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Ham and corn chowder

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The Gourmand Mom

(Read caption) Use your leftover Easter ham to make this tasty ham and corn chowder.

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Life is made up of a series of memories; some big, some small, some clearly life-changing, and some seemingly inconsequential. My wedding day, the births of my children, the loss of loved ones … all clearly consequential. But the little memories … like singing the soundtrack to "Grease" with my sisters while we played on our childhood swingset or selling candy bars outside the grocery store or riding our bikes in the park … turns out that those are just as consequential. We just don’t always realize it in the moment.

I was playing around on my computer the other night and distractedly watching "American Idol," when two of the contestants come on stage and begin singing "Islands in the Stream," a duet originally performed by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. In an instant I was transported back to my childhood, in my parents’ room, where my sisters and I used to stand at the foot of their bed, with our toes jammed between the mattress and boxspring, so that when we’d lean forward, the edge of the mattress would catch our calves and we’d suspend there, bobbing forward with our arms outstretched. We’d sway back and forth, mock-gliding over the mattress singing "Islands in the Stream" at the top of our lungs … with all the wrong lyrics, I am sure.

Such a simple little memory and yet it’s etched in my mind. Because it’s more than the ordinary event of singing a song with my sisters. It was a matter of being together, of laughing, of loving, and of feeling at home. Those are consequential, life-altering sorts of things wrapped in a silly little memory and tied together with a country song.

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