Clam Chowder

When I was a kid, my parents had a tradition of making our favorite meal for our birthday.  We weren't wealthy and so they couldn't afford to take each of us out to dinner.  But because this was tradition, because it was MY favorite meal, I didn't care that I wasn't going out to eat.  In fact, it kind of bummed me out when there were moving to Wyoming and it was over my birthday that I didn't get my home cooked meal.  Why?  Because my favorite meal was Clam Chowder.

The recipe was passed down from my Grandma Cook.  It's yet another of her great recipes that I've inherited and just love.  Anytime we would go to her house, she'd have it big pot of it waiting for us because she knew how much I loved it.  I still remember going to her house on Halloween to show her our loot and our costumes and walking in to find a bowl waiting just for me.  Now, she used actual celery in her recipe.  The Hubs and the Kiddos are not fans of celery, so I opted to add celery flakes to mine instead.  If you like celery though, you can add it instead - use about 2-3 stalks of minced celery.

Clam Chowder


2 cans minced clams, drained with juices reserved

1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. celery flakes
3/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
Dash of pepper
1 pt. half and half
1 pt. milk


1. Put onions, potatoes, garlic, and celery flakes in a medium saucepan.  Add reserved juices from cans of clams and enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook vegetables until tender (about 15-20 minutes).

2. Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add flour and whisk constantly for 8 minutes to make a roux.  Add salt, sugar, and pepper. Once combined, gradually add half and half and milk, whisking constantly. Continue whisking until all lumps are gone.

3. Add vegetables and liquid to hot white sauce. Let barely come to a boil.

4. Add clams.  DO NOT LET BOIL or clams will become rubbery. Season to taste.

Serves 8