We read a lot of children's books at my house and one of our very favorites is the classic "One Morning in Maine," by Robert McCloskey.
The book tells the story of a simple morning in Maine that involves a loose tooth, a trip by boat to Buck's Harbor to go shopping and some ice cream cones. I love the simplicity of the story. My kids know it so well they can recite most of it by heart.
The story comes to an end as they head back home for lunch and the main character shouts at the top of her lungs that they're going to have "clam chowder for lunch!" And that's exactly what my kids yell when we've had this.
This recipe for clam chowder comes from my mother. It was in regular rotation on our lunch menus growing up. And, while I know you can simply open up a can of soup and heat it up, I love making food from scratch for my family.
About 4 or 5 servings
1/4 cup butter
4 medium onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 medium potatoes, diced
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 cup light cream
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
5 cups milk
4 tablespoons flour
1 to 2 carrots, diced
2 cans clams
Pare and dice the potatoes and carrots. Cover with clam broth from the two cans of clams, along with water (two cups of liquid combined). Cook until tender.
In another pot, melt butter. Saute onions and celery until golden. Add salt, pepper, thyme and flour. Stir so that the flour coats vegetables evenly and butter is absorbed.
Remove from heat and slowly add cream, stirring so that the sauce is smooth. Add milk and put the pot back on medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook until the base is thickened.
Add the cooked potatoes, carrots and two cans of drained, chopped clams. Heat through.
We always sprinkle a little paprika on top of each bowl with a pat of butter.
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