I love words. Their origins, their meanings, the way their sounds roll across the tongue. The power they have to transform a mood. Heck, even the absence of words has an effect on me--the intimacy of being with a person where silence isn't awkward and to be ignored or not answered cuts through me like nothing else. I admire people who are in the business of administrating words: publishers, editors, librarians. I stand in awe of writers, poets, and musicians who make art with their words. I hoard quotes like words are going out of style! Words. It's my thing.
What's all that got to do with clam chowder? Well, when someone tells me that their recipe for delicious clam chowder came from a woman named Dorcas who used to make cheesecakes for Klingerdaggers, it only serves to double my enthusiasm for the recipe. Dorcas. Klingerdaggers. Splendiferous logophilia indeed.
Dorcas-who-made-cheesecakes-for-Klingerdaggers' Clam Chowder
Makes about 8 1-cup servings
3 (6.5 oz.) cans minced or chopped clams, undrained
1 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup flour
1 quart half-and-half (4 cups)
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Pour clams and their liquid into a medium saucepan. Add onions, celery, potatoes and 2 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for about 15 minutes until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Do not drain!
Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Cook 1-2 minutes. Add half-and-half and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Cook 7-8 minutes until thick, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat if it starts to boil. Add clams and vegetable mixture including all the liquid in the pan. Add sugar, salt, and pepper and heat through.