Saturday, March 17, 2012

Recipe: Bendy Straws and Corn Chowder

Addendum 3/18: Okay, here is a picture of a Bendy Straw and Corn Chowder!

Okay, I got most of the "rambling" out of my system with that last post...

Butttt... There's a little more!

Years ago, when I lived on my boat, I developed some really cool friendships with some of my neighbors.

Boat-People are "Different" from the rest of the general population - a fact that I mused about on my original website. We tend to be "loners" for the most part and don't necessarily want close-ties to others (and I can say "we" because I was one of 'em!). Yet at the same time, we were a very close-knit community (meaning: We watched out for each others' boats and/or if anyone "got into trouble" - we all pulled together to "make it right!").

Yes, we were a Tight-Knit Community of Loners - go figure!

One of my neighbors was *particularly* Hermit-Like and rarely ventured outside of her boat to interact with others. I'll call her "Miss-M."

Miss-M did a simply stupendous job of NOT getting sucked into ANY of the dock-drama. I, mostly, did too - but since I was more "interactive," I had a tougher time "avoiding" the drama - since there were ppl who wanted to drag me into "their side" of whatever was going on... (Although I like to think I did a damn-good job of staying out of it, for the most part!)

Anyway, this isn't about Dock Drama. This is about FOOD!

So Miss-M and I would venture out on a fairly regular basis and go out to lunch at various dining establishments in the area. We had AMAZINGLY bad luck with our Dining Adventures including encountering a McDonald's that had RUN OUT OF COKE (And Miss-M was, quite simply, a Coke-Addict) (and I *am* referring to Coca COLA - just to be clear!). And another occasion when we'd gone out for Pizza and the restaurant had RUN OUT OF CHEESE. No, I am not making this up!!!

It became, kind-of, a standing joke for us - to see what sort of OUTRAGEOUSNESS we'd encounter whenever we'd go out for food.

One of our "Semi-Regular" hang-outs was Mimi's Cafe - in Foster City/San Mateo. They were actually pretty reliable in the Quality (and Availability) of their food (and soft-drinks!). But two areas that were always iffy were: "Will they have Bendy Straws today?" (which is neither here nor there - but we found it amusing!) and "Will the Corn Chowder [one of their "Signature Items"] be thick and delicious?" "Or runny and not-so-good?" (which, to be fair, meant that the Corn Chowder was made fresh, daily).

Ever since then, whenever I encounter a restaurant that offers Bendy-Straws, I think of Miss-M.

And, in fact, the last time I was up at the marina (for BoatGuru John's "Memorial" party), I ran into Miss-M and insisted that we need to exchange phone#'s and hook-up for lunch again.

"Here, I'll call you from my cell, so you'll have my phone#. When you get the call, you can save my number. In fact, maybe you could label it as 'Bendy Straw!'" - But then I got to thinking that maybe having a phone# saved as "Bendy Straw" might be misconstrued as me being an Exotic Dancer (Hah!) or Hooker!

Annnnnnywaaaaaayyyyy.... I hadn't given it much thought since then. But while hubs and I were in San Diego (which, BTW, was where BoatGuru John ended up, and ultimately died - :::sigh:::), we had dinner at a restaurant called Oggi's (a place that John introduced us to). They did not have Bendy-Straws, but they *did* serve a damn-good Corn Chowder...

Hubs enjoyed it, so I said I would make some.

I then consulted Google and stumbled onto this: Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder. Yippy-Freakin' -Skippy! It is THE Mimi's Corn Chowder Recipe, and if *I* make it, I can virtually guarantee that it will be thick and creamy and delicious! Annnnd... I have a more-than-adequate supply of Bendy Straws!

That said, here is the recipe, with my modifications:

(QT's Interpretation of) Mimi's Cafe Corn Chowder

(Serves 6)


  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • 3 Tbs Flour
  • ¾ c onion, finely chopped
  • ¾ c diced celery
  • 2-1/2 c water
  • 2 c cubed, peeled potatoes (I used Yukon gold)
  • 1 package (16 oz) frozen corn krnels
  • 1 can (14 oz) cream-style corn
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 3 Tbs Splenda
  • Salt and White Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 c heavy whipping cream (unsweetened)
  • ½ bottle Moscato or other sweet white wine (I used half of a 187ml bottle)
  • (optional) 1 more Tbs of melted butter + 1 Tbs Flour to thicken it further, at the end.


  1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add flour and whisk until smooth and a roux forms
  3. Add onions and celery. Saute until soft, but not browned.
  4. Add water, potatoes, corn kernels, creamed corn, carrots and Splenda
  5. Bring to a light boil
  6. Lower heat, cover and simmer ‘til potatoes are soft (appx 30 mins)
  7. Add cream and simmer, uncovered until thick and creamy. Season with salt and white pepper.
  8. If it doesn’t thicken to your liking, melt butter in a separate small pan and whisk in flour to create another roux. Slowly add roux to the soup, stirring constantly, until it reaches the desired consistency.

This is a delightfully tasty, mellow soup, and would make a good "base" for other things... Maybe add some fresh mushrooms (saute, at the beginning, with the onions and celery). And/or toss in some leftover chicken. And/or add some frozen peas. The possibilities are endless!

No pictures, unfortunately. When I did manage to make it (involved appx 30 minutes of standing over the stove, on my ouchy-feet!), I was soooo freaking starved that I scarfed 2 bowls down before I thought to snap a picture!

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