Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Traditions

In our family we have a tradition of eating Clam Chowder on Christmas Eve. This year 3 of our 4 children and their families will be at the cabin for Christmas Eve in Island Park, ID. I suggested Clam Chowder from a can but was vetoed. This week Hailey helped me make our traditional Clam Chowder. I guess family traditions aren't traditions unless they are the same every year. The recipe for our traditional Clam Chowder follows. I got it from my visiting teaching companion who brought us a jar one Christmas. She was a wonderful lady who taught me many things.

Bratten's Famous Clam Chwder

2 cans (6 1/2 oz .) minced clams
1 c. finely chopped onions
1 c. finely diced celery
2 c. finely diced potatoes
* 1 cube butter
1/2 c. flour
*1 qurt half and half
1 1/2 t, salt
2 T. red wine vinegar (optional I leave it out and instead add a couple squirts of Louisiana hot sauce to enhance the flavor. It does not make it spicy hot, just makes more flavorful. I add it to many things for that reason - cream sauces, gravies, eggs, etc.)
a few grains of white pepper ( I usually leave this out too and just let people seson at the table.)
Saute onions and celery in a thump of butter. Drain juice from the
clams and pour over the vegetables (potato, celery and onions0 in a small saucepan. If necessary add enough water to barely cover vegtables. Simmer covered, over medium heat until barely tender.
In the meantime melt 3/4 cube of butter in large saucepan. Add flour and blend; Cook and stir for 2-3 min. Add half and half. Cook and stir with french whisk until thick and smooth. (about 7 min.), always stirring in the samd direction. Add undrained vegetables and clams and heat through. (Never boil after clams have been added as the clams will toughen.) Males 8 servings

* really necessary to bring out the flavor of the clams

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