Wednesday, December 30, 2009

No Photo

Chowder looks like throw-up.
There must be some dreamy way to light a bowl of the stuff for a non-gag-worthy picture. To get a seductive angle. To use a perfect dish. A drape of silverware, an artistically posed cracker or two. Candles? Grandma's antique napkins?
Well, I didn't think of any of that. I had a hot pot of soup that needed eating, and all I could do was slop some in a bowl and click away in the wan winter light.
OK! Right, then! Now you're in the mood to hear how good it was.
It was very good.
We had some smoky smoked salmon. It was sort of an accidental purchase, and it needed a destination.
Potatoes and onions, natch. A little bag of frozen corn kernels from last summer. Milk and butter, and some (alternative) flour. Salt and pepper.
I liked the technique: Melt too much butter in a heavy pot, and sizzle your chopped onions in it until they're soft. Then, toss a little flour all over it. Stir, cook, stir. Now add your milk. This chowder is at least half solid chunks, so you're not going to need a lot of liquid to sate your appetite. Stir, cook, stir; the onions in the pot are making it easy for you to get an emulsion without whisking. Throw in cubed potatoes (not much; I used half a tater for two appetites) and get them cooking. I added (dried!) dill and parsley at this point. Could have used a bay leaf but I forgot. Don't know why I didn't think of celery, but didn't really need any. Finally, add chopped smoked salmon (easy does it, seriously, just a little) and corn kernels. Salt, pepper. Taste. This is really a fast chowder.
I concocted it all without tasting it even once, until the end. It was perfect. I don't know why, but it really was.
It didn't look like something you wouldn't put in your mouth.
Until I processed the photos. Urgh. Thank goodness I had already eaten.


kudzu said...

Sometimes it's those nasty-looking things that taste best. I still really like that 1940's standby (read war time) creamed dried beef on toast. Everybody knows what it was called in the military, but that doesn't stop me from making it now and then for a Sunday breakfast.

The chowder sounds really balanced -- and that's what's important. (That and the fact that you loved it.)

mentalie said...

i've been reading you blog for awhile and i love your recipes and descriptions. have never made chowder before and erm...despite its unfortunate appearance you make it sound delicious. in fact, i think i'll give it a shot for my very first meal in 2010 tomorrow. after tonight's revelries, i'm sure a bowl of warm soup will be very welcome!
oh and happy new year :)

Michelle said...

It sounds absolutely yummy! I can totally get what you say about it not photographing well....put a sprig of parsley on top. Parsley makes everything pretty, right??

dancingmorganmouse said...

Brutto ma Buono !

Zoomie said...

Like your message to Cheney. What an assh*le he is.

Amy Sherman said...

After trying to take pictures of Mushroom Stroganoff I thought it might be fun (or revolting) to host a Most Disgusting Food Photo contest. Sort of a Distaste Spotting. Or Food Gacker. What do you think?

El said...

Happiest New Year to you and Cranky!!

Sometimes, 1000 words beat pictures, don't you agree?

Heather said...

Chowder is not a pretty food. Seriously, even food-styled chowder on TV looks like lumpy smegma (there's some imagery for ya). It's the flavor that matters, and I know yours was a delight.

Happy new year, Cookie!

Zoomie said...

Amy Sherman, I think that's brilliant! I have a couple of shots to post if you decide to do that. Be sure to let me know! :-)

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Yeah, comfort food is ugly. I can't BELIEVE you eat SOS! Now I want some.

Mentalie: I'm so pleased you've delurked. I wish you a successful bowl of warm soup, and a fabulous 2010.

Michelle: Ha ha! I would have had to carpet this chowder with parsley. (Hm. Might be good.)

Mouse: Ugly but Not So Very Bad! Grazie.

Zoomie: Remember when he said the very same thing on the Senate floor? To a senator? Pig.

Amy: Are you this funny? Hilarious. Food Gacker. Yeah, I'm totally behind the idea. The rules would have to be: "Don't stage a deliberate ugly photo."

El: I like me some words. Happy New Year to you!

Heather: Chortle. Seriously, I haven't said "smegma" since about junior high. Har! HNY, my darlin'.

peter said...

Chives. Lots of chives.

cookiecrumb said...

Peter: That would be great. My chive bed from last year is already sending up volunteers.