Starting to Prepare for 2018 Vacations & New England Clam Chowder

      Last week in February and what are you doing coming summer? Do you have your vacation time approved yet? Do you have your reservations made? Have you circled it on the calendar? Have you started a coin jar for the kids and for yourself as a slush fun to just have a little extra put back to allow for spending while on vacation? Do you own a cottage? Have you penned in your spring visit to get the place opened and cleaned and dusted and aired out. Have you contacted Aunt Ronna and Sister Lou to when they want to come down for a weekend or week? Have you started to look at some of the things that you would like to do that need early reservations like whale watching or seal watching? What about a deep sea fishing excursion? Or a Canal Cruise? What about a golfing trip, playing a different course every day or every other day? There are so many things to do places to go and people to meet. Don't wait till the last minute to try to make your decisions and wonder why you can't get the time or date you want or you get in family squabbles about what anyone wants to do. Start looking at places you want to eat, what they offer, does anyone have allergies that needs special attention? You don't have to micro manage it all, this is a vacation, you want some spontaneous things to happen, but in a good way not a bad way. I know there are a few of you out there that needs to have every minute planned out, even nap time. But for the majority I think most of us work better when we have at least an idea of whats available and who would like to do what. Better to be planned and not do then want to do and can't because of lack of planning. I know this is a lot to digest, but going into the month of March really take a serious look at it, get the absolutes nailed down, when and where, then let the rest start to unfold. If you have kids, get them involved and ask for their input, they will enjoy it so much more, besides then you get to say, well that was your idea not ours, LOL. Anyway I hope I have given you some ideas of things that you could be doing now. The new Cape Cod vacation book/magazine from the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce is now out, order or pick one up. get to online sites like, hum maybe CapeCodToday.com or CapeCodTravel.com. google the different towns and see what each has to offer and start there. Ok information overload at this point. Somewhere in the next couple weeks I will start to go over packing lists and other vacation should have could have would haves. But until then, enjoy your winter break and if you can make it out here during the off season we would love to have you. Look forward to last week in March for the next installment of Brews, Distilleries and Vineyards info edition. Have a happy, happy and great and wonderful, especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod. 

      So the winter is chugging along and where oh where can one eat, well believe it or not we have more places staying open then not. A few  fun places are, the Brewster Fish House did not close in January and are open for business. If you want a really nice lunch or dinner check them out. Personally i have not eaten there, but know many folks who have and just love it. They are located at 2208 Main St - 6A, Brewster and you can check out hours and menu on their website www.brewsterfishhouse.com
      Another wonderful place to eat that since I have been here has not closed is the Naked Oyster located at 410 Main Street, Hyannis. Here I have eaten and they are wonderful. They have a wicked good raw bar and the food is outstanding with a really nice cozy ambiance. During the off season check Wednesdays out for some fun deals. Their website is wwwlnakedoyster.com.
      One play that took a January break that is now open again is the Roadhouse Cafe. Another place I have eaten and is wonderful. In our opinion some of the best clam chowder out there (other than my wife's recipe) on the Cape. And keep your ears open to those radio special that you can get coupon deals. This makes the Roadhouse really accessible to more folks to enjoy. Thank you to the owners for doing that. Their website is www.roadhousecafe.com.
      And last but not least another place that does note close through the winter is that down home cooking of Doyle's Family Restaurant in South Yarmouth. Now do they have a water view? No, do they have high end seating and what one would call ambiance? No, But what they do have is a family atmosphere with great food for a great price. Honestly I could eat here or take someone there and never question if they were going to get a good meal or not and know that I am not going to have to sell the homestead to pay for good eats. 
      So while the crowds are still off Cape, while you can still make left hand turns on RT 28, while you still done have to wait in hour or longer lines get out and support our local businesses that have either stayed open all year, or took only a short break and are now reopening. Come March even more will be open again, but as the restaurants open so come back those who have been away and the lines start to grow. So get out there and enjoy some really good food.   
      Well I got another post card from the old lighthouse keeper. said he is having the time of his life, I guess he is finally enjoying his time away. At the beginning I was afraid he was not going to make it through the first week without turning around and come back. But I am glad he is enjoying himself, he does so much for the community that he deserved and good long break. Only thing is, he mentions something about the darn heat, I guess he is working his way up the Gulf side of of Florida and the heat has been pretty intense. But I didn't hear him clamoring to get back here yet. A note at the bottom asked if I had been up to see the lighthouse lately and if it was being attended to properly. He did give me a contact I could reach him through, but I think he just needs to enjoy his vacation. Although the boys who have been sent up to keep and eye on the place and take the readings are nice young chaps, well lets just say they do what they have to and get out of there. I think they are a little spooked about the place and will be happier the sooner the old guy gets back and can take over doing the job again. I would say we should see him about the first week in March. So hang in there folks, he will be returning soon.  
      I have offered some time ago a New England Clam Chowder recipe, so this time I found a different one. This has a few more ingredients but it is good just the same. Now I have to say it is not my wife's recipe but again she is not willing to give her recipe up yet. Some of the best New England Clam Chowder around and she wont give it up. Also says that is why she will not enter it into competition cause she would have to reveal the recipe and she is not ready to do that. 35 years we have been married as of 3-10-18 and still wont, stop laughing I see that, it's not funny. LOL. Anyway, I like mine with fresh clams that I have dug earlier in the day. Now for many of us there is only one kind of Clam Chowder and that is New England style, the only reason you would not eat this is, you are allergic to shellfish and just don't eat anything with shellfish in it. Two you are allergic to dairy products and can't enjoy it, or 3 well, we just wont go there. So with all that here is an easy recipe for Clam Chowder you might find a liking to, it is not bad, not my wife's but a good second. And feel free to doctor it up. I have found that some of best recipes include some bacon fat in it, and of course save the bacon to crumble some up in it right as you service it. Have some fun eats. Now on with the show,,
 
      This week's recipe: New England Clam Chowder
 
      2      slices   bacon
      1      cup      finely chopped onion
      2      cups    cubed pared potatoes
      1      tsp       salt
              dash    pepper (go fresh finely ground(
      1      cup      water
      1      pint      shucked fresh clams, or 2 - 10 1/2 oz cans minced clams (I like more fresh in mine)
      2      cups    half n half
      2      Tbsp   butter ( here is were I would add 1 Tbsp of bacon fat)
 
      Chop bacon coarsely. Saute in large kettle until almost crisp. (We usually do the full pound in the oven and pour off the fat as reserve). So you can start with your kettle and add about 1 tbsp of bacon fat to the bottom, then add onions: cook about 5 minutes. Add cubed potatoes, salt, pepper, and 1 cup water. Cook, uncovered, 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender (here again we like to leave ours just a little underdone as these will cook up as you add clams). While these are cooking drain clams, reserving juice and chop clams coarsely. When potatoes are to consistency you wish add clams and 1/2 - 3/4 cup of clam liquid, the half-n-half, and butter and mix well. Heat for about 3-5 minutes, do not boil. This makes about 4 servings, doubles easily.   
 
 

CapeCodToday.com welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on CapeCodToday.com.