Over a Cup of Coffee: Christmas Eve Soup
As part of a Christmas Eve tradition, our family enjoys soup with the evening meal, usually oyster stew. In earlier years, when our children lived in Craig, we spent Christmas Eve with our son Jamie and family. Daughter-in-law Brandi always fixed crockpots of clam chowder and oyster stew. We had nibble food and sweets, like homemade candy, to round out the meal.
So, in honor of tradition, this week’s column features soup recipes.
• 1 pint shucked oysters
• 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
• 1 quart rich milk
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• Celery salt
Melt butter. Add drained oysters, and cook 3 minutes or until edges curl. Add milk (you can also use evaporated milk for extra richness, if you like), oyster liquid, salt, and pepper. Bring to almost boiling. A sprinkle of celery salt is good, or you can let guests serve themselves. Garnish with a little paprika. Makes 6 servings.
New England Clam Chowder
• 2 dozen shucked clams or 2 (10-ounce) cans minced clams
• 1/4 pound salt pork or bacon
• 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
• 3 large potatoes, pared and cubed
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 2 cups boiling water
• 1 quart milk
• 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
• 1 teaspoon flour
Drain the liquid from the clams, and set aside. Fry salt pork or bacon in a large saucepan until crisp and browned. Add onion slices; brown slightly. Add potato cubes, seasoning, and boiling water. Cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add clams, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes more, until potatoes are tender. Add milk, 1 tablespoon of butter, and heat gently. Meanwhile, melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Remove from heat and stir in the flour. Gradually add the clam liquid. Return to heat and cook, stirring, until thickened. Just before serving, stir the thickened sauce into the hot chowder. Serves 6 to 8.
Both these recipes came from my old cookbooks.
Do you have recipes you enjoy serving for New Years? If so, please call me at 970-824-8809, or write to me at PO Box 415, Craig, CO 81626.
So much for the models that predicted a cool, wet summer for us here in western Colorado — at least I think it’s hot this July. Ranchers are probably relieved that it’s been a good haying season, and after the cool spring, it’s nice to have a “normal” summer, but it is indeed hot.