Monday, February 20, 2017

baleen and bonfires (maine, day 4)

We were fogged out on our first attempt, but this one landed, and we spotted whales out our little window.

Seen: puffins, research scientists, humpback whales, seals, mola mola (also known as the sunfish).

My highlight, of course, was this little moment, where the bear got to hold whale baleen:

Or perhaps it was when I caught my girl reading at the table.

Or seeing my three loves at the side of the bay.

Or roosting marshmallows with this fellow.

Or the bonfire in the sky.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

corn chowder: a maine recipe

One of my fellow Montessorians gifted me potatoes from her summer garden, so I folded them into my carry-on and brought them to Maine, where I adapted this newspaper recipe for my family:

Makes four servings.

-6 ears of corn
- salt
- 1 cup bacon chopped
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2.5 cups Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut kernels off the corn and set aside. This will make approximately 4 cups. Place the cobs in a large pot and cover with approximately 5 cups, add 1 teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for half an hour. Leave cobs in the broth until ready to use.

Cook bacon until crisp and fat is rendered (approximately 10-15 minutes). Remove bacon with slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and set aside. There should be approximately 2 tablespoons of fat left--pour off excess or use extra butter to make up difference.

Add butter to the drippings and cook the onion over medium heat until it begins to soften (about five minutes). Add flour and whisk until thick and bubbly (about three minutes). Measure out 4 cups of corn broth and add to pot with half-and-half. Whisk over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a simmer.

Add corn, potatoes, thyme, and sugar, and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the corn and potatoes are tender (about fifteen minutes). Return bacon bits to the chowder and season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Let stand at room temperature for approximately an hour or refrigerate overnight.* Gently warm and serve.

* I hadn't realized how long this recipe would take when I began preparing the vegetables, and when I realized this, we had to have another dinner made (while this one was going) and had the soup the next day for lunch. I'm tucking this recipe away and hope to make it again when the corn is wonderfully fresh and perhaps we'll even have some of our own potatoes from the garden.

Thanks, Erin, for getting me going down this path! What a gift!