Yesterday was Father's Day. Traditionally for Father's Day I use Photoshop to cobble together some random and ridiculous card for The Box. Past cards have featured The Box at DaVinci's Last Supper table, on the cover of Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, etc. This year we have a blog. I can embarrass him publicly, so that is exactly what I am doing.
The above photo shows The Box back in the day, when he was a strapping life guard in Long Beach Island. Those were the days, huh, Box? Notice he is the one on the life guard chair WITHOUT the girls. Just sayin'.
Speaking of Long Beach Island, as a family we have been lucky enough to enjoy a summer house there. In our detached garage lives a permanent resident - the beer pong table that John rescued many summers ago. The Box and I are a pong team. Despite his size, The Box is a lightweight when it comes to beer injestion. He gets a little silly after 5 or so games, and need a life preserver. And a nap (Above photo: Exhibit A).
Exhibit B: Beer + silliness = funny hat. And yes, i bought him that t-shirt.
When he is not playing beer pong, napping or flexing his muscles (he still does this even sans life guard chair), The Box enjoys playing tricks. Mostly on me. One such trick involved food. You can joke with me about a lot of things. Not food. Just don't do it. Are we clear?
But let's let The Box explain in his own words:
Ardent followers of this blog have certainly noticed the outstanding artwork; fantastic photography; and recipe detail that regularly appear. Elana is the responsible party.
Indeed, unique drive and focus, combined with an “I wanted it yesterday” patience level have always characterized Elana. The image I have is of a much better looking cross between General George Patton and Hannibal Lecter.
Thus, as you may imagine, Elana can be difficult to please (or to fool).
Keeping the aforementioned personal characteristics in mind, some years ago I made an irresponsible promise to make Elana my all-world homemade New England clam chowder. Mind you, this promise was made by someone (me) who rarely cooks anything, let alone, a soup containing a number of cooked ingredients. Of course, this did not stop me from assuring Elana that the homemade New England chowder would be the best that she ever had.
The great day came and Elana arrived home to find a bubbling pot of New England clam chowder awaiting her. She devoured two bowls of the chowder amidst much lip-smacking, followed by effusive compliments on my culinary skills. Parenthetically, I am seldom used to receiving such compliments from my daughter, who is more likely to anoint me with such comments as “…my g.p.a. in college was three times yours…”.
Compliments bestowed on me continued, unabated, until later that evening when, much to my chagrin, she found several cans of Campbell’s Chunky Style New England Clam Chowder in the garbage. At that point, all of the praise turned to scorn and abuse.
Notwithstanding, in her lighter moments (which occur somewhat less frequently than the Leonid Meteor Shower) Elana will acknowledge that the chowder was some of the best she has ever had. Hence, the “recipe”.
Fraudulent New England Clam Chowder Cobbled Together by The Box
Start with four cans of Campbell’s Chunky Style New England Clam Chowder. For me, each can equals one large (bowl) serving.
Open (4) cans (a must) and pour contents into a large saucepan.
Start heating at low heat.
Add four teaspoons of butter and allow to melt. Stir frequently.
Toss in two peeled garlic cloves.
Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Add one quarter diced Vidalia onion.
Add a can of diced/chopped clams. Make sure to drain off the juice first.
Continue to simmer for about fifteen minutes following which your chowder is ready to serve.
Campbell’s is my favorite because it is the thickest New England style mass-market chowder that I have found and good New England chowder should be thick.
Trust me, people, this will be good. Just remember, if you intend to pass this off as your own creation, make sure you secretly dispose of the empty soup cans.
Happy Father's Day, Box! Love General Patton/Hannibal Lecter and the other one (John).