Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ending the Old Year in the Kitchen

John 1:1-5      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Will Rogers: Even if you are on the right track, 
you will get run over if you just sit there.

On New Years Eve there were six of us: myself, Riley, daughters Annie, Corey and Sarah, and son-in-law Zac. It seemed that the year had tired us all out and it was a very peculiar New Years Eve party. But despite out little problems we enjoyed ourselves. I made corn chowder to ensure that something nourishing was eaten. Corey made fondue, I provided onion dip, carrots and celery, and spicy chips, Annie came with similar food items, but her chips were flavored but not spicy, and Riley provided is famous clam dip. For drinks we had coke and squirt and root-beer and dr pepper, and sparkling cider, and I think if we had actually consumed more than a dad bit alcohol we would never have made it to mid-night. We would have just gone to bed.

We usually play lots of games on New Years, but this year we only managed one game of Sequence. We drew pieces of paper out of a hat to determine who played with who. This worked very well, and everyone was agreeable with this method. Annie and I were a team. Now the reason we drew for teams was because Annie was afraid no one would want to play with her because she's a bit spacey. Well she proved to be a truly excellent partner and we won handily. This did not go over so well, so after a bit of staring into space it was decided that we would go into the living room and watch Ghostbusters II, as we had watched the first one the night before. It was a fun movie, though I fell asleep from time to time. It ended at 11:45, at which time we rushed around to get ready for mid-night. Every year we always go out onto the front porch and make noise with something, then we listen to all the noises going on in the neighborhood, and then we go back in and go to bed. I hope I never become one of those people who go to bed before mid-night on New Years Eve. We did, once. It was in Hong Kong and there was nothing to keep us awake as the TV didn't even stay on that long. But boy, when mid-night hit there was no sleeping. It seemed like every ship in the harbor began honking its fog horn and whatever other kinks of horns they had. At that I felt better about having gone to bed early on New Years Eve. In Hong Kong the big event is Chinese New Year, which was usually in February and lasted for four days. But that's another story.

Corn and Clam Chowder

2 or 3 slices of bacon, diced
1 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
about 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, peeled if necessary, and diced
1 can creamed corn
2 cans minced clams
milk to fill the cans
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour
some cream if you like

In a large pot, like a Dutch oven, fry up the diced bacon in the oil and butter. Add the diced onion and fry until nicely cooked. Add the carrots, which I like to cut into small julienned strips. and cook just a bit. Dice up the potatoes while the carrots are cooking, then add to the pot. Add salt and pepper, add enough water to cover the vegetable, cover, and simmer for about ten minutes. This should be just long enough to cook the potatoes. Add the clams and the corn. Then fill the cans with milk and add the milk. Simmer until a nice gentle foam forms on the top. Mix the flour with about 1/2 cup water until very smooth. Bring up the temperature of the soup a bit and stir in the flour mixture. Keep heating until the soup thickens a bit. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. I like the soup to be a bit peppery, but this is not for everyone. If you like you may add some cream for richness, maybe a half cup. And also, if you like, add some frozen corn, making sure to bring the temperature of the soup up again.


Maryann said...

I usually clang my old bells at New Year, but my new neighborhood is so quiet, I was afraid they would be bothered. I should have done it anyway. Next year...
Happy 2008!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

We were asleep at midnight when my 91 y/o father called us on the house phone and then cell phone when we didn't answer the first! I think the kitchen sounds about right.

Molly Loves Paris said...

That's encouraging to know that some of his age is quite alert at mid-night. My 88 year old mother has decided she's taking my 89 year old dad to Botswana this fall. I asked her why and she said "I've never been there" But they were asleep at mid-night.