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The Cottage August/Mabon 2002


New England Clam Chowder

Magickal Attributes : Maternal instinct, Nurturing, Health, Protection, Earth magic, Sexual energy

Celebrations : Any celebrations for the Goddess, Lunar magick rituals, Celebrations in preparation for a birth, Harvest festivals, Any winter celebration, Any ritual for sexual energy


Magickal Ingredients Include

CLAMS Venus Water Sexual energy, Pleasure
POTATOES Moon Earth Protection, Compassion
MILK Moon Water Spirituality, Love



5 Dozen hard-shelled clams or 3 cups Shucked clams

1 Cup water

3 Cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice

2 Ounces salt pork or slab bacon, in 1/4 inch pieces, optional

1 Clove garlic, minced

1/4 Teaspoon thyme

2 Quarts milk or 2 1/2 quarts, if cream is omitted

1 Pint heavy or light cream of extra richness if desired

1 Teaspoon salt if desired

Pinch cayenne pepper

Fresh ground black pepper

Paprika to dust servings

Scrub clams under running water, place them in a steamer or large covered kettle with 1 cup water to cover the bottom. Cook gently over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the shells open. Stir the clams once or twice while steaming.

Remove clams from vessel and set aside to cool before removing meat. Continue cooking the broth until it is reduced in volume to about 1 1/2 cups. Set aside.

In a small saucepan cover potatoes with lightly salted water and cook until tender, but not mushy, about 12 minutes, over medium heat, Drain and set aside.

In a skillet cook salt pork or bacon bits over medium-low heat, about 8 minutes, or until the pieces are browned. Turn the heat down when almost cooked so as not to burn.

Lift the fried bits out of the skillet with a slotted spoon and reserve. Drain all but one tablespoon of fat from the skillet. Add the diced onion, garlic and thyme. Cover the skillet and set over medium low heat until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook about 3 minutes.

Remove the clams from the shells and, with a sharp knife, cut away the tough meat surrounding the soft centers. Chop or process this meat but reserve the soft gray centers.

Over moderate heat, and without stirring, heat the milk to scalding hot. A skin will form on the surface and the temperature will be between 180 -190 degrees F.

Add the chopped portions of the clams, potatoes and onions. Add cream if desired.

Bring the temperature back to scalding. Strain the reserved 1 1/2 cups of clam broth through a double thickness of cheesecloth and add to the pot. Allow the chowder to cook at this temperature for 5-6 minutes.

Add the reserved soft clam pieces, salt and cayenne pepper 3 minutes before the chowder is taken off the heat. Taste for seasoning.

Serve hot in deep bowls with a light sprinkling of black pepper and a dusting of paprika.


Bernard Clayton Jr."The Complete Book of Soups and Stews"