It is hard to believe that Gwen is nine! We moved here two and a half months before she was born and look at her now :) By the way, Summer fixed Gwen's hair for her birthday.
For her birthday dinner, she wanted New England clam chowder, bread sticks and bittersweet chocolate pecan pie. After agonizing for half an hour in the aisle that held both the canned clams and the canned chowder, I decided a canned clam chowder taste test would be fun and here are the results.
Progresso - on sale for $1.99 for a large non-condensed can
I've always thought this kind was yucky but got a can anyway to make the study more comprehensive. It has a strange, unnatural consistency, probably from too much xantham gum or hydrogenated crude oil. I still thought it was yucky (obviously) but some of the kids liked it.
Snow's - $2.19 for a small condensed can
I had high hopes for this one, but it tasted really weird, not at all like clams.
Wolfgang Puck - on sale for $1.50 for a small non-condensed can
Despite the drawback of having a large face on the can, this was one I might buy again. It had good clam flavor, with the addition of celery which I like in chowder, but it also had a kind of smoky flavor that I thought was distracting. Not yucky, just unnecessary.
Bar Harbor - $3.99 for for a small condensed can
At almost twice the price of the others, I probably wouldn't have bought this one if it wasn't a birthday dinner and a scientific inquiry to boot, but I am so glad I did! Now I know what to buy at the grocery store when I want to splurge and treat myself. This was really good. It had straight forward, simple ingredients, nice big clams with good flavor and there were even a few grains of sand. Definitely authentic and mostly delectable.
After dinner, Stan took the five oldest ice skating while I stayed home with the two youngest and made Gwen her pie. We ate it with whipped cream while Gwen opened her presents - clothes, candy, a book, a Polly Pocket and a crossbow. Yep, that's our Gwen, a well rounded girl.
Happy Birthday Gwen!