Dinner · Soup

Step-Parenting & Corn Chowder

I sat in a coffee shop with my now-husband, then-boyfriend, after three months of dating. We discussed the pros and cons. The benefits and the potential risks. We wanted to do it right. We wanted to make it all okay. And then we looked at each other and he said, “It’s time.”

It was time.

That afternoon we drove towards Aldrich Elementary for the first time in my life. The first time of hundreds of times. We went through the pick-up line, a far more stressful event than I remember from my youth.

And then a curly-headed ball of energy came bouncing towards the car. He hopped in the back and clicked his buckle.

“Hi, Papa!”

I turned around and introduced myself. I asked him about his teacher and what he did that day. He briskly answered and then launched into a monologue about Pokemon the entire ride home.

I made them dinner, only to discover a very picky eater. I don’t remember what I made but I remember the birth of this desire to feed him food he loved.

We colored a picture of the penguin together and I left after he’d brushed his teeth and was ready for bed.

This wasn’t the journey to motherhood I imagined for myself. But it was the beginning for me.

In the past six years, Brau and I have created a bond that runs as deep as any genetic code could. I’ve tended wounds, hugged away tears, produced the best belly laughs in town, and helped to form quite the almost thirteen-year-old foodie.

The path to young foodie-dom was not smooth. There were tears. There were disgusted faces and total upset. But I remained cool and collected and knew, I just knew, I’d figure the kid out.

He still doesn’t like cheese. Unless it’s melted and paired with bread or pasta.

But we’re getting there.

And one of the badges of accomplishment is this corn chowder. Brau’s Corn Chowder. He begs for it at least once a week.

Brau’s Corn Chowder

Serves: 10-12ish

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 6 C yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 2 T salt
  • 12 C chicken stock
  • 1 T black pepper
  • 6 C white potatoes, chopped
  • 10 C frozen corn (3 lbs.)
  • 2 C half & half
  • 1/2 lb. white cheddar cheese, grated

Instruments

  • Stockpot
  • Stirrin’ spoon
  • Various measuring cups, spoons, etc.
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot, over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until it is crisped to your liking. (We’re a super crispy bacon household – better for crumbling imo.) Remove the bacon and set aside on paper towels or a paper bag to cool. Crumble.
  2. Add the olive oil and butter to the pot and reduce the heat to medium, Add the onions and cook 10 minutes. You’re looking for those onions to just be getting that pretty golden on-the-way to caramelized look.
  3. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour smell is gone and it’s bubbly and golden.
  4. Add the chicken stock, whisking as you pour. Then dump in the potatoes ad bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes
  6. Add the corn and cook five minutes.
  7. Add the half & half and cheese and mix well to incorporate. Season to taste and garnish with crumbled bacon.

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