Our Oregon get away has sadly come to an end. By this time tomorrow, we will be home. We had a great time – every day was a new and wonderful adventure. Oregon wasn’t our first choice. This entire trip was a last-minute change of plans. Kiddo and I love cooler weather with rain and fog and even a little morning gloom, followed by warm (not hot) afternoons and breezy evenings. Hubby is a warm-weather guy. Given his choice, we would have headed to Southern California. Our Southern California vacation was all mapped out – hitting the big tourist attractions such as Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Life Park. So what happened? The world began to turn up-side-down. Big cities and large tourist attractions just didn’t seem a smart call. Too many nuts out there. Oregon beckoned with its beautiful coastline, small towns and less traveled roads. Wow – talk about tuning everything out! It was so easy to unplug.
Hotels along the Oregon coast don’t have air conditioning. Need to cool your room? Open a window and let the Pacific Ocean breeze billow through your room. The sound of waves sing a lullaby to lure you into a peaceful night’s rest. We woke with the sun rise, and enjoyed early morning strolls along the grounds, breathing in the salty air. Sea Gulls circled overhead, following the fishing boats out to sea. Venture inland and the sun warmed you. The sky so blue, the forest so green – it took our breath away. The evenings along the coast were cool, perfect for a nice cup of chowder and warm garlic bread.
Oregon Dungeness Crab and Corn Chowder
1 lb smoked bacon cut into ½ pieces
2-3 tablespoons butter
3 medium baking potatoes peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs of celery, finely chopped
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
5 teaspoons OLD BAY Seasoning
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 large bay leaf
3 cups chicken broth
5 cups whole milk, half & half or a combination of both.
4-5 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 pound fresh crab meat picked over to remove any pieces of shell or cartilage
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan or stock pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring occasionally until bacon is fully cooked but not crisp.
Add potatoes, onion, celery, bell pepper, Old Bay Seasoning and the bay leaf. Continue cooking, stirring frequently until potatoes become tender. Once potatoes are tender, sprinkle the flour over all while stirring constantly for a couple of minutes.
Add the milk and chicken stock while continuing to stir. Bring to a boil then add the corn and crab. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf and serve.