Saturday, April 18, 2009

Summer of Roots

Each season, I seems to select a food theme. Living in Austin means only two distinct seasons exist and that I have to make the most of each theme. Themes pop up in many area of my life. For instance, I've decided to spend the summer drinking copious amounts of pastis and playing pétanque. Whether or not I chose the themes or they chose me is up for debate.

For instance, in my CSA box today, I found a bunch of turnip greens. In my search for a great pairing, I zeroed in on some lima beans: a meal that I used to eat as a child. All that was missing was some cornbread.

My family grew up in Northern Louisiana and we had rice and beans four nights out of seven. Some sort of greens usually accompanied each dish and bacon was usually started the cooking process. The food was simple and hearty. Focusing on my childhood cuisine seems pertinent. I'm trying to eat simpler, healthier foods that don't break the bank. Rice, beans, and greens fit that description pretty well.

Simpler and healthier has been my focus lately. I don't know if it's maturity or the fact that I'm getting older, wiser, and chili dogs with 13 beers hurts like hell these days. Something tells me it's the latter. I've also become aware of my physical state and want to look and feel my best. This has resulted in me eating less processed foods to the point where they are now unpalatable. I look for foods with the least number of ingredients and now go through the trouble to make beef stroganoff from scratch instead of from a packet because it tastes better and I know exactly what goes into it. As revolution happens inside of me, I notice similar changes happening all around me. Natural grocers are becoming more and more prevalent. There are more cyclists on the road each year. I hope this trend continues and reaches beyond cities like Austin into small towns and stores like Safeway and Kroger.

Regardless of what happens in the world, I'm returning to my roots of Lousiana cuisine and am excited. Cornbread, beans, rice, gumbo, étouffée, and more gumbo. I can't go wrong.

P.S. I have not yet moved to my new URL simply because it has involved more than I thought and I'm trying to get it right the first time.


nhallfreelance said...

It's funny how your post on roots concerns the opposite end of the plant.

Boots in the Oven said...

Good to see you at the food festival yesterday. Even though I didn't grow up with beans and greens, they're still a comfort food... and totally delicious if you throw a fried egg on top, too.

Which CSA do you use?

Anonymous said...

Great post, it's been really nice getting to know you, have you mastered gumbo? If so I see a dinner party happening very soon...