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A New Title!

It came to me in a flash of brilliance (while pondering what to blog about today.) What do you think of this:

CRAFTING A MARRIAGE
cooking, sewing, laughing, talking, dreaming, fighting, making up a life

…thoughts? edits? too cheesy? help.

[p.s. to anyone who wandered over here from Lollygag Blog today… I’m not usually this short-winded and boring. Sorry. Please check the archives for something more exciting. Perhaps our very first post, which features one P.J. Schoeny, wedding officiant extraordinaire. Or some New England Clam Chowder? I have a feeling you’re a bunch that might appreciate that.]

Comfort Food: New England Clam Chowder

When we went on our legal wedding/honeymoon in Boston last month, one of the first things we did was stop in a restaurant that Julia remembered for its excellent, authentic New England Clam Chowder. It was the first time I ever tried it – in my entire life! – and it was delicious. Also, as good as Julia remembered it being. While we were savoring it, we discussed how we really should find a recipe and make it at home, since previous efforts to find one up to Julia’s standards in Chicago restaurants had failed miserably. So a week or two ago, I scoured the net, and pulled a couple of recipes that seemed promising, based on Julia’s knowledge of what should and should not be in clam chowder. During the grocery trip last week, I bought all the ingredients as a surprise to her.
Then, at the end of last week, I was running a low-grade fever and feeling under the weather. Historically, I’m not much of a soup eater – probably because when I was growing up, “making soup” meant microwaving a can of Campbell’s and tossing in some oyster crackers – but Julia has managed to win me over with soups that consist of fresh ingredients, and simmered in a big pot for a while – no cans or microwaves allowed. What a difference real food makes. So, we decided to give the clam chowder a try, and, um AMAZING. We could not stop eating it… except that it is pretty rich, so you get to a point where you *have* to stop, even though you really, really *want* to keep eating it.

Here is the recipe, if you want to test it out on your own:
(I wish I could give credit, but it is a combo of a few recipes, an anonymous comment on a random food blog, and our addition of dill, which was specific to the restaurant in Boston, and happens to be a wonderful touch.)

1 yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
32 ounces canned clams, chopped and/or minced (we used about half and half)
3 cups whole milk
3 cups heavy cream
3 large Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped

Saute onion in butter. Sprinkle in flour and cook until almost light brown. Pour in juice from clams and add bay leaf; simmer until thick. Pour in milk and cream; simmer again, adding potatoes and reserved clams. Cook until potatoes are tender but still firm. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir in dill.

Makes 8-10 servings, depending on how much you can eat in one sitting!