A Love Letter- Texas Tuesday

When time allows, we walk slowly through the waking hours. He has his spot, I have mine. We listen more than talk.  The birds are diving for dominance at our feeder, calling out their morning song. The sunlight dances through the pergola. Jasmine is blooming along the fence line. The coffee warms and awakens. Every sense is given a morning gift. It is Texas in the spring and it has become a part of me.

When I moved to Austin nearly 21 years ago, I was supposed to be here for two months. As the time drew near to leave, I remember saying to my brother, “But, what about the BBQ? The breakfast tacos?” As a chef, he understood. For all I would be leaving, the Texas cuisine was going to be one of the hardest things to say goodbye to. Obviously, I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave any of it.

This week, I was with my father at Costco when I saw a copy of my friend’s new cookbook, The United Tastes of Texas. I stopped to take a photo and peruse the recipes when I heard, “Someone is taking a picture of my book. It’s Alissa!” Yes, in moments, you see that Austin, for all of its growth, can still be a small world.

Jessica Dupuy is a fourth generation Texan, a skilled writer, with a refined palate and an eye for details. She travels through each region, each cuisine to create recipes that speak of home. The photography is gorgeous. She captures the beauty of the land and the beauty of each dish. From Rabbit and Sage Dumpling to Arrachera en Adobo, ceviche to coconut flan, Dupuy lovingly curates the tastes of Texas into one stunning book.

If you spend any time traveling, any time with people who love to cook, you realize quickly that it is not just about the food. Preparing a dish is an act of love. Sharing that meal is connective. Food is a conduit. It can spark a story.  It can transport. It becomes a part of you, your family, your story.

This past weekend, we sampled her BBQ rub on ribs and pork chops (delicious) for a family supper. I made a slight variation of her avocado-mango salsa (always a favorite), my own slaw and beans. I made a BBQ sauce passed down from another family. My mom made strawberry-rhubarb crisp. With my parents, my sister and her husband, and our first-generation Texans, we shared a slow Sunday afternoon. We shared ourselves, our stories.

Each page of the United Tastes of Texas is like a postcard, a love letter. It speaks to more than the taste of Texas. It captures the heart, the scenery, the soul. And like spring mornings on my porch, each sense is given a gift. Reminding you why you are here, or why you want to return.

 

 

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Being a stay- at-home mom can leave one thirsting for a taste of the outside world, a world in which sentences are composed of more than three words. Being an educator means one is always seeking an opportunity to explore and learn. Being a woman with a need to connect can be a challenge when adult conversations are rare. In wine, I find the marriage of art and science, agriculture and storytelling provides limitless areas to explore. But it is the people that keep me engaged. The tenacity needed to keep the family dream alive, the risk to start anew, the trials and principles. I love the history of the vine, the impact of a season, the sentiment in the bottle. That is why I write. I write to tell their stories, to share a piece of mine. I write to learn as I teach others. I write to connect with new friends, to disconnect from the world. I write to celebrate what makes each of us unique, and that which ties us together.

2 thoughts on “A Love Letter- Texas Tuesday

  1. Enjoyed reading your blog…I am thinking of moving to Austin….it does have some upscale areas doesn’t it? It’s not all just honky tonks and bars I hope.

    Like

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