Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mmmm...Clam Chowder With a Hard Freeze

 Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.
I cut down all the mature dill in the green house yesterday. It should've lasted a lot longer but we've had unbelievably cold temps for Paulden. Dill is tolerant to thirty-two degrees, but we registered in the teens a couple of nights, and as low as ten once. Now that's a hard freeze. The poor guys were laying out flat. Looks like we need a stronger heater for these rare occasions. The small plants just coming up don't look dead to me, but a few more days will tell. And we'll plant more. Our pickles and relish require massive amounts of dill.

The orchard got a major trim. This trim was like the long-haired hippie dude who joined the marines. We haven't given a lot of attention to the fruit trees. They had been neglected for the two years before we moved in. We cleaned up the orchard and had apples and pears only the first year. This year we had nothing. Paulden is not a fruit friendly growing environment. So why not go drastic? Lance did the research and went crazy with the chainsaw. We definitely won't have fruit next year, but who knows after that. Maybe what they needed was a good shaping cut.

Boiled and slightly mashed potatoes.
Today's recipe was last night's dinner - clam chowder. These nights of hard temp freezes begs for comfort food. I used white potatoes, onions and carrots from our fields. And as you know, I cook by feel or taste so all amounts are up to you depending on how much you want to make and your tastes.

Cut up and boil potatoes until soft. Half mash them. You want some chunks. The mashed ones are what gives the soup it's thickness.

Cook carrots and cut into small pieces. We like quite a few in our
Cook carrots, saute onions.

In a large kettle, spoon in about three tablespoons of butter. Real butter is best. And if you really like butter and richness, add more if you like. Chop and then saute in the butter an onion. I'm assuming it's a big onion. We're down to our small ones so I actually used three onions tonight.

Mix all of the above together in the kettle and add enough half and half, milk and a bit of clam juice to the consistency you like. We like ours thick. I tend to use more half and half than milk too. Rich, rich, rich.

Clam Chowder
Add chopped clams. We like ours so clammy that you get clams with every bite.

And finally, here is where you can get creative. For spices, we like cayenne pepper and Mrs. Dash garlic blend. Gives it a bit of a bite, but you can spice it up anyway you like.



  1. good on ya for pruning the fruit trees...and the clam chowder looks tasty and simple.

    if he pruned back to fruiting spurs you should get fruit this coming year...many fruit trees set fruit every other year.

    1. It looks to me like he pruned back to nothing. LOL We'll see.

  2. What perfect weather for a good soup. It looks delicious. You convinced to take the left over turkey out of the freezer and make some turkey and long grain rice soup. Thanks, Brenda.

    1. Oh love turkey soup. Thanks for chiming in, Aubrey!