Late Summer ’11

•September 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment
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Hudson Alan Clark…

•April 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Hudson Alan Clark - Born at 10:02am on April 24, 2011 - 6 lbs 5.5 oz & 18"


First peek





Later...

Is this thing on?

•March 28, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Microphone check, micro-microphone checka… We’re back (thanks to the iPhone WordPress app)! 10 month update coming soon…

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Haiti 2010 Volunteer Relief Effort

•May 21, 2010 • 1 Comment

Staci and I are heading to Haiti in June to help rebuild an orphanage that was destroyed in the earthquake and to care for children in the City of Port-au-Prince and we are running out of time for raising money. We just found out that the deadline for online donations is end of day tomorrow (5/22). I am still trying to find out if donating online won’t be an option at all after tomorrow, or if that date is just an administrative target. In any case, we would certainly put to good use any donations mailed directly to us after tomorrow. We are going to Haiti with a group of 18 other people and will be bringing medical supplies, food, and other items in place of personal luggage. If you’re interested in supporting us on this trip, you can donate by selecting either of our names from the list of folks in the Volunteer Program at the following website:

http://www.ffcin.org/blog/donate/

On the right hand side of the page you will see a section titled “Foundation for Children in Need Donation & Funds”. Under “Volunteer Program” there’s a drop-down that reads “Select a name to DONATE”. We’re toward the bottom of the list and they spelled our last name with an “e” :). It doesn’t matter which one of us you pick. The cost to get the two of us there for a week is $3,000 and any additional money we raise will go to building and medical supplies, as well as shoes and food for the children. If you would like to donate but are skeptical of putting credit card info online or don’t have a PayPal account, you can send a check directly to us at our home address (email me or comment on the blog and I will send the address if you don’t have it). Remember, all charitable donations are tax deductible.

Thank you in advance for your support. We truly appreciate it! This is a huge opportunity for us and we couldn’t do it without the support of others.

Best Regards,
Andy & Staci Clark

Grammy’s New England Clam Chowdah…

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I like food, a lot. At some point over the last 5 or 6 years I realized if I like food, I better learn to make it and start pulling my weight around the kitchen. Now I like to cook. I like cooking even more in the late fall and through the winter because the hearty, body warmin’ dishes are some of my favorites. Clam chowder is just such a meal and Grammy made the best. Don’t get me wrong, this is a staple year-round for an ex-pat New Englander. When the Christmas tree goes up though, it’s the first meal I think of because Grammy always made a cask of it for Christmas Eve. The tree went up today, so let’s get shuckin’:

INGREDIENTS:
clams (and lots of ’em)
4 cans minced clams
4 cans chopped clams
3 cans whole clams
3 bottles clam juice
large yellow onion (diced)
6 fist-sized potatoes (peeled; cube 4 and dice 2)
1 quart half-and-half (don’t be afraid to go low-fat here, but don’t tell Grammy)
some of your favorite brew – I use Guinness here (my own addition – again, don’t tell Grammy!)
few heaping tablespoons flour
stick o’ butter
cracked pepper

HOW TO:
Open a Guinness for yourself. Melt a few tablespoons butter in your BFP and sautee the onion on low-mid heat. Open all the canned clams – DON’T DRAIN. You’ve earned one, so go ahead and open a second beer and generously pour half on the sauteed onion. Discard the remaining half by drinking it. Pour clam juice AND liquid from all but 2 of the cans of clams. Add potatoes, a few tablespoons of butter, and turn up the heat for a nice rolling boil. Add some pepper. Stir frequently and keep checking the potatoes. They are ready when soft enough to mash. I like to get a little crazy here and toss the hand masher in their for a couple whacks. I like to have varying sizes and consistencies. Whether you want to smash some or not, it’s time to add all the clams. REMEMBER: You still have two liquid-filled cans. Before those little guys get tossed in the BFP, drain the liquid into a small bowl and slowly whisk in the flour. Add half-and-half and some more pepper. Stir well. Reduce heat to low and, once the chowder is heated through, slowly stir in your clammy-flour thickener. Add pepper. Keep stirring until it tastes good. As always, serve with bread and beer. In this case I paired with pale ale. I find that something magical happens if you have the same beer you used in your recipe – or that could just be the beer talking. See for yourself.

Kalen Kollage #4

•November 28, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Pics from Thanksgiving 2009

the fam

My somewhat edible contribution…

•November 27, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So I decided to take a stab at making my own version of Lakeside Farms’ squashy-apple bisque as a first course to Thanksgiving dinner. The family complained hardly at all about it, so I decided to share my recipe here:

INGREDIENTS:
stick o’ butter
olive oil
celery bunch
large sweet onion
container of chicken stock
2 containers of veggie stock
3-4 medium-sized butternut squash (save seeds and stringy stuff)
4-5 cored and peeled tart apples (Granny Smith, Rome Beauty or Arkansas Black)
salt-N-pepa
thyme (fresh or dried)
tarragon
maple syrup

HOW TO:
In a big friggin’ pot (BFP), add a healthy splash of olive oil and half a stick of butter. Simmer until butter is melted and add chopped onion and bunch of celery (all but the heart sticks). Sautee until soft. In a smaller saucepan, melt the remaining half stick of butter and add squash stringies, seeds and a cup or two of water. Stir often and leave on heat until buttery liquid takes on essence of squash guts. When the buttery squash-gut liquid is nice and orange, strain out the chunks and add liquid to your BFP. Mix thoroughly. All at once, add cubed squash, apples, 1 part chicken stock and 2 parts veggie stock to the BFP, cover, and crank the heat. Stir frequently and add thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper (thyme and tarragon at a ratio of 3:1 and salt and pepper to taste). When squash is soft enough to mash, pour off into a blender and puree. If your blender is like mine and way too small for the job, you’ll need a container (large tupperware joint or similar) to hold the puree before you add all pureed contents back to the BFP to finish. Now that your back to the BFP, add additional quantities of said spices, or just leave it alone. Let it simmer over low heat while flavors develop and add a quick squeeze of maple syrup. I don’t like mine to be too sweet, so I take it easy with the syrup. You can always add more. You can’t take any out without suffering significant burns to the hands and lower forearms. Keep on stirrin’. When it tastes good, you’re done! Top with cinnamon and chive. Serve with bread and beer.