Before we moved to Northern California, almost thirty years ago, we lived in North Carolina and Massachusetts. Living in different parts of the United States exposed me to regional cuisines. Originally from the Jersey shore where the pizza is the best, to Carolina BBQ, to New England clam chowder and Indian pudding, to California cuisine, all of it is part of my cooking DNA.
When the kids were little we spent a lot of time traveling between Massachusetts and New Jersey to visit Nannie and Beebop. (Our son named my father Beebop because he couldn’t say PopPop. My grandmotherly name morphed into Beeba when the grandkids were born.) On one of our trips we stopped in a now defunct restaurant call The Binnacle. We all ordered the clam chowder. Surprisingly it was not at all like the thick, cream-laden clam chowder of Boston but a lighter more delicate version. This recipe, adapted from one by Gabrielle Hamilton, is my take on the clam chowder that we had at The Binnacle outside of Mystic, Connecticut.