Crop Pot New England Clam Chowder

4 (6 1/2 oz.) cans clams
1/2 lb. salt pork or bacon, diced
1 lg. onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 to 8 lg. potatoes, pared and cubed
3 c. water
Or 2 c. water and 2 cups Clam juice from the cans
3 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper (fresh ground)
4 c. half and half cream or milk
3 to 4 tbsp. cornstarch

Cut clams into bite sized pieces if necessary In skillet, saute salt pork or bacon, garlic and onion until golden brown; drain. Put into crock pot with clams; add all remaining ingredients, except milk. Cover; cook on high 3 to 4 hours (low 6-8 hours) or until potatoes are tender. During the last hour of cooking: Combine 1 cup of milk with the cornstarch; add that and the remaining milk and stir well Heat through. Serve in large bowls with crusty French bread.