Last Monday of the month = Reveal Day for The Secret Recipe Club!  I could not be happier with my matching blog for this month:  Beautiful Disasters, hosted by Casey, the coolest girl in the whole blogosphere.  I first got to “meet” her when she made a flourless chocolate cake from my blog,  and that was the most popular recipe of our SRC that month!  How awesome is that?   Casey is a hard working high school student, athletic, witty, and keeps a blog that is always fun to visit.  I was thrilled to cook from her site.   Being a young runner with a high metabolism and all, she’s got a ton of sweets to share, but  I wanted to go for something savory. The weather is cooling down (Sally grabs the box of Kleenex), so I searched for a comforting soup.  My first click on the index was for corn chowder.  She starts her post with “Do you wish you had an accent?”   Casey, you got me right there!  I simply HAD to make your chowda.. 😉

(adapted from Beautiful Disasters)

2 cups corn kernels
2 Tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 + 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons thyme
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
a few fresh basil leaves
scant 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4   cups water
8 baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut in pieces
¾   cup half-and-half
1/2 Tablespoon white sugar

Heat the butter in a large pan.  Let it melt, then add the shallots, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallot is soft and starting to get some golden color. Add the flour and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the water, keep stirring. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add the corn kernels and potatoes. Bring the chowder to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Transfer a little less than 2 cups of the chowder and the basil leaves to a blender and puree until smooth. Stir the puree back into the pan. Add the half-and-half then return the chowder to a simmer.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and mix in the sugar.


to print the recipe, click here

Delicious chowder, creamy, luscious, even if I took a few shortcuts with the recipe.  Full disclosure: Casey did not use frozen corn.  I am sure it would be even better with fresh corn and getting all that juicy corn milk, but I had to simplify the preparation to accommodate my schedule.

Now, back to the fascinating topic of accents.  As any immigrant, I am often reminded that I have an accent.   I don’t mind it that much, but I certainly wish I didn’t get in other types of trouble.

Allow me to share a quick story.  Day one of  lab move: I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off,  asking our secretary, one of the moving guys, and a  student “I need the doily.  Have you seen the doily around?”   All of a sudden, Phil gently grabs grabs my arm,  takes me to the side and whispers “Sally, darling, you are looking for the dolly, not the doily“.  That’s when  I understood their small delay in answering my question with a sheepish “I don’t know where it is”.   (sigh)

Casey, I hope you had a blast with your assignment too!
And for all my readers, don’t forget to click on the blue frog below to see the full list of posts by the members of Group D, the group that closes each month with a golden key!  😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  Oven-broiled Salmon over Saucy Spinach

TWO YEARS AGO: Butterscotch Brownies

THREE YEARS AGO: First Soup of the Year


  1. So glad you tried the corn “chowda” 😉 I loved that soup and it is absolutely perfect for this Fall weather. Thanks for the kind post, your pictures look fabulous! I had a ton of fun reading this 🙂


    • There you are! Everyone loved the “chowda”, so I’m glad I went with this recipe, although your fiesta quinoa ALMOST made the cut. I will probably make that recipe when we have a little heat wave arriving (fingers crossed….)


  2. “Sally, darling, you are looking for the dolly, not the doily“.


    I love chowah … seafood or clam are my favourites though I have 4 cups of fresh kernel corn I cut off the cob myself and froze away. I COULD use that. 🙂 Is that fresh or dried thyme? I left my sweet and thai basil plants outside and the frost hit them. But I DID saved the thyme. I was going to use it in jamaican beef patties but I think it would be great in this.

    Fall … perfect time to start making big pots of hot soup.


    • I used dried thyme, but if you have fresh, go for it, it matches the chowda very well

      Yeah, I might have to tell a few more stories of what we call “Sallyisms” – now I can laugh about most of them, but when they happen it can be very very embarrassing…


  3. I love Casey’s blog. And my kids especially love all of her chocolate recipes! Great choice for the season Sally. I don’t think I’ve ever had a corn chowder before, but I’m sure I would LOVE it. It’s on my soup list this season. 🙂


    • 🙂 Accent is that type of thing that is very nice on “other people” but usually the owner of the accent doesn’t care for it – but, no way to change it, so we live with the situation and try to make the best of it


  4. I love the name of Casey’s blog! I’ll have to go and investigate more closely… I am always up for a delicious corn chowda (!!) :). My family would love this one too – we tend to have chowders on the road (mostly Maine… yummy clam chowder) but I should try this one at home! Thanks Sally.


  5. Please pass the Kleenex this way. Corn chowder is a relatively new dish for me and I felt like I’d discovered gold. How wonderful it tasted and why did I have to wait so many decades to learn this? Oh, well. Glad that I did try it and will be happy to try your recipe, no matter how you pronounce dolly. 🙂


    • Well, I must say that the problem with the dolly was not a pronunciation, I really thought it was DOILLY. OH, well – it’s not a very common word, I guess I got them mixed up. But since I’m disclosing shameful facts, I do have a huge problem with coach and couch, so I opt for “trainer” and “sofa” instead. If I say the coach couch, I always pick the wrong one. Not nice to say I was sitting on the “trainer” 😉


    • The only thing that makes me hesitate about this recipe is the sugar added at the end. I don’t want to eat a ‘sweet’ soup. Why do you add sugar to the soup and how sweet is it? Can you leave it out?


  6. I am rather fond of doilies, but they are not very fashionable these days, we must make more of an effiort I think Sally, she drawled in her English accent. Lawks, what a lovely bowl of soup you’ve whisked up there Ma’am!


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