Tuesday, September 05, 2006

It’s no secret that Texans ain’t too fond of Californians

“They dress funny, talk funny, and sure as hell eat funny. I mean, who the hell ever heard of eating raw fish?” you might hear a Texan ask.

Never mind that the same things could be said of them with their cowboy boots, starched Wranglers, belt buckles and Stetsons and their insistence that a meal isn’t a meal unless you’ve eaten a dead animal.

Though I was born and raised in Texas and still feel an undeniable, intrinsic attraction to its ways, I am unabashedly more at home in California. I blend in seamlessly with the tank-top, flip-flop wearing, sushi-eating, liberal view-espousing crowd.

So it is with a different perspective that I see and enjoy my native state when I return.

After our wedding we spent a few days at a B&B in the hill country. Our private cabin opened out to a field where we watched the deer each evening. In the morning we could hear distant cows bray and quail coo. This little B&B boasted a renowned chef who’s been featured in publications such as Gourmet Magazine. Each morning we were delighted and stunned by what he considered breakfast: three courses, every one with generous portions of devastatingly rich concoctions. That’s when it occurred to me that Texans are trying to kill Californians with butter!

“This morning we’ll start with strawberries and blueberries in heavy cream and your choice of an almond Basque tart or a raspberry lemon scone served with butter, jams and thick cream. Then for breakfast [as if that other stuff were a mere crumb] we have your choice of pancakes with hot maple syrup and our homemade pork sausage or a cheese and mushroom frittata served with mashed potatoes [with butter] and bacon.”

Each morning I plowed through the fruit, the pastry [which I’m sure contained an entire stick of butter per serving] and as much of the actual breakfast as I could manage. And each morning I had to make a mad dash back to the cabin because I was utterly sick to my stomach from the richness of the meal.

Not to worry, though. We rounded out our meals of butter and heavy cream with generous helpings barbeque and beans. When we found one barbeque join that served canned green beans I sat down and ate an entire heaping mound of them all by myself.

Needless to say, I’m glad to be back home in California - where I can finally get a cup of coffee with skim milk instead of cream.

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