To bacon drippings, add potatoes, celery, onion, salt, thyme, pepper and reserved clam liquid. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes.
Blend flour and milk till smooth. Gradually add to vegetable mixture. Cook over medium heat about 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Add clams. Heat, stirring frequently. DO NOT BOIL. Garnish with crumbled bacon.
Substitute: w/o bacon, add 2 tblsp margarine when adding milk.