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Halloween Clam Chowder

Halloween Clam Chowder

Waiting for it to turn dark on Halloween felt like one of the longest waiting periods of my childhood. Where I grew up, you weren’t supposed to start trick-or-treating until it was actually dark outside. The spooks only come out at night, you know. So waiting for the sun to set after school felt like an eternity. I remember pacing, waiting, trying in my costume, then taking it off — anything to pass the time.

There was carving the pumpkins, and that helped. My mom would make us wait until the actual day of Halloween to let us carve them so they wouldn’t go bad. It was a pet peeve of hers that I’ve carried on with my kids. Nothing worse than a wilting smelly pumpkin on someone’s porch when you go to ring the doorbell. So carving the pumpkins always took up some time.

Then my mom started a new tradition with us when I was about eight years old, and I absolutely loved it. It not only passed the time, but it was so much fun! Starting at about 3:30, she would start chopping the onions and celery to make calm chowder from scratch for us! I knew once I heard that first chop on the chopping board that trick-or-treating wasn’t too far away!

At first, I wasn’t a fan of the clams, so she wouldn’t put them in (something I suggest for your little monsters too!). But eventually it became my favorite part. She said she was making us something warm and delicious before sending us out in the cold to eat a ton of candy. It was wonderful. It would smell amazing while she was cooking it, and the whole house would warm up as our excitement mounted. The soup itself is absolutely delicious, and the warmth and weight of it would give us the energy to run (yes run) from house to house for the hours we were out. It also helped us not eat quite as much candy. And you can always add more veggies if you like. Some years I add carrots as well — depending on how long my kids will be out.

After the first year, it felt like something we had been doing forever. My kids love it already — as does my husband. He loves to walk in the door on Halloween evening to smell it cooking. And of course he enjoys a bowl himself before we all head out into the night. It’s a wonderful tradition and I’m happy to share it with you! I hope you enjoy it. (And of course it’s wonderful to enjoy any day of the year!)

Halloween Clam Chowder

2 6 1/2 ounce cans of minced clams
1 Cup Onion
1 Cup Celery
2 Cups Potatoes
3/4 Cups Butter
3/4 Cups Flour
1 Quart of Half and Half
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tbls. Red Wine Vinegar
White Pepper to Taste


Drain the clam juice from the two cans over vegetables in a large saucepan. Add water to barely cover the vegetables. Add 1 Tbls salt. Cover and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

In another pan, melt the butter while slowly adding the flour to make a thick paste. Add the half and half and stir over heat with a wire wisk until smooth and thick.

Drain the vegetables of all water. Add the cooked, drained vegetables to the cream mixture. Add the clams and vinegar. Add the white pepper to taste.

I hope this becomes a well-known recipe in your home too! Enjoy!

Recipe from Sarah

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