Chowder 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

6.10.11 Chow(der) Down

Call me crazy, but in the midst of this heat wave, when the plants themselves seemed to cry out from thirst beneath their green ultrasuede coats of pollen, I got a craving for clam chowder. I guess it was because I happened across a recipe for it on Tasting Table ("the free daily email for adventurous eaters everywhere"). Also, it's a bit like my own Proustian madeleine, because it takes me right back to my first job as a hostess at Gilda's seafood restaurant on the pier (or the wharf, as it was called) in Santa Cruz. I love the seafood tang against the richness of fresh cream and buttery potatoes, and the hint of salty pork. So there I was yesterday, sweat pouring off me (I had actually closed the kitchen windows in an attempt to keep out the pollen and the dust and noise of the guys working on our roof), temperatures soaring towards 100º, boiling potatoes and steaming clams. And then, you'll never guess—the skies began to darken, the ominous rumble of thunder approached from a great distance, a breeze kicked up and suddenly it was pouring. By evening the air was clean and cool, perfect chowder weather.