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.
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! :)