Saturday, May 24, 2008
When I was growing up in Washington State, we were surrounded by dozens of beautiful lakes. Come summer many friends & neighbors, would pack up & take off to the lake for June, July & August. I remember one girl I knew, who's family would leave the day after school was out & didn't return till a couple days before school resumed! Can you imagine! As a child I simply could not imagine a better summer vacation!!!.....As a grown up, I am very content to have everything right here at our house!.... our backyard pool, lovely yard & patio...& no commute! However, I still love the romantic thought of a "summer home", nestled in the woods overlooking a sparkling lake. In my mind it would be a house that had been in our family for years, one that our grandparents or great-grandparents had purchased years before. It would be a place where summers were spent skipping rocks, picking huckleberries & toasting marshmallows!...The original decor would basically still be intact, with all the bedrooms dressed with sheer "priscilla" curtains & hand-made quilts adorning every bed. In my mind I can see braided ruds & antique wicker furniture & photographs of family members over the years, all sun-kissed & relaxed.....I love those images!......However, when I really think about it, most of those images are ones that I can duplicate right here at our house!....(O.K., maybe not the "skipping rocks"!).....And the memories will be the same,.....of a happy family enjoying summer!.......
When I envision a "Summer House", this is what I see!......
And on all the beds will be "heirloom quilts" like these, slightly worn, but soft & cozy!
And since I have been slightly negligent about posting my recipes, I thought I would sneak one in!....In my "Summer House" nothing would taste better than a big pot of "Cheddar Corn Chowder" simmering on the stove!...especially this particular recipe from Ina Garten!... Doesn't she look summery in her denim shirt & holding those happy sunflowers!
INA GARTEN'S CHEDDAR CORN CHOWDER: ( serves 10-12)
8 ounces bacon, chopped 1/4 cup good olive oil 6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions) 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1/2 cup flour 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 12 cups chicken stock 6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds) 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds) 2 cups half-and-half 8 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with garnish of bacon.