The dampness pervades everything, and the clouds hang low, heavy with impending rain—it’s just a matter of when, not if. The fog lingers, gently caressed by a breeze. On days like these, all I crave is the comfort of a warm, hearty bowl of chowder. The soul-soothing embrace of a New England or “white” clam chowder—the creamy goodness that never fails to delight my taste buds.
Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to Here’s to Us by the talented Elin Hilderbrand. Within the story, I discovered four authentic recipes, among them, a tantalizing seafood chowder. As a chowder enthusiast, my interest was immediately piqued.
In the author’s note, Elin Hilderbrand gives credit to her dear friend, Nancy Harmon Jenkins, a renowned food writer and cookbook author, for inspiring her American Paradise Seafood Chowder. The mere mention of it conjures images of a chowder that’s thick and velvety, with the briny essence of the sea dancing on your palate. Just imagine the rich aroma of the ocean mingling with the smoky richness of bacon, complemented by the tenderness of perfectly cooked clams and the unique addition of diced tomatoes. Fresh herbs lend their magic, elevating the flavors to an exquisite symphony of taste.
I must confess, I am a devoted fan of The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, and her scrumptious chowder recipe featuring Yukon gold potatoes. That has always been my go-to recipe. However, this new recipe, raved about by Elin Hilderbrand, has sparked my curiosity to embark on a culinary adventure, despite the absence of potatoes.
As I think about preparing this American Paradise Seafood Chowder, I can’t help but anticipate the sheer delight it will bring to my taste buds. I find myself daydreaming about savoring every spoonful, cocooned in the warmth of a cozy sweater while the raindrops gently patter against the windowpane. Mmm. I wish I had a bowl in front of me right now.
So, with chowder weather settling in, I am determined to set my culinary compass and venture beyond my usual recipe. I am eager to explore the culinary wonders of this American Paradise Seafood Chowder. Let’s embrace the richness of the sea and the heartwarming flavors that await us in this delightful creation. Here’s to trying new recipes and discovering the best clam chowder I’ve ever had!
This past year, as part of our journey into meditation and living a more mindful life, Mark and I began listening to talks and lectures covering topics about Buddhism, Taoism, spirituality… The app Insight Timer which is our go-to app for all things mediations also has a number of courses and talks. The talks vary in length depending on topic and teachers- some as short as 4 minutes long, others over an hour.
One of the teachers we follow is Sadhguru. Sadhguru and the Isha Foundation are dedicated to raising human consciousness and fostering global harmony through individual transformation. Sadhguru (Jagadish “Jaggi” Vasudev) started teaching yoga in southern India in 1982. He established the Isha Foundation ten years later. According to their website as part of their mission, “the foundation offers a variety of programs that provide methods for anyone to attain physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Its offerings allow participants to deepen their experience of life, and reach their ultimate potential.”
Sadhguru gives great talks – he has a wonderful sense of humor which you don’t expect from an Indian yogi. “Stop Limiting Life’s Possibility”, A Crash Course to Become More Receptive”, Enjoy the Creation” and “Inner Engineering” are just a few of the wonderful talks he has on Insight Timer. It was Mark who always does the deep diving and found Sadhguru’s website which introduced us to the Isha Foundation and his other projects.
Specifically, my ears perked up when I started to hear him discuss the importance of soil. I was a research analyst who covered the agribusiness and water sectors in another lifetime. During this time, I first learned about the importance of our soil and how our global soil is in trouble. Soil degradation is not just a problem that Americans face but also a worldwide issue. So when I heard Sadhguru talking about it, I was intrigued.
” Save Soil – Conscious Planet is a global movement launched by Sadhguru to save soil from extinction, and bring the necessary policies to address the catastrophic issue facing humanity.
This movement has garnered support from global leaders including Marc Benioff, Jane Goodall, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and institutions such as United Nations – Convention to Combat Desertification, World Economic Forum, World Food Programme, Food & Agriculture Organization of United Nations.”
Yesterday was the first day of spring! A day that everybody starts to look at the ground more in anticipation of the arrival of the beautiful colorful flowers which grace our earth. Others are testing their soil and preparing their beds for planting.
Sadhguru began a quest to bring more awareness to people about the importance of our earth’s soil. Yesterday he embarked on a 100-day journey from the United Kingdom to India. 26 countries, 30,000 kilometers on his motorcycle. Sadhguru has worked for two decades to bring awareness to this soil crisis.
In 2004 he started the Project GreenHands initiative which resulted in 35 million saplings being planted over the years. They even hold the Guinness World Record for most saplings planted in a day. 6,284 trees were planted across 27 districts in Tamil Nadu, India in 2006. During the three day event, 852,587 trees were planted.
Too many people don’t fully comprehend why it is imperative to focus our attention on the global soil crisis. Sadhguru continues his mission to raise conscious awareness of the importance of our soil so that there will be nutritional soil to grow food for generations to come.
He has asked people to help him raise awareness about the soil crisis by talking about it or with your friends and family in person or on social media. I join this him in this mission – I have understood the importance of our soil for decades and have been frustrated with how our world seems to take it for granted.
When Mark and I ran our business, Homegrown Harvest, we started it to help to make it easier for people to grow some of their own food. We taught people about the quality of their soil and how commercial agriculture has decimated our farmlands with chemicals, over-fertilization, mono-cropping, and destroying the microbial organisms with heavy machinery.
I gave many talks at local libraries and clubs to help educate people about the degradation of our farmlands, encouraging people to grow some of their own food so that they will be able to increase the nutritional quality of what they eat by planting in healthy soil.
We also made it a point to teach people to be gentler with their soil and not use root-tillers that destroy the microbial organisms which are so important to good soil.
Awareness is just one step in the right direction; however, I feel that everyone can make an effort towards saving our soil each day, simply by composting their food waste. Landfills are one of the largest anthropogenic sources of the methane gas produced by this world. Food waste is about 22% of what ends up in landfills and it can not organically decompose which results in the output of methane gas. Composting food waste would keep food waste out of landfills and would nutritionally benefit the environment’s soil.
Another way that people can make a difference is by helping to plant more trees. Today is International Day of Forests, a day in which we should reflect on the importance of our global forests. Trees are a crucial ingredient in helping our lands maintain healthy soil. Their roots help maintain the soil structure, helping to reduce erosion. Check out the National Wildlife Federation’s article How Trees Make A Difference to learn more.
Things are going to be a little less sweet in the mornings… The cries for better nutrition and less sugary breakfast cereals could possibly send Captain Crunch into retirement soon. The good ole’ sugary sweetness that has kick started so many kids, myself included, has fallen from no.1 to obscurity. Shamed for having being too sugary and therefore the cause of every obese kid or adult out there. In the 12 gram of sugar category, you have in the line up famous tasty morning treats such as Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes and Froot Loops. General Mills is a little sweeter in this category with their menu of Trix, Cookie Crisps and Lucky Charms. Yeah, they’re magically delicious – 13grams of yummy sugar goodness. One of my absolute favorite Kellogg’s Apple Jacks weighs in at 15g of sugar! Explains why switching to Cheerios at 1g of sugar made them taste like cardboard circles at first. In the 15g group Apple Jacks sits next to Corn Pops and Smacks, all of which are Kellogg’s products. Smacks, btw, used to be called Sugar Smacks, but this obviously is no longer politically correct so they simply tossed the word sugar but didn’t bother to lower the sugar content. Smacks sounds stupid to me. I’m sorry, I’m old school – give me my Sugar Smacks and Saturday Morning Cartoons!!
But if you take a very close look at the various ready-to-eat cereals, you’ll notice something very disturbing – many so called newer ‘healthy’ cereals out there and that is they have shit load of sugar in them! Again, I’m not talking about the old school guys like Quaker Oats Cheerios (1g), Kellogg’s Corn Chex (3g), or General Mills’ Wheaties (4g). I’m referring to Muesli, dried fruit & nuts which has a whopping 26g of sugar! Wheaties Raisin Bran has 18g! Frosted Cheerios 13g – see it takes at least 12 grams of sugar to make those little round things taste good!