Sunday Afternoon

As my career as a food writer takes shape I find it absolutely impossible to pass up on this challenge, traveling 7 countries, 14 cities, and in a total of 17 days. The plan is to bring all the experiences together and share them with you.

This is the first of many eye opening tours that herald Mic’s return to the band after a 25 year absence. During his last 2 years with the band an inspirational trip to New York started us on a path mysterious to 2 anti-authoritarians, raising a child.   For the next 25 years we lived comfortably anonymous and nurtured as you might suspect the most loving child imaginable. Undoubtedly, it was the most valuable journey we have traveled in our 28 years together.

Yes, Mic rejoined the band and once again we are traveling, and yes it’s very different now. Our first trip “back” was to San Diego, and it was exciting with the top down cruising along the warm California coast until we hit the worst Friday afternoon traffic ever imagined and missed the sound check. We took a hard look with a wiser set of eyes and realized the world although not 1981, remains entertaining.

We have made our home in Calaveras County and yet our home is where we are together, regardless of where our travels take us.  Lazy days on the Moke with family and a few Guinness’s will remain in our memories as we anticipate the next trip like little children waiting for the summer break.

My day job still takes me to the valley where I suspect I developed the full tilt flu.  I still won’t succumb to the overwhelming scare propaganda surrounding the flu vaccine. Hopefully, I will not be the initiator of the dreaded pandemic. Stephen King’s “The Stand” keeps coming to mind, and all the scary movies I have an ever watched, haunt me deliciously. This will pass before I board the plane to Munich.

A look at the United States vs European food values is important. Readings, from outside the Time Warner / Clear Channel rhetoric, have turned me on to the European Union (EU) food movements. One notable move has been to reject genetically engineered foods. As an opponent of GE (GMO) foods I am intrigued and impressed by their position.

In spite of that, GM crops account for only 0.05 per cent of the acreage in Europe (100,000 hectares in Spain), while it is 18 per cent of US agriculture which produces 96 per cent of the world’s edible GMOs. The European approach is that there isn’t enough known about this technology, so long-term assessments must be made of the environmental and health impact. The EU also stands for transparency and counter expertise, meaning independent scientific tests.

As a conscientious consumer, the food marketplace is continually changing. Small organic brands have been gobbled up by corporate monopolies and a slight change in a recipe can increase their profits, but affect a consumer’s health. Avoiding GMO foods is one more important endeavor.  Here’s a cool Sunday afternoon recipe…enjoy!

Serves 4-6                                             Seafood Chowder   For a quicker meal use organic broths in 32 ounce containers found in many grocery stores. A creamy texture and the faint flavor of onion or chicken broth does not overpower the chowder. I do not use any salt in the preparation of soups (except for ingredients with salt added) allow guests to salt to taste.  

1 medium onion

4 medium potatoes

32 ounces of vegetable, chicken or fish stock (low sodium)

1 cup of milk or half and half (I prefer goats milk it’s creamy)

2 tablepoons of butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

Juice from 1/2  lemon

½ cup of clams or 2 cans of clams  (6-8 oz cans) with juice

 ¼ lb of medium shrimp

¼ lb of large scallops cut in half

½ cup of croutons

Pinch of marjoram

Bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

2-4 tablespoons of sifted flour or Wondra to thicken  

Heat the olive oil and butter in a stockpot . Add the sliced onion, diced potatoes (not too small) and garlic and cook slowly until onion is golden. Add the broth, lemon juice, clams and bay leaf and cook on low covered for 30 minutes.  Add the scallops and shrimp and cook for 5 minutes covered. Add the milk and marjoram and the sifted flour or Wondra and thicken stirring constantly and heat thoroughly. Serve with “Easy to Love Croutons”.  

Easy to Love Croutons

4 -6 slices of bread broken into bite size pieces

¼ cup of olive oil

2 cloves of fresh garlic

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of rosemary

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 large plastic bag

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the spices into the olive oil. Place the bread into the bag. Add the olive oil mixture seal and rotate the bag trying to get olive oil on all the bread pieces.

Pour the croutons onto a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crispy. Conduct a taste test! Turn the light on in the oven and keep an eye on the progress.

I have a nice dip for these croutons next time if you behave.

Let me know if you make either or both of these recipes and how well they turn out. Bon Appetit!



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3 responses to “Sunday Afternoon

  1. Mic

    Incredible chowder, one of my absolute favorite meals. The large scallops are very tender! They say don’t eat soup from restaurants. This is the cure.

  2. Mary

    This sounds absolutely delicious – when I go to the market tomorrow I intend to pick up all the ingredients to make this chowder. My mouth is already watering…

  3. Mary

    We had this most delicious, scrumptious soup for dinner tonight – All I can say is it was FABULOUS..

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