Every summer we take a trip to Montauk with our cousins. It has become a family tradition that we look forward to all year. We pack the minivan to capacity and head out on NY-27 to the End, as Montauk is often referred to. Once we finally arrive at our dive motel, the kids’ scream “Montauk!” and the fun begins.
Most people would define vacation as a time devoted to rest and relaxation. But our kids never seem to get that memo. Strangely, their energy level seems to increase exponentially as the days goes by.
One minute they want to be at the beach, the next it is the pool, followed by a trip for ice cream, fishing, or miniature golf. Then back to the beach, which makes them hungry again so back to the room for a snack. Each of these trips requires no less than a shower, a bathroom break, and a change of clothes. If you have ever read the popular children’s book, ‘If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…’, then you get the idea.
Our vacation wraps up with our big family potluck dinner. Personally this is one of my favorite nights. Some menu items this year were Robyn’s famous meatballs, Chris’s sausage & peppers, and our turkey chili. In years past our Aunt Harriet would make a huge pot of clam chowder to start off the meal. I am making my own version this week, heavy on the veggies, with a little bacon thrown in for good measure.
Corn Clam Chowder
5 slices bacon, diced
1 Tbsp butter
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup carrots, finely diced
Juice from 10oz. can minced clams, clams reserved
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup potato, cubed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups whole or 2% milk
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
Cook bacon in a large saucepan until crisp.
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels and set aside. Add butter, onions, celery, and carrots to the bacon drippings. Sauté vegetables until softened, about 20-25 minutes.
Add clam juice, chicken broth, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour and milk. Add reserved clams and milk mixture to the soup and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened and bubbling, about 8-10 minutes. Add corn in the last two minutes of cooking.
Garnish with bacon bits and serve with crusty bread for dipping.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (big brother): “My tastebuds don’t think it’s yummy”
Liam (little brother): “EEEWWW – what is THAT?”
Dylan (little brother): “It’s so disgusting! Mommy, why did you cook this for dinner?”
Funny, I don’t remember my Aunt Harriet getting that reaction!