Serving chowder

Marcus Smith/The Register Tim Kemper scoops chowder out of a large cooking pot at the Knights of Columbus Chowder event last year.

MOUNT CARMEL – Chowder season is upon us, and the annual Knights of Columbus chowder is coming up on August 28.

Jim Tennis, co-chowder chair, said that the event is one of the longest continuously running chowders in Wabash County. It has been going on for over 50 years.

“A lot of the smaller communities don’t have them anymore because they don’t have enough people to help,” Tennis said.

To make the 400 gallons of chowder K of C serves, it takes a lot of manpower.

Tennis said he had about 40 people out at his farm on July 15 shucking corn donated by a local farmer to be frozen for the chowder.

Many people have donated to make the chowder possible. Tennis said that every year one lady donates enough money to pay for all of the beef that goes into it.

The group has been prepping for the event all summer and Tennis said he has four freezers full of ingredients ready to go.

On the day of the chowder, people have to work in shifts.

“We start at 2 o’clock in the morning,” Tennis said.

It takes six hours to cook a “small” kettle of chowder, which holds 20 gallons.

“It’s my job to keep track of what goes into each kettle,” Tennis said. “It’s a memory game for me on Sunday morning!”

The chowder is open to the public, and carry-out starts at 9 a.m. Dine in at the K of C Hall at 212 W. 5th Street starts at 11 a.m., and lasts until “people stop coming.”

One gallon of chowder costs $20 and feeds a family of six, and whole pies made by the Daughters of Isabella is priced for $12.

To be put down on the pre-order list, contact Jim Tennis at 812-455-9361.

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