There isn’t much that subdues that sparkle in Mills’ eye; mention of the current Wampanoag issues is one.
“My tribe is my family; I deal only with my family now. Those people (current Wampanoag leaders) don’t understand who we are or what we represent.”
And yet, in “Son of Mashpee” Chief Flying Eagle makes the plea, “In spite of the pain we had had to endure in the past, the Wampanoags ought to participate in shaping the future of this town, so that coming generations will inherit Mashpee with deep imprints of our heritage, our culture and our vision.”
Mills also told me this: “I don’t know anyone who has had as wonderful a life as I have.”
Earl Mills’ Corn Chowder
serves 10 to 12
Mills says you can use fresh corn or corn “niblets” for this; if you use fresh corn, add the cobs in with the potatoes for added flavor. He used Delmonte canned corn for our chowder; it was one of the best corn chowders I’ve tasted.
4 teaspoons salt
3 to 4 potatoes, diced
2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, butter, or margarine
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups corn
3 cups milk, whole or skimmed or 2 cans evaporated milk
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 green pepper seeded and sliced
1. Place potatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt in a saucepan with enough water to barely cover the potatoes. Simmer until tender. Don’t strain the water. Set aside.
2. Saute onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil butter or margarine. Cook until soft. Add to the potatoes and water.
3. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine in a large saucepan. Add flour and stir over medium heat until mixture (roux) reaches the consistency of corn meal. Add the chicken stock and the water from the potatoes. Cook until thickened, whipping continually. Add the corn and the milk.
4. Gradually add the potatoes and onions to the thickened mixture. Continue to simmer and add the additional 2 teaspoons of salt (to taste). Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add fresh ground pepper to taste now or when serving.
Rockport resident Heather Atwood writes the Food for Thought column weekly. Questions and comments may be directed to email@example.com. Follow her blog at HeatherAtwood.com.