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By Russell Kane and Terry Thompson-Anderson
During the 2013 Hill Country Wine and Music Festival in Fredericksburg, author and Chef Terry Thompson-Anderson and wine writer Russell Kane collaborated on an evening of food and wine pairings to raise money and awareness for the Texas Center for Wine and Culinary Arts, featuring recipes from Terry’s upcoming book, Texas Terroir: Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State. We are sharing notes from this enjoyable event to highlight the fun and sensory experiences of pairing local food with Texas wine—to inspire your own pairings at home.
Spicy, Texas-Style Hummus with Pita Chips
Mushroom Rockefeller with a Hint of Herbsaint
Crostini with Salsa Pomodoro
Hilmy Cellars Tempranillo Rosé
Devon Dikeou. PLEASE SIX (BOUQUET DE PIVOINES), 2011 Ongoing. C-Print of a Hand-Blown Glass Vase and Fresh Flowers Arranged to Replicate One of the 16 Last Paintings Édouard Manet Painted Before Dying, 21 5/8 x 16 ½ inches (54.92 x 40.64cm). Courtesy of the artist.
The Wellness Issue
A simple toast “to health and happiness” to start the new year belies the profundity of the relationship between these two enduring human quests.
Body, mind and spirit are necessarily intertwined, and whether we consciously pursue the soundness of each, or just appreciate their value in achieving the happiness equation, we know that without them, we are lost.
So what, then, constitutes good health? Awareness of what we put into the precious container that houses our intellectual and spiritual being: Feeding our bodies good food is fundamental. But peel that back a layer and consider what we put into the precious container that houses our ecosystem, i.e., the seas, the land and the planet we inhabit. What do we feed it? More importantly, how are we impeding its ability to feed itself?
So in the spirit of renewal, I offer a toast to the new year. In lieu of trying to compose this myself, I am suddenly finding deeper meaning in the lyrics of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. Yellow Submarine = our planet. Sing along with me!
by Kat Fatland
For food lovers like myself, Penang is a heaven on Earth, a prandial theme park. It took me approximately three meals after my arrival here to acknowledge, quietly and to myself at first, that this little island off the coast of Malaysia probably offers the greatest food in Southeast Asia. Ten meals later, and a little more vocally, I announced that Penang’s food topped my personal list of worldly culinary delights. And hundreds of plates in, I can only use superlatives to describe my affection. Now, like almost every Penangite I know, I, too, feel the surge of anger rise in my throat when somebody tries to tell me that the char kuey teow (noodles fried in chili paste with bean sprouts, egg and prawns) stall they frequent is better than mine. And I have come to fully understand the area’s ubiquitous greeting of “Sudah makan?” (“Have you eaten?”)
Here in Penang, the best of the street-food hawkers are looked upon as royalty—brilliant alchemists who have found the perfect blend of flavors to satisfy our appetites’ most mysterious desires. From the plates of rich noodles to the heady slices of roast duck heaped atop savory rice, culinary diversity abounds on every street corner. And though the street fare is truly fast food—hawkers deftly flip chapatis (toasted discs of unleavened bread) like spinning plates, rapidly fry spice pastes in woks and snugly wrap rice and curry into a bright green banana leaf with intense precision—eating here is a revered event, a celebration of a monumental coming together that’s deeply felt, and a keen insight into Penang’s vibrant past.
by Pamela Walker
Monticello, New Mexico, home to fewer than 100 people, was founded in the mid-1900s and is nestled in a canyon at the end of NM 142—25 miles northwest of Truth or Consequences and 160 miles south of Albuquerque. The area lies within the northern Chihuahuan Desert, and the highway winds first through a plateau of lechuguilla, creosote bush and ocotillo, and then continues downward into Cañada Alamosa, named for the cottonwood trees that long ago took root near Alamosa Creek. Here, cattle roam freely, horses graze in paddocks, alfalfa grows in small, diked plots and old adobe homes alternate between more recent framed houses and a handful of trailer homes.
Among the town’s residents are Jane and Steve Darland of Old Monticello Organic Farms—the sole source of travel lodging in Monticello. The Darlands cultivate roses, lavender and other herbs and a vineyard of mainly trebbiano grapes. From their flowers and herbs they make floral waters and essential oils, and from the grapes they make their primary product: traditional balsamic vinegar—distinct from common balsamic because of its pure, unadulterated grape juice that’s been fermented and concentrated in casks for at least 12 years in the centuries-old Italian manner.
by Jo Ann Santangelo and Kate Payne
Because I write books and features about food, most people assume I’m solely responsible for all things food and drink that come from our kitchen. But the truth is, even though I can cook the daily meals, and am pretty good at it, that doesn’t mean I like to do it. Luckily, my wife and I are very different. When Jo Ann and I were dating and living together for the first time in our small Brooklyn apartment, she opened my eyes to the cyclical nature of the kitchen—transforming my bachelorette kitchen habits into the lifestyle of a cooking person—something I’d always hoped to be but never quite mastered. She’s the type of person for whom cooking is relaxing and enjoyable, and this relationship to food and cooking set the stage for our current roles. She’s the one who makes sure we eat, and I’m the special projects coordinator—the keeper of the breads, jams, pickles, kimchis, ice creams, bitters, liqueurs, etc. (and the one responsible for the supplemental pizzazz). Our essential tools reflect these general roles. —Kate Payne
by Amy Crowell
If ever the title “elder” were to be bestowed upon a wild berry, the elderberry truly deserves the honor. Hippocrates referred to this prolific plant as his “entire medicine chest;” Shakespeare hints it might be a good shelter under which to sit and watch the fairies revel on a midsummer night; and Elton John had different ideas in his 1972 song, “Elderberry Wine”: “…feeling fine on elderberry wine, those were the days we’d lay in the haze—forget depressive times.”
References to elderberry are ubiquitous in heirloom cookbooks, ancient medicinal texts and folklore. Of course, one could argue that the ample elderberry-lore might exist because the bushes themselves are everywhere and grow like weeds in wet soils in many parts of the world. Or maybe the medicinal benefits realized long ago (and at the attention of modern science) gave this berry its magical place in our stories. Either way, the elderberry is still easy to find and bountiful in its nourishing gifts to those who are brave enough to stalk it. It also doesn’t hurt that the berries are high in vitamin C, phosphorous, potassium and antioxidants—a cocktail of good things to cure what ails us.
The Beverage Issue
Tell Us What You Eat and Why!
Enter a photo in our Edible Escape photo contest for a chance to win a great escape package! Grand prize is a 5-day New Mexico adventure sponsored by Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. Runners up prizes include an escape to Marfa and the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio.
Where else would a farmer’s daughter get married but right under the ceremony tree at
Springdale Farm? Jessie and Jordan tied the knot just steps from Jessie’s family home on the beloved urban farm just east of downtown Austin. It’s one of the best DIY farm weddings we’ve seen.
Photography: Dennis Burnett and Whitney Runyon | Venue: Springdale Farm | Tablescapes: florals, eggs and home canned vegetables from Springdale Farm // arranged by Darrelle Foore | Table Coverings: Great Grandma’s crocheted doilies | Cake: made by bride’s grandparents, Herb and Shelvie Foore | Catering: Cotè Catering | Ceremony music: written by groom and performed by Margaret Gavin, Sean Casey, Andrew McKay and Brittany Ganz-McKay | Reception Music: DJ Dey-One | Tables and Benches: handmade by the Foore family
Driving up the road to Austin Discovery School during the school year, you’re likely to see gaggles of kids with wheelbarrows, shovels, hoses and hoes. You also might see a bunny named Rusty being “hopped” on a leash, a pond being dug, trees being watered, chickens being held and leaves being hauled and spread. That’s because the public charter school’s Eco-Wellness program is an integral part of the kids’ educational routine. It’s also a critical way to fulfill the school’s mission of creating socially aware and confident critical-thinkers through hands-on learning.
I gave birth to our first baby earlier this year. In spite of checking things off my lists—preparing nursing baskets, assembling the items requested by the midwives, installing the car seat, sorting hand-me-downs, lining up a meal tree—nothing really prepared me for such a life-altering event. As I made room for this new life growing inside of me, a wise friend and doula told me Inanna’s story—the ancient tale of the goddess’s journey to the underworld and back, where birth is interwoven with death as some parts of our maiden selves are laid to rest, while others bloom with new life and purpose. I’ve been thinking about this story a lot while I recover from my own journey.
When loved ones pass away, they leave us with so many questions we forgot to ask and stories we wish we could hear again and again. Having known Miguel Ravago—beloved chef at Austin’s Fonda San Miguel restaurant for nearly 45 years—I might mix up recollections of the countless times, travels and meals we shared, the laughter and the tears. I might accidentally omit details of memories, or even spice them up a bit. But Miguel’s smiling face, generosity, genteel manners and exquisite grace will always remain crystal clear in my mind. At age 72, Miguel lost his battle with lung cancer. He took his last breath on June 24, 2017, leaving behind a wake of the brokenhearted.
The cold doesn’t seem to bother Javier Roberto Flores—not even the 10-degree deep-chill of the industrial freezer that houses the heart of his company, Fat Ice. With hardly a shiver, he walks around the bone-numbing room in a short-sleeved “#MakeIceGreatAgain” shirt, pointing out the tools of his trade: souped-up band saws, wax-lined cardboard packaging and ice. Lots of ice.
By Bambi Edlund
When Diana Dussan wanted to test her new jackfruit jerky, she knew if she could win over her “sixty-something, retired-military, anti-anything-vegan, mountain-man of a stepdad,” she’d be onto something. In the end, he not only liked it, he didn’t even believe her when she told him he was eating a dehydrated fruit. “It was the texture that got him,” she says. “He didn’t expect it to crunch like meat.”
Walk into any Austin restaurant from Torchy’s Tacos to Jeffrey’s and you’ll most likely find that it’s understaffed. In early March 2018, Poached Jobs, a website that posts jobs in the food and drink industry, listed 689 open positions locally, and the Food, Beverage and Hospitality section of Austin’s Craigslist had more than 2,000 posts. We took a quick survey of some of Austin’s most spotlighted restaurants and found that 80 percent had open line-cook positions, and all had at least one open position from hostess to dishwashers. In a lightning-fast-growing city seemingly teeming with eligible people seeking employment, what could be the disconnect?
In “The Broken Spoke: Austin’s Legendary Honky-Tonk,” author Donna Marie Miller leads us around the dance floor (always, always counterclockwise) of one of the only remaining authentic honky-tonks left standing in Texas. Other than a few inside counters, a coat or two of paint and an added dance floor, things around the Spoke simply haven’t changed that much, and that’s just the way owners James and Annetta White have always wanted it. Once inside the door, the music, smells, atmosphere—sometimes even faces—are pretty much the same now as they were when the doors opened in 1964.
The next time you pick up a pack of corn tortillas, take a second to appreciate the ease of buying such a delicious staple. Centuries of work went into that rather simple-looking product derived from the development and cultivation of corn around 9,000 years ago. Farmers from Mesoamerica (roughly the region that is now Central Mexico down to northern Costa Rica) spent eras selectively breeding wild grass for its large kernels until around 1,500 B.C., when the cluster of kernels began to resemble the large corncobs we know and love today. (We can also thank them for inventing the nixtamalization process that makes corn more nutritious and easier to grind.)
When dreaming up a remodel or new build, flooring may not be as sexy or Pinterest-worthy as say, wallpaper, paint colors, kitchens or bathrooms. However, nothing supports the life coursing through a home each day quite like our floors. We play with our children and/or pets on them, stand on them for hours cooking and walk the same traffic pattern from room to room. The floor really anchors the entire home, and now homeowners are more conscientious than ever about remodeling or building with flooring that reflects their values and concerns for the environment.