I Live Under the Corn Tower Chowder

The preparation of “Rank Order Lists,” a tragic game of favorites used to match medical students with their residency institutions, is a phenomenon I’d also liken to Box of Lies, a Jimmy Fallon mixer that KP and I appropriated this year for our annual Christmas present-as-prize spectacle with our families.

Christmas box of lies christmas box of lies1

The awkward chicanery on both sides of the interview window and the romantic sequelae which follow can drive an earnest medical student into a primitive regressed stage of anxiety. Fortunately, I avoided the fetal position, but have become embarrassingly hyper-vigilant, having checked the NRMP website about twelve times this morning to pinch myself into the assurance that I’ve actually certified the thing correctly. Next stop: Match Day– when what lurks within the box is made known, for better or for worse.

corn chow with bacon

Meanwhile, on to stress-eating. This here is not a healthy soup, but oh heavens, is it comfort food. And there are enough servings to feed a conga line of 25 nervous medical students. I dedicate this one to my hometown landmark:

Corn Tower

I Live Under the Corn Tower Chowder

Adapted from Penzeys

8 oz. bacon, chopped

1/4 Cup olive oil

6 Cups chopped yellow onions (4 large)

4 TB. Butter

1/2 Cup flour

2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. turmeric

12 Cups chicken stock

6 Cups medium white potatoes,  unpeeled, diced (2 lbs.)

10 Cups corn kernels (10 large ears)

2 Cups half & half

1/2 lb. sharp white cheddar cheese, grated


In a large pot, cook the bacon in the olive oil over medium-high heat until the bacon is crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onions and butter and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and turmeric; cook, stirring, until thick and creamy—about 3 minutes.

corn chowder

Add the chicken stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs and blanch for 3 minutes in boiling salted water and then drain.  Reduce heat to low, add the corn to the soup, and then add the half & half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Season to taste and serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

Enjoy. And stop rocking back and forth like Harlow’s monkey. Everything will be fine. Even if you match at McDonalds.

Haiku #54 (Feb 23)

In some dimension

Of space-time, my underpants

Smell of fresh baked goods.


Haiku #55 (Feb 24)

Red nails lacquered in

“Sophistication, with a

Hint of bad choices.”

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