It’s officially Springtime at the RGB. The Dutch irises have returned, roses are in bloom, and the weather is sunny.
Life is good.
After San Francisco, Clam Chowder was all I could think about.
But I wasn’t going for Manhattan. I wasn’t even going for New England.
I was going for what I grew up with on the Oregon coast (from Rockaway Beach to Waldport to Florence). As a wee one, I remember slopping through the squishy mud, piling into the station wagon and making the rainy drive with my family down to the old, weather-beaten fish house. “Splash, splash splash…” the backside of the house tilted into the ocean. I always ran inside to be first in line… just in case the house was about to run out.
You see… this little fish house only made what they had on-hand. And every day was a different story. If the tide was wrong or the weather wasn’t right, you were just crap out of luck.
But on a good day… on a good day, you were treated with a large, piping bowl of the world’s best chowder. Not thick and floury like the ones you get in a can, but thin, yet creamy, and brimming with clams, potatoes and parsley. And if you got the right window seat (I always did), you could see the half-moon bay from which the clams came. If you were convincing enough, you could rope your parents into getting you out there at the next low tide to hunt for some.
If you could imagine a small child sitting by the window, so small her feet didn’t touch the ground, carefully filling her spoon and shutting out the world, that was me. I engineered into every spoonful a bite of clam, potato, and parsley. It was a science, it was heaven, and I’d do anything to have that again.
What’s in your favorite chowder?