New England Clam Chowder

On a cold winter night, is there anything better than a loved one, a bottle of wine, a roarig fire and this?
New England Clam Chowder
**Serving Suggestion, bottom of page. Serves 2 hearty, 3 normal appetites .
Ingredients:
• 1 slice hickory-smoked bacon, minced
• 1/2 teaspoon butter
• 1 cup onion, minced
 • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
 • 1 teaspoon Spice Blend (see below)
 • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
 • 1 can clams (6-1/2 ounces)
 • 1 cup bottled clam juice
 • 1-1/2 cups Half and Half
 • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
 • 2 potatoes, boiled, peeled and diced
 Preparation:
To make the Spice Blend, blend 4 tsps. oregano, 4 tsps. dried parsley, 2 tsps. marjoram, 2 tsps. dill, 4 tsps.
 thyme, 4 tsps. basil, 1 tsp. sage, 4 tsps. rosemary, 2 tsps. tarragon, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, crushing in a mortar if possible.
Store in a resealable plastic bag to refrigerate.
In a heavy-bottomed, 4-pint soup kettle, sauté bacon, butter, onion, garlic and Spice Blend over low heat.
Do not allow to brown. Drain clams and set aside, reserving the juice. Slowly stir the flour and clam juices in the sauté mixture.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Add Half and Half and simmer 20 minutes. Add white pepper, potatoes and clams.
Heat to serving temperature. Do not allow to boil, as this toughens the clams. Serve at once with crackers and warm cornbread, or as below.
 **Serving Suggestion

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