Sparks and Amelia and I are back from the 2011 Chowder in his mother’s home town. The town has actually been unincorporated so you can’t find it on a map, but everyone around there still knows where it is. The general store is long gone; it still has about a dozen houses, a very old church and cemetery, and a complex of church function buildings–which is where the Chowder is held.
This “chowder” is a red vegetable soup with ground beef (that’s the first question everyone asks). Volunteers begin chowder production at 3am on the Saturday of every Labor Day weekend. Proceeds go to support the church and maintain the very old, very beautiful cemetery.
There were a lot of desserts. You didn’t need to ask.
They made 1100 gallons of chowder this year. It is cooked in huge gas-heated kettles, and stirred with an impressive ceiling-mounted rig. Years ago it was hand-stirred and cooked on a wood fire; then modernity intervened.
That’s a lotta chowdah!
People Who Know say that this year was the hottest chowder ever, at an even 100 degrees. I’m impressed with all of us for looking so put-together in these pictures, because it was head-bustingly hot.
Sparks introduced himself as “Pete’s Grandson”. That got him into everyone’s good graces.
In spite of the heat, the traditional horseshoe tournament was held
And the softball tournament
And Amelia was glad to see everyone, and vice versa!