I still distinctly remember the first time he made me clam chowder. It was at the place he lived when I first met him, which means it was four or less months in to our relationship (which now spans almost 12 years). I remember thinking I would muddle through the meal. I also remember his confidence and excitement in changing my tune. Sure enough, he did delight me with heavy cream and butter. By my second helping I was on board and a little more in like.
It was a long time before he made it for me again (what with all the house work he was doing on the first place he bought, the one that was a beast and beauty at the same time). I would try it every now and again at restaurants or when we went back to Boston to visit. But truth be told, it is really a dish I enjoy best at home, when he has made it. It's not normally a dish I am drawn to because of the heavy dairy and potatoes. But, it is one of those things that made me like some guy I didn't know too well who was putting so much energy in to making a meal for me. When he makes it now, it reminds me of those early days when each night we spent together was novel and new. It is proof of his sheer talent and know how with food. The guy knows how to make one hell of a chowda...
I, on the other hand, have mastered the Jiffy cornbread muffin mix
in an attempt to present my own masterpiece at the table.