Thursday, January 23, 2014

Henry Pigott's Clam Chowder

Last month Lou Ann and I visited Portsmouth Island. In April we will be there for Homecoming, hosting at Henry Pigott's house, a tiny cottage on Doctor's Creek.

Henry, the last male to live on the island, died in 1971. After his death the last two residents, Marion Babb and Elma Dixon, moved to the mainland.

While on Portsmouth in December I discovered this recipe for Henry Pigott's clam chowder:

Ingredients: 2 quarts clams with their juice, 2 quarts water, 7 or 8 onions, 1/2 pound bacon, salt & pepper.

Instructions: Fry bacon and drain. Sautee onions in bacon grease until clear. Into a 6-8 quart pot, crumble bacon and add sauteed onions and 2 quarts of water. Simmer slowly for 5 minutes. Add clams and juice. (You may use a food grinder to mince the clams.) Cook until done. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is an account of the 2013 Portsmouth Island Christmas Bird Count. You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous11:02 AM

    Now that recipe is a clam chowder. Low calorie to boot. No cream, carrots, or potato-- stuff, a mother would slip in for a child. This is a meal, old school. When is clam juice called liquor?

    1. I don't know the answer to your question. Perhaps someone else does.

  2. Anonymous1:49 PM

    From the Oxford Dictionary:
    1: alcoholic drink, especially distilled spirits.

    2: liquid produced or used in a process of some kind, in particular.
    2.1: water used in brewing.
    2.2: liquid in which something has been steeped or cooked.
    2.3: liquid that drains from food during cooking.
    More example sentences
    2.4: the liquid from which a substance has been crystallized or extracted.

    Middle English (denoting liquid or something to drink): from Old French lic(o)ur, from Latin liquor; related to liquare 'liquefy', liquere 'be fluid'.

    Hope that helps. :-)