Tales From Our Kitchen: Vol. 1 – The Chowder Incident

tales from our table


Chowder, of any kind can usually be found in any recipe book, or on any table, at any given time.

My family loves a good bowl of rich, creamy chowder on a cold day. After a day of snowmobiling or snowshoeing the flavor and texture will warm you right to the core.

My first memorable experience with chowder happened when I was just a young girl living with my family in out port Newfoundland. The scene of the incident, yes, incident, is one that you could usually see in our home on any given day; my father in the kitchen puttering away while my sister and I fought over the cat and Barbie’s in our room. At this particular time however, our mother was away working towards her Designation in Accounting so Dad was manning the ship so to speak.

My father loves food, he will eat practically anything (that is why I hover when he is in the kitchen because to him a best before date is just that a best before date). On this particular day however he was trying his hand at making a good pot of chowder for him and his girls to enjoy for supper. It was during this culinary adventure that he discovered that we had run out of potatoes and the nearest place to get them was three communities away. Like most families at the time money was scarce, gas wasn’t cheap, and driving to neighboring towns wasn’t always an option. Any body worth their salt could split a penny four ways; my parents were no different.

Trying to be frugal and resourceful, my father (in his infinite wisdom) decided that crinkle cut French fries would be a good substitute for actual potatoes. He assumed that once they soaked in the broth they would become mush and thicken the chowder like a potato would. As you can imagine this was not the case.

That evening as my sister and I sat at the table, patiently waiting for supper my father placed a bowl of milky white broth in front of me. Being the smart ass, inquisitive child that I was, I promptly asked what was in the bowl. “Its soup,” he said. “Soup is not white,” I said looking in to the bowl. (Clearly Pinterest was not a thing back then.) And, it was at that exact moment that a fry floated to the top of the bowl. “There’s fries in this,” I informed him. “No its not” he replied, “its potatoes.”

Naturally, this continued for a period of time ending in a stalemate because I was a somewhat stubborn kid and I WAS NOT eating the white soup with the fries in it. (He still swears that it was good. I am, however, still doubtful.)

Fortunately, since then, I have discovered the wonderful world of chowder (or “white soup” as it is affectionately known in our house), and Dad has gotten much better at cooking it.


Cheers, Maxine

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