Clam chowder did not set out to be a ritual.
But, somewhere along the retirement life, it settled into a comfortable, enjoyable Friday tête-à-tête for two mortals who after eight decades still vastly enjoyed each other’s company.
It started because both bipeds thoroughly enjoyed the thick soup, rich in the offerings of sea and the soil. Every restaurant we frequented that was worthy of their franchise offered a far better, thicker bowl of chowder than I could make at home. So together my husband and I spent some happy times relishing this bounty.
To be truthful, after a week’s activities, neither of we lazy octogenarians really much liked slicing, dicing, or sautéing anything. So an end-of-the-week habit turned into a nearly ceremonial custom with the elixir we called clam chowder.
Thus was the Friday lunch born. Its genesis was a nutritious pottage, its longevity the tasty nature of the concoction itself.
Over crisp green salads we exchanged conversation: How was bowling today? Did you read the emails from the kids? Mercy, it is hot, isn’t it? We prattled through a basket of crusty bread and simply inhaled our chowder.
Life was good.
Little did we know that those Friday lunches were finite, that too soon they would be no more.
I still eat clam chowder. In the northwest, where I have relocated, chowder is omnipresent in cafés, pubs, and grocery stores. It is still savoury, a delicious treat. It would be almost impossible NOT to find a decent crock of chowder handily at whim’s reach. Both castles stock it in their larders and serve it piping hot with a sprinkle of herbs and crunchy crackers.
The minions know it is one repast that is familiar and fancied. A dish Mom will like. But not on a Friday, please.