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Clam Chowder

June 28, 2012

I’ve climbed down off the sloth tree long enough to post a short entry.

I’ve been exploring the Clam Chowder Diet. It has simple rules. You eat what you like during the day. For dinner you must eat a bowl of clam chowder and nothing else. (You are permitted to eat the accompanying oyster crackers.) This has lead, logically, to the Clam Chowder Tour of Block Island. So far I’ve tried three places, and the hands-down winner is Dead Eye Dick’s. It’s not hard to get a first-order estimate of the quality of clam chowder by sight alone: just look for clams in the chowder. It’s a bad sign if you don’t see any.

Suzy is allergic to clams, so she has not signed onto this diet. She has spun off a variant, the Ice Cream Diet, the rules of which I leave as an exercise to the reader.

Last night we had a pleasant dinner outside in the evening sun at Finn’s. I ordered the clam chowder. Suzy had stopped at The Ice Cream Place for Moose Tracks, and walked down the street to join me. She ate ice cream, and I ate chowder, and then we rode the bike back home, the long way, up the hill past the Spring House, past South Light and Mohegan Bluffs, and down West Shore Road.

I remarked as we were riding along the south shore that when the cars were out of sight, I was reminded of Tuckernuck. One curious difference, besides the paved roads, and the electricity, and other modern ammenities is this. On Tuckernuck the sounds of gulls and other sea birds totally dominate the soundscape. On Block Island it’s all song birds, singing their song bird songs, in an astounding profusion of polyphony, starting at 4:30 a.m., and going on all day long, without a pause, into the evening. I have no idea why two islands so similar in their general ecology should be so different in their feathered fauna.

I added a page to my Block Island photo journal. The second picture in the top row shows the view from the town dump! Even that is picturesque. The smell, however, is exactly what you would expect.

Tonight the Clam Chowder Diet moves to the National Hotel.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jean McPheeters permalink
    June 28, 2012 3:54 pm

    Yikes, luckily there’s a new diet pill that has just been approved (and will probably be found to have lethal qualities in about 3 years.) Are these all creamy clam chowders or the Rhode Island type, which is broth based?

    • tslarkin permalink*
      June 28, 2012 3:58 pm

      I did have a pint of Rhode Island style at a place along Rt. 1, where we stopped for lunch on the way to Galilee. The chowders I’ve had here have been New England style. One was, I think, thickened with corn starch. I don’t know what style that is.

  2. Libby Hedrick permalink
    June 28, 2012 4:41 pm

    Now I have a strong hanker’n for clam chowder and ice cream!!

  3. June 28, 2012 4:56 pm

    The National Hotel looks great – especially the porch! As for the picture gallery – I get only multiple sets of blank frames. Perhaps my Mac just can’t deal with it – but I get your other pictures OK. Thanks for the great blog!

    • tslarkin permalink*
      June 28, 2012 5:13 pm

      Sometimes it seems to take forever for the pictures to download and replace the gray squares. I think if you leave the page open long enough, the problem will be fixed.

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