Have you ever done a steak tasting? I don’t mean just spearing a piece of meat off a friend’s plate so you can compare his sirloin strip with your ribeye. No, I mean something more like a wine tasting, where you thoughtfully plan a sampling of several steaks, from light to robust. At most steakhouses, where the highly laudable goal is consistency, a steak tasting can go only so far.
A few weekends ago, my cousin told me about a chicken her husband had recently rescued—more likely purloined—from the side of a busy road that it was, no doubt, trying to cross. This lovely hen, whom they welcomed into their family and christened Julia, lets herself in through the dog door and contentedly perches on the kitchen counter while my cousin washes dishes. She also likes to sit on her lap.
Q: I grew up in the forties and fifties, when the rule in my grandma’s Texas kitchen was that the men ate first, waited on by the women, then the women and children dined. Everyone seemed happy with the arrangement.
The charter of the Gunnar Hansen Fan Club, which was presented to Hansen on October 11, 1974, along with a vintage chain saw. (Courtesy of Gunnar Hansen)
My husband and I are sitting across the table from our daughter, Teal, and her fiancé, Bennett. Around us, the restaurant is bustling, with servers slipping between tables hoisting fragrant pan-Asian dishes while patrons scream delightedly at one another. Noise aside, this will be the last calm moment the four of us have together for a while.
My marriage to Michael began cat-free. After all, Michael didn’t like cats. He’d tell you so outright: Cats are standoffish. They don’t have a personality. Cats aren’t fun. No cats.
Like most Americans, we Texans prefer to avoid that awkward “conversation” about race. However, we do have a long tradition of telling ourselves stories, often as fanciful as they are comforting, about race.
In December 2008 I interviewed Rick Perry over lunch at a small Mexican restaurant in East Austin. We dined on typical Tex-Mex fare, and Perry was in high spirits as he recounted his latest triumph: persuading Caterpillar to move one of its main manufacturing facilities to Seguin. Perry has always been animated when I’ve talked with him, and that afternoon was no different, as he shifted in his chair or tugged on the cuffs of his pants or changed the subject in mid-sentence.
It’s only taken fifteen years, four championships and, starting tonight, a sixth appearance in the NBA Finals, but America has finally fallen for the San Antonio Spurs. Or, maybe the masses just like them more than the Miami Heat.
In any case, this ESPN “SportsNation” poll makes it clear that during these Finals, San Antonio's team is America's team:
Last Tuesday Chase Hawk sat at a wooden table at the Buzzmill bar and coffee house, nursing an amber-hued IPA. “Ten years ago, I’d drink you under the table, stay up all night, and then ride all of the following day,” the 27-year-old professional freestyle BMXer told me.