March 31, 2005

Quoting liberally because it says all that I could hope to say but says it so much better:

     “I know that many people agree with the Christensen sisters [that ‘life, in several respects, at any rate, is much like a river’], but it has always seemed to me that life, in several respects at any rate, is more like clam chowder […].

     “Some people’s lives are the kind of chowder made with cream,” I said, “which is quite acceptable, but others are the kind made with tomatoes, which can be superb, especially with a little cayenne.  Each life is like an individual batch of chowder; some have too many potatoes, and others have too much cayenne.  Each has it high points--- “

     “The clams!” suggested Red.

     “Of course,” I said.  “And each has its low points---“

     “The potatoes!” offered Porky.

     “Mmmmm—Not necessarily,” said Red.  “What about the grains of sand that collect at the bottom of the bowl?”

     “Oh, yeah, I forgot about that,” admitted Porky.

     “Those may be the dark, gritty bits at the bottom of any life that one would really rather forget,” I suggested.  “Any dark, gritty bits at the bottom of your life, Porky?”

     “Well—“

     Red and I enjoyed a little snickering at Porky’s expense

     “Of course,” I said, pushing my empty glass toward Red, “some lives have no sand at all, because they’re made with canned clams, but they’re a bland bunch.  Now here comes the real secret to a good chowder or a good life—a good broth.  Why?  Because in any life, even the richest, one finds so many moments that are neither high nor low, those times when you scoop up a spoonful of broth without any clams or potatoes or dark gritty bits at all.”

     “Amen,” said Porky.

       Eric Kraft, Little Follies “Life on the Bolotomy” 

Here's the link to the Eric Kraft website, with an interesting comment on eggs v. clams, just to make it pertinent to Bakerina.

And one more digression, just for o. :

     "You know, they’re a lot like women, clams.  The older women are kinda tough and wily, but they have real flavor.  Those in their prime are sort of the standard, the ideal, but since they’re what most people want, the real connoisseur generally wants something else.  Now the younger ones, well, they are tenderer, and there are times when tenderness is all, but after a few you find yourself wanting something that you can chew on.  And the ones that are too young are a guilty pleasure; you know that you shouldn’t even consider them, but every once in a while, when no one’s looking---"      

     Eric Kraft, Little Follies in “Do Clams Bite?”

So.  Is your life… er, chowder, red or is it white?  We need your best-ever clam chowder recipe ASAP to go with Bakerina’s sourdough.  (P.S.  I'll show my bias and state that I believe the best clam chowder is white.  I'll try to post my recipe on Friday morning to prove it.  Meanwhile, stock up on bacon, potatoes, cream or half-and-half and, of course, clams.  Convince me otherwise?)

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