Quick dinner: Canned clams, pasta, homegrown zucchini

Dinner didn’t happen until around 10pm, which was OK because we snacked.
When it was finally time to cook *someone* was so hungry we opted for the quick & easy menu. Dinner was clams from a can, fresh homegrown zucchini from my aunt’s garden, asparagus from the Farmer’s Market, and light seasoning. Oh, and tiny French baguettes from Fresh & Easy. Perfect size for one person. And we didn’t even finish them.

Clam sauce, with more clams than a sauce really needs.

The clam sauce had about 2 cans of canned clams in it, so it was more like pouring a little bit of sauce and a lot of clam on top of the pasta. But that meant I could scoop a bunch of clams up with my fork and eat them.

In the pan. A little foggy because of the heat on my camera lens.

The zucchini my aunt grew is gigantic! Seriously. Huge. I’ll have to take a picture of the behemoths before I eat them all. The smallest of the three I brought home was big enough to feed two people as a side dish.

This is the carb-heavy side of the plate. The vegetables are hiding.

The veggies! They *do* exist!

Next up: I don’t entirely screw up oatmeal cookies!

Farmers market clams

After my thrilling trip to the farmers market we made dinner – pasta and clams, and salad with those baby zucchini things the farmer guy gave me.

Here it is!

Steaming the clams. I bought a 1/2 lb.

We pulled all the clams out of their little shells and added them to the sauce, but I think maybe we should have cut the little black parts out. Ew. One of the clams only opened a little bit so I forced it the rest of the way and then I ate it as an appetizer. That’s what you get, clam, for not opening properly.

Soooo steamy!

The sauce was made from olive oil, a little flour, garlic, white wine, and clams.

All these delicious flavors cooking together.

the discard.Ta da!

Farmer’s Markets are the best (or, my new addiction)

The other day I stopped at a Farmer’s Market, on something of a whim.
And, you know, to support local farmers, eat healthier, all the usual suspects.

But I think this is the beginning of a habit.

The Farmer’s Market where I ended up is small. It only took a few minutes to make my way around the booths and decide what I wanted.

I was surprised to see fish there. And oysters, clams and mussels! I asked, and the surly man in the tent said they come down from Washington and Oregon. I bought some clams, but I feel like if I’m buying from a local market, the food really should be local.

I also picked up a bunch of dandelion, lettuce and strawberries, and was given a bunch of tiny zucchinis to try in the salad. They were picked with the flower still attached. The very kind farmer-man said to eat them chopped up in salad, or to grill or pan fry.

And the strawberries! Can I tell you about the strawberries? They were AMAZING. So sweet, delicious, perfect and ripe. And big, organic and local. From just the next town over. I may have force-fed a my coworkers some of these strawberries.

I am already excited to go back next week!

If you’re interested, and you live in CA like me, you can find the farmer’s markets on this website.

Happy shopping!

Who loves chowder?

Me! Me!

I had a bowl of clam chowder the other night at the aforementioned seafood restaurant.

Since my stupid phone didn’t get service, I couldn’t look up the difference between Manhattan and New England clam chowder to figure out which one I wanted to order. The very patient waitress offered to do a half-and-half so I could try both.

I think New England chowder is more popular, especially the canned version, but I found the Manhattan chowder to be more flavorful. I also liked that it’s tomato-based broth so it tasted healthier than the creamier version.

Today I checked out the Wikipedia entry on clam chowder. Holy moly, did you know there are so many kinds? Neither did I.

In the world, there is New England (the white creamy kind Campbells sells in a can), Manhattan clam chowder (the red kind I ate the other night) and Rhode Island and Delaware each claim their own form of it. Pretty sure I remember Seattle versions too. Wikipedia says there is also Hatteras and Minorcan chowder.

My new goal is to find a place that serves the other kinds and try them all! Who’s in?

Half and half soup. They have to pour each half in at exactly the same time so they don't mix together.