Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mom's Perfect Chowder.... perfected.

I have high aspirations for my children.

First, I desire that they learn to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, and minds.

After that I'm okay with whatever they want to do. Emma can move to Africa and save the world. Mandy can dye her hair pink. Remington can be anti-guns if he wants to (it would be a little hard to accept, but we could adjust).

But what I hope for and dream of is that someday my children will call and ask me for a recipe.

Any recipe will do. My pot roast, the delicious oatmeal that only I can make "just right," or Grandma's chicken bake. It is just that asking for a recipe is a loaded question. To me it says, "1) you are a fantastic cook, oh blessed mother, 2) my childhood was blissful thanks to you, oh blessed mother, and 3) I'm needing some comfort food because I miss you, oh blessed mother."

About 8 years ago, I called my own blessed mother and asked her for her recipe for Corn Chowder. My mom was/is a fantastic cook and I was missing her, missing my childhood, and simpler things. I just needed some comfort food and that chowder was what I craved.

I recently found the scratch paper envelope where I wrote down what she told me. It's really simple:

1 quart water
1 can corn
1 quart milk + corn starch to thicken
salt and pepper

As with all the cooking I do, I have a hard time leaving well enough alone. I make this recipe (or something similar) often during the winter. I change a few things and this is Mom's Chowder Perfected:


1 quart chicken broth
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried marjoram or rosemary
2 cups chopped cooked ham or a few strips of bacon cooked and cut up
3-4 medium potatoes cut up bite sized (skins on)
3 medium carrots, diced small (skins on)
Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes and carrots are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
1 can corn with juices
1 quart cold milk + 4 Tbs. corn starch
Bring to a simmer until thickened.

It is even better the next day and makes plenty for leftovers. But it is a great, hearty soup that is ready in just over 15 minutes. I usually throw some corn bread in the oven as I'm starting the soup. Voila. Dinner is served. Emotional needs are met. Family is satisfied. Mission accomplished.

What foods do you crave from your childhood?


Sherri said...

yes, it has to have marjoram or it won't taste like mom's:) and if you remember it from the days of when we got milk from a real cow, it always had at least some cream. Feel the arteries clogging? (bacon too!)

Sherri said...

Oh and what I crave? my grandma Friesen's zobble zup (sorry for my butchered German if there is any one who cares)(green bean and ham soup)

Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs said...

I concur! Your mom's corn chowder is amazing, and a staple in our house!!

Sara said...

My mom's beef pot roast is probably my absolute favorite comfort food. I now make it for my own family the exact same way...and sometimes you can even find me licking the gravy off the spoon as I'm cleaning up the dishes - it's that good. =) I also love the lasagna she always made when I was a kid, but she's since LOST the recipe. Pooh.

Sara said...

Oh, and my mom makes the best mashed potatoes out of anyone's I've tried that go perfectly with the roast.

joyq said...

I can't wait to make this! It is happening sister! I can't wait to tell you about how I messed it up. :)

Season said...

My mom didn't cook. She actually called me yesterday and asked for a recipe. I told her that was way backwards! You are blessed to have these memories and so are your daughters.

Lindsay said...

Mmm, sounds good.

A couple of my favorite comfort foods growing up were my mom's meatballs and homemade mac-n-cheese. She also makes the best fried chicken. I can't make it nearly as well, in fact, I don't even try anymore. :)

Andee said...

I still love to make mom's Hawaiian chicken or sweet and sour chicken, or what ever you wan to call it. Meanwhile, we need to chat about the soup. #1 You must cook the bacon in the pan then put all the other stuff in on account of bacon fat makes everything taste better. #2 Carrots? Really? It's gotta be onions. Minced up really tiny and softened up in the bacon fat.
There. Now it's perfect. :)