kruizing with kikukat

Monday, September 28, 2015

Almost Pike Place Chowder: New England Clam Chowder

This past weekend, the weather was miserable.  After weeks of hot, sticky humidity, we got bombarded by rain.  A new weather system formed just southeast of us, bringing a ton of rain to Hilo.

The Help and I survived a wet football game at Wong Stadium (affectionately called "Lake Wong").  The Help learned that Columbia rain products are not on equal footing with NorthFace; he was soaked, while my layers remained dry.   Maybe Santa will bring him a NorthFace jacket this year.

On Saturday, as the downpour continued, The Help made a strange comment, something to the effect of "so this is what it's like to live in Seattle."  Ummmmm NO.

Seattle rain is nothing like Hilo rain.  In Hilo, the rain comes down in buckets.  Walking ten feet in the rain is capable of soaking through layers of clothes (including a Columbia supposed-rain jacket).  Seattle rain is different.  It doesn't come down in buckets, but it's always present.  I had a hard time explaining the difference to The Help.  I did, however, make a big deal about the temperature of the rain.  Seattle rain is cold.

Anyway, The Help's comment about Seattle brought back memories of a recent trip to the Emerald City.  I had the opportunity to stop at Pike Place Chowder for a steaming bowl of their award-winning chowder.  It was every bit as good as the hype made it out to be.  No disappointment at all, although I was somewhat surprised at how small the place was.  There were hardly any tables/chairs, yet that didn't see to stop people from lining up.  I tried both the seafood bisque and the New England style clam chowder.  Both were awesome, and they are high up on my to-eat list for my next trip to Seattle.

So as a reward for opening his mouth, The Help found himself heading out in the rain on Saturday to pick up the ingredients for my copycat version of Pike Place Chowder's New England Clam Chowder.  Although my next trip to Seattle will need to wait for a while (I need to go to AZ first), I found myself sitting down to a nice, hot bowl of soup while lamenting those darn Dawgs!  WTF?!?

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     2 tbsp butter
     1/2 onion, diced
     2 stalks celery, diced
     1/3 c flour
     1 can chicken broth (add water to make 2 cups)
     2 cans (10 oz each) clams (minced, chopped or combination)
     1 c heavy cream
     2 bay leaves
     1 lb russet potatoes, cubed 1/2"
     1/2 tsp salt
     1/8 tsp pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Add onion and celery and saute until soft.  Stir in flour.  Add chicken broth, clam juice (reserve clams for later), cream, bay leaves, and potatoes.  Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.  Add clams, salt, and pepper.  Serve.

I had quite a scare on Saturday night.  Sometime during the slaughter at Sun Devil Stadium, I decided to check my fb page.  My heart sank when I saw a post about a stampede at the Summer Ends Music Festival at Tempe Beach Park.  Prior to leaving for Tempe, D1 purchased her ticket online, so I knew she was there (rather than at the stadium).  The fb news clip said two juvenile females, who were close to the stage, were taken to a local trauma center with life-threatening injuries.  I immediately texted and called D1, but there was no response.  As a parent 3,000 miles away, all sorts of things went through my mind.  I breathe a deep sigh of relief when the phone rang as I was talking to Mr. Dependable about the events.  Darn kid said she had left her phone at home for safe-keeping and was unaware (until later) as to why she had been ordered by concert officials to evacuate Tempe Beach Park.

Later, as I was praying and hoping for the best for all those injured, The Help said he knew all along D1 was fine...said she would never have dished out the extra $$$ to be close to the stage.  Being pake probably saved her ass.

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