Foodie Friday — New England Clam Chowder

clam chowder

The scene: California, 1983. Scrawny Singaporean Chinese child on a package tour of the USA with her parents. Tries a bowl of New England Clam Chowder and falls in love with soup forever. Saltine crackers add just that little extra bit to perfection. Child orders New England Clam Chowder at every opportunity. 20+ years later, I still choose the soup any time I see it on a menu.

That’s the story of my love affair with New England Clam Chowder, basically. I have tended to favour Campbell’s condensed version for home microwaving, and even for canned it’s pretty good. I like the clams, but LOVE the potatoes.

It’s pretty much impossible that I will ever use this recipe (unless I can persuade Neil’s mum to give it a go), so I shall just salivate from afar.

History was made today

Happy Australia Day to my three Aussie readers! May you drink XXXX or VB, eat burgers with beetroot in them, chase the flies away, munch on a meat pie with red sauce, and, most importantly, HAVE A BARBECUE!

My kind of animal — the sloth

Scientists in Germany were trying to study animal movement, and got stuck at ‘sloth’ when the animal refused to budge for anything. Sloths have a great attitude, man. And the scientists did learn something. Sloths don’t move. Much.

She must have been living under a very plush rock for some time

Phil has posted about some girl on Shipwrecked, yet another stupid reality show.

“I don’t appreciate how people come into our country and take over our country. Britain’s really not Britain anymore.

“My mind is completely open to different cultures, but I don’t think they should bring them to Britain.

“I don’t like fat people, I don’t really like really ugly people, I don’t like it when foreigners come into this country and they don’t take on British culture and British values.

“I’m for the British Empire and things. I’m for slavery, but that’s never going to come back.”

I’m guessing she doesn’t welcome the fact that I (and loads of other economic migrants) pay taxes to the British government (that pays for British people who dole-bludge) but do not have the right to say or do anything about anything. I’m guessing she wants a nation of thin, good looking, straight white people who live in Westminister whose only qualification is being thin, white, straight, and good looking. Oh, and bring back slavery. Because that was a good idea.

The fact that she has come from a boarding school is indicative that that boarding school did not educate her. Her mother and others can say she’s only young and silly, but she’s 18. Being young and silly at 18 is getting drunk and puking on your siblings. It is not saying that immigrants are only welcome if they completely abandon their culture and turn into chavs. If she hasn’t worked out fundamental moral issues by the time she’s 18, she’s going to end up quite surprised when she climbs out from that rock she’s been living under.

By the way, I think her views tell us a lot about what her family believes, too.

Can’t keep anything good


I got a DVD from my sister (Heading South).

Mark and Kristen sent me a scarf to match the hat I got for Christmas, and the book The Devil in the White City. This was recommended to me a number of months ago by young Jeff in California. Dr HH Holmes, America’s first acknowledged serial killer is one of two main characters, and since I’ve read about his crimes in the past, I’m quite excited about this. I also got a card about dogs and blogs. Very funny.

Then, I managed to uncover a secret plan to make me a turkey dinner for my birthday (I asked what the turkey defrosting on the counter was for). And Neil has invited his sister and her new man (we call him Shabba) to the Ben Folds concert tomorrow night. I really hope he plays some of my favourites. Mainly Song For the Dumped and Rockin’ the Suburbs.

No surprises so far (good), and no, I can never be kept waiting when it comes to birthday pressies.

Rabbie Burns

portrait of Robert BurnsToday is Burns’ Eve. Robert Burns was born on 25th January 1759. He wrote Auld Lang Syne, and Neil mentions every time it’s mentioned that people only know the first verse and chorus.

(On a related note, I’ve read the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne, and I still don’t think I could manage with that accent.)

I’ve been ‘blessed’ to be born on or near dates of national importance in two of the countries I’ve lived.

I don’t think there’ll be a formal Burns Supper cooked at home tomorrow, although we do occasionally get haggis for our supper. And I will not be waxing lyrical (haha) about haggis. The Selkrik Grace, on the other hand, is another matter:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

Thank you for meat. Heehee.

Never trust a stranger (or a tattoo artist you don’t know)

Terry sends me the breaking news that an Argentinian football fan wanted to get a tattoo of his favourite team on his back, and went to a tattoo artist who was a fan of their rival. Result? He got a tattoo of a penis. It’s one thing to sue the artist, but now he’s going to either have to live with a willy on his back or get a cover-up job that won’t be as good — had the original idea been executed.