Friday, October 14, 2011

clam chowder

I knew it was serious when he bought my clam chowder.  Danny and I had been hanging out for a few months.  He and his roommate Stu were often at our apartment...or my roommates and I at theirs.  Stu and Heidi (one my roommates) were dating.  Danny and I enjoyed each other's company...and I was entertained by his flirting...but we were just friends.  Spring break was approaching and we decided to go on a road hometown (Petaluma, CA).  Danny, Stu, Heidi and I loaded in Danny's car and we made our way to California.

On our first day in Petaluma we decided to make the short drive to the city...San Fransisco.  We walked...visited Alcatraz and headed to Pier 39 around lunch time.  We chose Boudin Bakery for clam chowder in a bread bowl.  To my surprise, Danny bought my lunch.  Danny takes going out to eat and spending $ seriously.  So seriously that buying my lunch was like a flashing neon sign...DANNY LIKES ME.  I wasn't sure what to do or think. 

After lunch we found the car and began driving around.  Danny decided to pull over at a park just after we visited Lombard street.  Stu and Heidi jumped right out...and I tried to stay as close (like glue!) to Heidi as I could.  :)  A romantic walk in the park...I wasn't ready.  I was scared.  Did I like him????  Did I want to marry him...after all---he did by my lunch ;) 

Later that night Danny and I were talking on the couch in my parent's living room.  "You don't want to talk about this..." he observed.  I was awkward and Danny was relaxed.  "Do you like me?" he asked.  I did like him.  He made me laugh.  He treated everyone he knew with kindness.  He was always happy.  He was (and still is) handsome.  He was ambitious, strong, smart...What wasn't to like?  So I told him my rule.  It was a rule to protect my heart... "I am not kissing anyone who is kissing anyone else."

Danny understood...but he wasn't sure how committed he was.  He had just taken a young lady out the week before, after all.  He was planning on taking her out again.  :) So we said "goodnight" with out a kiss.

The next morning the four of us headed out with my family to the ocean and then to church.  By the end of our road trip back to school---he had forgotten all about "what's her name" and it was official.  We were together~  and he has been buying me lunch ever since...

The fall weather inspires soup in our kitchen.  I combined a few different recipes and created my own version of clam chowder...

Clam Chowder
1 cube of butter
3/4 c. flour

Make a rue and add...
16 oz. of clam juice
8 c. of water
4 chicken or vegetable boullion cubes
1 large onion finely chopped
7-8 med. to lg. red potatoes diced
4-6 individual celery stalks chopped
garlic salt (a few heavy dashes)  real garlic with sea salt would be even better
paprika (a few heavy dashes)

Let this cook until potatoes are soft-
then add the following:
2-3 6.5 oz cans of clams with clam juice I did two for my kids but would do three if it was just for Danny and I
cream (half and half for a lighter version) to taste.  I really just pour it in until I like the color, consistency and taste.
2 T. cider vinegar
extra salt and pepper to taste

Cook until warm and then serve with flat leaf parsley (not the Italian curly I have pictured) and lemon wedges.  Have black pepper, red pepper flakes & Tabasco sauce on the table for those who want a kick to their soup.  Have plenty of sourdough bread on hand for dipping...bread bowls get soggy...but some people love them.


Tebbs Family said...

How romantic!!! Keep sharing... (ha ha) You bringing that to book club? All you need to add is some white wine so Kristen and I can get chowder drunk!!!

Lauren said...

Thinking about Boudin's clam chowder and their very best sourdough bread is making me oh so nostalgic for home. mmmmmmmmmmm

dave, catie, and baby b. said...

this is the cutest story! it makes me want to hear more :)