the farmer’s favourite food in the entire world is Chowder …  on our trips to San Francisco and Boston I swear I did not know someone could consume so much milky soup goodness …

he even ordered it at a baseball game

when we first met back in ’98, he went on at length with me about how much he loved clam chowder … that’s when I realized what a ladies man he was… so smooth…

so for our first valentine’s day I asked a friend if I could use her apartment to make a romantic meal for him …

I went to Superstore, picked up Chunky’s New England Clam Chowder (2 cans) and Pillsbury dinner rolls and away I went to my friend’s kitchen to work the magic …

it was quite the process to get the soup out of the can into a pot to heat it up and the dinner rolls curled up, on a  pan and into the oven… but I managed …

with great anticipation he showed up and I watched him consume my masterpiece …  wondering if he was thinking ‘I need to scoop this lil’ lady up before the other gentlemen realize what she’s capable of’

he was very kind and told me how much he loved it …

then I went to his mother’s house on the farm … and she had made clam chowder … and I felt like such a fool … that I had no idea you could make it from scratch …

and he had tried to pretend to be all impressed

I asked him why he didn’t tell me and he said that he had never ate canned soup, with the exception of tomato, in his life … but didn’t want to ruin Valentines so thought it best not to question my culinary skills …

he must have seen potential in me … because I certainly had no idea how to do the things his mother did …

I eventually have figured out his mother’s recipe and make it around our anniversary and valentines every year …

I surprised him at lunch today with a pot of chowder and it is the closest you’ll see him get to tears … he told me what a cold, damp morning he had had fixing an auger and how this soup just made his entire day… perhaps week …

  I never told him that I have it down to under half an hour to make it now I have made it so many times…

 and I listened to him retell the story of the time at Valentines day when I bought canned chowder and fed it to him … he has retold that story every single time I have made the soup for him … but I still listen to it …

one of the joys of being married for almost 16 years is I still enjoy serving him chowder just as much as I did the first time and I know 16 years from now I’ll still be doing the same thing and he’ll still be telling the same story…

and we will be happy and content

(Lord willing)

(my mom always tells me to say that when I am predicting the future)

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tammy's clam chowder

  • Servings: one large pot
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Ingredients:

  • 8 strips thick cut bacon, sliced
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced into small chunks
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cans (142 g) whole baby clams and liquid
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable)
  • 4 cups raw potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 cups homogenized milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups creamilk or half and half (or homogenized)

Directions:

  • place bacon in a large pot on medium/high heat and cook for 2 minutes
  • strain and return to cooking with onion, celery, green pepper and garlic
  • add bay leaves and clam liquid from the 2 cans
  • add potatoes and chicken broth
  • bring to a boil and reduce to simmering for 10 minutes or until potatoes are barely tender
  • add clams, 2 cups milk and worcestershire sauce
  • mix oil and flour together and stir into the soup until thick
  • add creamilk
  • do not boil
  • stir often and heat just to boiling
  • keeps very well in refrigerator
  • note: I like to cook this first thing in the morning, let it cool, put it in the refrigerator and then get it to to re-heat for supper… the flavours are much deeper after it has sat all day