would be better. When you feel that enough time has passed, carefully start removing the sand from the top of the mound and lift out some of the seaweed. Be careful, this should be very hot. Uncover your food and enjoy it!
Tried any of these tricks to cook a meal? Please let us know by leaving a comment.