Monday, October 17, 2011

Lisa Fain, What Are You Reading?

Lisa Fain, author of the well-loved food blog Homesick Texan started in 2006, has just written her first book The Homesick Texan Cookbook. I have the book in front of me now, open to the Morning Food chapter, and I’m getting distracted. The breakfast relleno, huevos rancheros, Mexican fried potatoes, and pecan coffee cake are making my toast look especially bland this morning. Some of the other chapters are Appetizers, Chilis Soups and Stews, Tex-Mex Classics, Beef Pork and Fowl, Seafood, Sides Hot and Cold, Breads, and Sweets. Just like the blog, the book presents the best of Texan cuisine with beautiful photos. Over the years, the Homesick Texan blog has been lauded repeatedly. It was named as one of the top fifty food blogs by the Times of London, the Best Regional Food Blog by Saveur, and received recognition from the New York Times, Bon Appetit, and Gourmet. Fain is an active member of Foodways Texas and the Southern Foodways Alliance, and is a certified barbecue judge. And, she’ll be visiting Austin soon. This Saturday, at the Texas Book Festival, Fain will be discussing her new book at 12:45 pm in the Capitol Extension Room E2.036. Then, on Monday, October 24, she will be at BookPeople for an Edible Austin book signing event starting at 7:00 pm. I recently asked her, what are you reading?

Larry McMurtry has long been one of my favorite writers, but I’d never read his first novel, Horseman, Pass By. It’s a spare yet poetic look at West Texas ranch life and the conflicts between the traditional and the new. There’s lots of arguing in the novel, but one thing that all the characters can agree upon is good food. Many scenes are spent amidst skillets of warm biscuits, bowls of freshly churned peach ice cream, or platters of sizzling, juicy steaks. It’s Texas home cooking at its best, and I was often hungry while reading.

The First Texas Cook Book, which was published in 1883, is filled with lots of fascinating recipes that you don’t often see anymore, such as snow pudding, pigshead mash, and pickled brains. Of course, there are lots of old favorites such as biscuits, chow chow and macaroni with cheese. I’m not sure I want to make all of these dishes, but it is interesting to see how our Texan ancestors cooked.

Thank you for participating, Lisa. Check back to see who answers the question next time and what other books are recommended.

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Monica Bhide
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Sara Roahen
Andrea Nguyen
David Lebovitz
Rick Bayless
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Deborah Madison
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  1. It's only appropriate that I read this post with a cup of pecan coffee in hand :D

  2. Thanks for sharing. Surely a lovely and cozy read.



  3. Hey Lisa,
    Hearing what others are reading is so inspiring for me. It's so easy to fall into a rut of my own favorite books. Thanks for helping to inspire us to branch out.

  4. This is like the 5th time I have heard of the Homesick Texan in the past week, so thanks for sharing!
    Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, one of the BEST books I've ever read! Haven't read this one though, I'll put it on my list-

  5. I really like Larry McMurtry's books! And I'm loving Lisa's new cookbook so I'm so glad she shared some of her favorites!

  6. Looking forward to picking up the book. You were right- she will be at the Capitol, not the Cooking Tent, at the Book Festival so no demo. I may just try to catch her reading at Book People on Monday as well.


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