Take one food-loving Texan, put her to work in New York City for 11 years and what do you get? One Homesick Texan, pining for the tamales and salsa of her home state. Lisa Fain, the expat behind Homesick Texan, crafts a witty, engaging food blog, filled with home-style Texas recipes and gorgeous photography. Having grown up in California, I can completely relate to Lisa’s love for Tex-Mex, tacos, and cast iron skillets. The post on chocolate frito pie had me both cringing and laughing at the thought of it.
Sometimes it seems as if Lisa is on a one-woman mission to educate her non-Texan brethren as to what does, and does not, constitute Texan food:
I’ve ranted on this before and I will rant on this again: Texas is not an adjective to be used lightly, yet people love to throw it around, usually when trying to conjure a sense of great size. Last time I checked, Alaska was the biggest state in terms of land mass and California in terms of population. So why not Alaskan toast? Or Californian toast? OK, perhaps the lack of alliteration makes those names less snappy. And yes, perhaps we should be flattered, but there is a real food out there called Texas toast and it upsets me to see people eating something mislabeled.
The posts often weave in stories of home, family, and growing up in Texas:
When I was nine, we moved to Houston. The first time we went to a Mexican restaurant, I was in for a big shock: where were the tamales? Instead, Houston Mexican menus featured dishes I’d never heard of such as enchiladas verdes. Also, being close to the Gulf, fish tacos were popular, as were tacos al carbon and a sizzling skillet of fajitas. And besides the usual bowl of red salsa on the table there was also a bowl of green. I was upset I couldn’t order my usual meal, but after I had my first taste of green sauce—a creamy and tangy mix of avocados, cilantro, tomatillos, jalapenos and sour cream—I no longer missed tamales. Mexican food had taken on a whole new meaning. (Likewise, it was my first lesson in learning that Tex-Mex, like all great cuisines, has regional variations.)
The recipes are highly detailed and often accompanied by photos to help demonstrate some of the more unfamiliar methods. If you are at all interested in SouthWestern food and like a good read, I highly encourage you to take at look at Homesick Texan.