One autumn, my mom was on a business trip in the Northeast, and we decided to meet halfway at a Connecticut farm and go apple picking.
Scones have long been a favorite addition to our family’s breakfast table. My mom is quite famous, in fact, for her scones, and she has been known to make up new scone recipes on the spot, depending on what is available.
The morning after my grandma Ashner’s funeral, the family met at her home to begin going through her things. We were all exhausted from the day before, and the prospect of dealing with her stuff was a bit daunting.
Even though she is an expatriate, Lisa Fain is the most Texan Texan I’ve ever met. Her roots go back seven generations, and her identify has only solidified since she moved to New York, following a life-long dream, in 1995. In 2005, she started a blog in which she waxed nostalgic about her Texas childhood and posted recipes that reminded her of home (she loves to cook). The blog became so popular that it led to The Homesick Texan Cookbook, published in 2011.
For Lisa Fain, it may have started with a cheese log. She was eight years old when she watched her grandmother make one for a party.
"It was her aunt’s recipe, and I was just blown away," says Fain. "I never realized you could make a cheese ball. I thought it was something you got from the store. That was a moment when I realized, just about anything can be homemade!"
Summer is upon us, occasioning a return to picnics and pool parties and cookouts and, of course, the riotous sweating that accompanies all of the above. Every good Texan knows that beer is the only proper antidote, but why not spice things up—literally—with a michelada: a fizzy Mexican lager bedazzled with salt, lime, vinegary hot sauce, and what I like to call umami juice (some sort of soy or wheat-gluten seasoning).
The creation of the San Antonio campus of the Culinary Institute of America has all the makings of an “only in Texas” story: a local man makes a fortune off salsa, then gives back to his community by financing a world-class cooking school in partnership with the country’s most prestigious culinary college, which is based in—all together now—New York City!?! (Well, Hyde Park, but close enough.)
Food & Wine magazine revealed its 2014 list of the Best New Chefs in America on Tuesday morning via social media, and Texas chefs clearly came out swinging. Out of the twelve chefs (from ten restaurants) honored, three hailed from the Lone Star State. This is a record for Texas, which has previously had two chefs on the annual list but not three.