New England Clam chowder

Every year for Christmas eve my great-grandmother would make a big pot of clam chowder for all of us to eat. And so began my love of clam chowder as a little munchkin. Since yesterday was a very successful clam digging trip I am going to use my bounty to make a tasty batch of chowder using great-Grandma’s recipe. It is a great way to celebrate memories of the past, and eat a delicious meal that I have not had in a long while. Creamy clam chowder with corn and potatoes. It almost makes me drool as I think about it. One of these days I should make learn how to make my own oyster crackers to go in it. Homemade from start to finish then.

Base ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup of Bacon (peppered is the best)
  • 3/4 Cup of chopped onions
  • 2 1/2 cups of diced potatoes
  • 1 pint of chopped clams. If you use canned clams add the liquid from the can to the chowder. My clams are softshell clams from the Oregon coast
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup of celery
  • Optional ingredients: beans, peas, or corn or whatever you like in a chowder

From grandma’s notes: (I stream lined it a bit to make it a bit easier to read)

“If using skim milk add 1T of butter. Partly brown the bacon then add the onions so that the onions don’t burn the before the bacon browns. Have the potatoes and the rest of the vegetables cooking while you are browning the onions and bacon. Pour in bacon and onions and a small amount of the fat. Simmer until done. The clams should be cooked in their liquid with the vegetables. Just enough liquid should be in them to keep them from sticking, and still have some liquid left. When done add in the milk, when it is hot again add in flour to thicken it to your liking. I like plenty of potatoes, and just a small amount of each of the other vegetables except onions. I like quite a few of these. Grandma Kolb”

It is a simple recipe that allows for a lot of variation depending on what you like to add. I like to thicken up the chowder almost to the point it is like gravy. So experiment to your heart’s content to make your own family traditional recipe. Just remember to always take notes of what you make so you can duplicate it in the future


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