Sunday, June 21, 2009

New England Clam Chowder Contest

Two very nice things combined this afternoon: one is a friend made on an Swap-bot, an internet group, by the name of Jan, and the other is New England clam chowder. [There are several web sites as I've just discovered that give recipes and step by step directions -- Google it].

Jan lives not too far away and invited me to be a part of of the vote counting committee for an annual chowder contest held quite near where I live. This was wonderful for two very good reasons. One is I got to meet some of Jan's friends and being new here it's very, very nice

Another positive was that I got to taste the chowders from some local restaurants and began to appreciate the differences in taste. This was not something I'd ever thought about but now I realize that with New England clam chowder there are many, many subtlties. For those readers from other parts of the US and world: New England makes a clam chowder on a white sauce base with only potatoes and possibly onions added as well as the minced clams. There is what New Englanders consider a perversion which is Manhattan clam chowder. It is essentially a red vegetable soup with chopped clams added. I've always preferred the New England variety [but never knew there were so many slights differences and this was only in one small contest. There must be many more.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon until we emerged from the counting room -- which is the green room of the Music Tent - a Hyannis landmark = to discover that the gray and damp day was revealng now the effects of a Nor'easter wtth chilling winds and a serious drop in temperature over a couple of hours. And this is the summer solstice, for heaven sakes! I've only been this kind of chilly on June 21st the year I was in Alaska for summer solstice. Global warming in it's most erratic manifestation. Brrrr....

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