Orcas Island Visit and Clam Chowder

Two ferries and a late night victory over Seattle Friday traffic recently landed us on Orcas Island where we attended Bullock’s fall plant sale and tour. It was an opportunity to see plants in full growth and wander amongst their wild grounds and lovely gardens. Optimistically, we brought back an Italian Stone Pine that is suited to this climate. In six years, we’ll have homegrown pine nuts for our pizzas!

One spontaneous turn down a beautiful lane, took us rather accidentally to Buck Bay Shellfish Farm, a third generation shellfish farm selling seafood right in sight of the bay its pulled from. The child slurped his first fresh oyster, pronounced it delicious, and then proceeded to munch down half of a big Dungeness crab. What a snack!
With a plan to make chowder when we reached home, we grabbed an onion, a few potatoes, and two pounds of clams. The next day, we added some celery from our deck garden and, as we sat at our table at home on our own island, we could still taste the sea of Orcas.

IMG_3961Creamy Clam Chowder

Being a clam chowder novice, I appreciated the clear directions and well-tested procedures outlined by Serious Eats. I made the recipe exactly as stated and would encourage you to do the same. I used water not clam stock. and chose thick-cut Hitchcock bacon.  My trusty immersion blender created a nice emulsion. This soup reheated well the next day.