Warm Comfort Food–Corn Chowdah


Idle Queen's "Galley" sign
Idle Queen’s “Galley” sign

Idle Queen is resting at Solomons, MD, anchored up Back Creek.  The air temperature is in the 30’s, the wind is howling out of the northwest, and it is raining.  It is time to dig a couple of those rust-spotted cans of creamed corn out of the bilge and turn them into a hot, super-tasty meal.

This is a meal that is easy to plan for even on a boat without refrigeration, as all of the ingredients keep well.  Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cans cream-style corn
  • 1 package (about 10-12 ounces) of “side meat”, or other salty, tasty meat of your choice.  Sausage, and bacon work well, but the cured “side meat”, which resembles bacon, requires no refrigeration.  Canned meat will work, too.  Of course the dish can be made without any meat at all, and this is what my parents served when I was young, but adding the meat adds a whole lot of flavor.
  • 3 medium potatoes (about 1 pound
  • 1 medium onion
  • A few cloves of garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional, but delicious:  1/4 cup of cream (Those little “half and half” creamer cups don’t need to be refrigerated.)

Here’s how I go about cooking it all up:

First, cut the “side meat” or bacon into bite-size pieces and fry in the bottom of a large saucepan.  While this is cooking, dice the onion and garlic.  Add to pan when cut so they can start cooking and adding their flavors.  Cut up the potatoes into pieces about 1/2 inch on a side, and then add them to the pan.  Barely cover it all with water–just enough to cook everything.  Add the thyme and bring it all to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes and onions are cooked through.  When the potatoes are cooked through, add the cream-style corn and cream.  Bring it all back to a boil (or just hot if you’re conserving cooking fuel), and then it’s done.  Pepper to taste, preferably with fresh-ground peppercorns.  Since “side meat” is salt-cured, there is probably no need to add additional salt, but add some if desired to your taste and the ingredients that you used.





2 thoughts on “Warm Comfort Food–Corn Chowdah

  1. Hi Barry,

    Just realized that you are here at Solomons, MD. My Nonsuch 22 is up Back Creek at the Solomons Harbor Marina (Holiday Inn). Would love to cross paths sometime. Merry Christmas and Happy sailing New Year. Butch

    1. Hi Butch,
      Thanks for taking the time to write! I am down in Oriental, NC at the moment, but certainly hope that our wakes do cross sometime. Next time I’m up at Solomons I’ll be sure to look out for the Nonsuch!

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