Mmmmm Cauliflower Corn Chowder and cozy winter nights…
What are your favorite family traditions? One of our very favorites takes place over the Thanksgiving weekend, and we’ve done it almost every single year since we got married. We take the whole family up into the mountains to chop down our Christmas tree…
Actually, let’s back up a bit. It’s quite a process to get our yearly tree. It starts in early November, when we get up at 4 am, drive an hour and stand in the freezing cold, pitch-black predawn with 1,000 other crazy people, in the hopes of snagging a $10 permit. With that precious permit in hand, we head to the hills again right after Thanksgiving to traipse through snowy mountainsides, lugging chain saws and axes and tape measures, to find the perfect tree.
It’s a daunting task, one which definitely doesn’t save us any money, when we factor in gas, time and effort. However, we wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s tradition, after all! Magical and wonderful and ingrained into our memories of home and family and love.
Of course, at the end of it all, there’s food. Always food. Comfort food. This year, it was Cauliflower Corn Chowder, homemade rolls and cranberry cake. To be eaten while watching “Christmas with the Kranks,” playing cards and maybe winding a few strands of lights on our beautiful, naturally imperfect but very fresh and fragrant tree!
The perfect day for our family. Of course, your perfect day will be completely different. What do you love to do together? Whatever it is, we wish you a whole holiday season of happy traditions with family, friends and loved ones.
- 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 red pepper
- 3/4 cup flour
- 8-10 cups chicken stock
- 4 red potatoes
- 4 carrots
- 4 large cauliflower florets
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen white corn
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
- 2-3 Tbsp. fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- Dash or two of red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
- Grated sharp cheddar to garnish, optional
- Cut bacon into small pieces and fry in large stock pot until crisp. Remove and set aside.
- Drain all but about 4 Tbsp. of bacon grease.
- Chop onion, celery and red pepper into bite-size pieces and sauté in bacon grease about 5 minutes.
- Add flour and stir for one minute. Add one cup of chicken stock and stir until no flour lumps remain. Add rest of stock.
- Chop potatoes, carrots and cauliflower and add to pot, along with corn and herbs. salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are fairly tender, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in cream and bacon. Heat.
- Garnish with grated cheese as desired.
*For a gluten-free option, simple replace all-purpose flour with a GF blend. We've cooked this both ways and can't tell a difference in flavor.
*Recipe can be doubled for a large crowd. It also tastes better with a little time, so make it a couple days ahead and just reheat slowly before serving.