Saturday, September 17, 2011

Q & A with Lisa Fain and giveaway of The Homesick Texan Cookbook

Homesickness is a such a powerful yearning of the soul that it can connect two strangers across a great distance. Even if the strangers had never met. Even if one lived in Texas and the other in New York City. Even if they were each pining for homes left behind in different parts of the world.

I found the Homesick Texan blog when Lisa wrote these words: "When I first moved to New York City and discovered that the Tex-Mex was seriously lacking in this town, I embraced Indian food. Now, if you’re not familiar with Indian cuisine that may seem bizarre. But Indian cuisine is rich with ingredients familiar to Texans, such as cumin, chiles and cilantro." You can find the rest of the post here.

Her words mirrored my experience. When I first moved to the U.S. and Texas, when I found myself missing Bangladesh and my mother's curries, sitting around the family table for meals full of flavors and smells I'd grown up with...I sought out Tex-Mex food.

Over time, I grew to appreciate Tex-Mex food for itself (you couldn't find avocados or guacamole anywhere in Bangladesh, but I absolutely love both!), enjoyed other Texas fare and learned to make curries and other desi foods myself. But I still continue to keep up with the Homesick Texan. And when she published her cookbook, I was overjoyed.

It's more than just a cookbook, it's the words and recipes of a sister traveller. To celebrate her debut release, one lucky person will win a copy of her cookbook. All you have to do is leave a comment about what food takes you home. A randomly drawn winner will be announced Wednesday, September 21.

Here's a Q & A with Lisa. Enjoy!

1) Who inspired you to cook?

Everyone in my family enjoys cooking, and some of my earliest memories are standing in the kitchen with my mom, my dad or my grandparents, watching them prepare dishes. Sometimes they’d even let me help if I wasn’t too busy licking the bowl.

2) What inspired you to write a cookbook?

Writing books has always been a dream of mine, and when enough people suggested that I write a cookbook, it seemed like a natural progression from the work I’d done on the blog.

It’s funny, I started the blog simply to share recipes and photos with friends and family, and never in my wildest dreams did I believe I’d end up writing a book. It’s been a joyful journey!

3) How have you changed since you started blogging?

The blog showed me that there are homesick Texans all over the world—so I felt less alone with my obsession. It’s also revealed to me the power of home cooking as a means of connecting with those that you love.

4) Who is this cookbook meant for?

This cookbook is meant for everyone. Seriously, Texan cuisine is warm and welcoming and I say everyone’s invited to the Texas table!

5)When you miss Texas, what is the one food or flavor that can always comfort you?

A big bowl of homemade Houston-style green sauce.

(Photo Credit goes to Jan Cobb)

To know more about Lisa, check out her Homesick Texan blog. Remember, leave a comment and a way to get in touch with you, and you might win a most drool-worthy book! :)


  1. This is a lovely post. Food in all its many forms connect us to not only people, but also places and times in our lives. Kentucky Fried chicken will always mean family celebration to me because we so often had it at family gatherings when I was a kid. I will never eat Long John's Fish without thinking of my grandparents and my uncle because Long John's was one restaurant that my grandfather liked so when my uncle came to town he would take us there to eat. As for cooking...the foods that I like to cook don't remind me so much of a place as I've pretty much always lived in the Midwest. They do however remind me of grandmother. Chicken and noodles is one of the things that my mother makes...and spaghetti is one that my grandmother made. Food connects us across time and space.

    I would love to win the Homesick Texan Cookbook!
    Laurie Sanders at Black Velvet Seductions dot com.

  2. This is a fantastic post. The food that takes me home is grits - cheesy, cheesy grits with so much butter even Paula Deen would pause. My grandmother always made this cardiologist-galling breakfast dish, and it feels like home.

  3. @Heather - you said it! Add in some good old fashioned Virginia ham and it's my favorite breakfast!

  4. Ah the best foods always remind us of people. Hmm, I'm getting hungry! Thanks for visiting :)

  5. Gee-whiz, now I'm hungry. Texas is where I tried my first Margarita and fell in love. ::rolling eyes:: The drink! But the food was delicious too. Salsa and chips. Anything in a tortilla and I'm in heaven.

    I'm on a diet here and I new better than come over here ... geez, I swear I smell the cilantro and chilies now. ::sigh::

    Anything with cinnamon in it takes me back to my childhood.

  6. Sounds fun AND yummy. LOL I did a cookbook several years ago that never saw publication, but my husband was grateful for the taste tasting opportunities. :D
    Recipes that take me somewhere: 1 c. egg noodles, 1 egg, bread crumbs, 2 c. cottage cheese green onions. Doesn't sound like much, but it's pure comfort food. It's only called "Grandma's Noodles" in my house.
    My mother's kuchen is another comfort food, but it's all Christmas for us and the noodles can happen any old time. ;D
    Thanks for sharing this! There are two things everyone on this earth shares: we all breathe air and we all EAT. LOL

  7. Fantastic! What a great idea for a book! I'm in Texas, but I miss my grandmother's chicken fried steak & white gravy. My cousin's & I used to have contests about who could eat the most, but it was always a draw because we always polished it off before we had enough!! Granny made the absolute BEST CFS & white gravy known to man. She's been gone more than half of my life, now, and I still miss her hugs and kindness. (contact

  8. What I'd miss about Texas food is the barbecue. My favorite comfort meal is really a meal I first ate in Charleston, SC (served by my mother-in-law over 30 years ago) is cheese grits, boiled shrimp and sliced tomatoes, which I'm making a Texas staple!

  9. I'm living on a sailboat and am experiencing all sorts of food and cultures, but the one thing that brings me back to Iowa is a thick steak and baked potato everytime.

    But I love all the new flavors I'm absorbing along the way. Texas included.

  10. Wow, I'm feeling a bit jealous I didn't grow up on grits :D. Most of my childhood foods are very favorites somehow involve lentils.

    Even though our foods are different, it's so good to read all the wonderful stories. Thank you all for sharing!

    Remember, the winner will be announced tomorrow. So check back! :)