Well, we made it to NJ in one piece. As far as driving cross country goes, with 3 kids and a dog, it was a pretty easy trip. I am thankful to be settled for awhile, and spending more than a week at a time with my family. The thing about only getting to visit for one week a year is that you feel like you have to cram a year full of fun into a week. It hasn’t really sunk in yet that we are here for awhile, and that we can take it easy and really enjoy being here. It feels weird, but in a really good way.
Growing up in such a seasonal place meant that we had two groups of friends – school friends and summer friends. Summer friends are the kind of friends that you meet on the beach and spend long days with, playing in the waves, eating popsicles from the ice cream man, and making sand castles. But by the end of the summer, they went back to their houses wherever they lived and we did not see each other again until the next summer. Unlike me, who got to stay past Labor Day. This year, my children might be someone’s summer friend. This summer has promise. Lazy days on the beach, spending time with people we love, and getting to eat lots and lots of Italian ices.
I also associate chowder with summer. It seems counter-intuitive to stop and get a bowl of chowder on a screaming hot day on your way to the beach, but it is something that we do all the time. We stop at The Clam Bar, eat a bowl of soup in sweltering, humid heat, and then head to Longport Beach. There, the only options are red or white clam chowder, but I love a chowder that showcases the star of the summer – corn. If you are going to make corn chowder, do yourself a favor and use the freshest, sweetest, summer corn that you can find. The end result is night and day better. I served this soup with a salad and warm, crusty bread. This simple soup is comforting and a perfect way to welcome summer.
6 slices thick cut bacon
1 medium onion, diced
3 scallions, sliced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
5 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken broth
1 large potato, peeled and grated
salt and pepper
In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium to medium high heat. When the bacon is brown and crispy, take the bacon out and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Pour out most of the fat, leaving about 3 Tablespoons in the pan.
Check for seasoning, and add salt and pepper as needed. Top with reserved bacon and scallions. Serve with crusty bread. This recipe comes from Fine Cooking.