How my mother loved a good chowder! She was born in New Brunswick, and lived in Maine and Massachusetts before moving out west, so I guess she knew a thing or two about making one. Of course, she probably started out making her earlier versions from freshly shucked clams, but I remember her making do quite nicely with canned clams from our inland grocery store.
I don't seem to have my mom's directions written down, but I have watched her make it many times. This version from Allrecipes comes the closest.
4 slices bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
ground black pepper to taste
3 cups half-and-half (half of this can be whole milk)
3 tablespoons butter
2 (10 ounce) cans minced clams