One of the things that I look forward to with our yearly excursion to the Empire of Texas are the foods that I miss so much. There are many delightful foods in Washington—salmon, fish-n-chips, blackberries, apples, cherries, etc… but I still miss some of the favorites from my youth.
As I’ve grown up I’ve learned to appreciate the subtleties of different kinds of barbeque; such as pulled pork or the Carolina golden and the unique zang of Memphis style. Yet, I am a Texas boy and barbeque to me means brisket, cooked over a slow smoky fire, rubbed (NOT SAUCED) with a unique mixture concocted by the pit-master. It must be served with white bread, some type of bean, pickles, onions, and ice tea. No plates, just butcher paper.
I could call this one Mexican food, but that would offend my friends on the west coast where they cook up a variety of yummy Mexican food that I love also—like fish tacos or wet burritos. My experience is that this ‘Cali-Mex’ is more citrusy, lemony, and fruity. Mango would never pass muster for Tex-Mex. Tex-Mex is chili con carne, guacamole, hot jalapenos, cilantro enriched salsa, and chili rellenos that will knock your socks off. Tex-Mex has a bite that comes from an emphasis upon tomatoes and peppers and spicy meat. Oh, and don’t forget to deep fry something.
My desire for catfish, hush puppies, cole slaw, pickles and onions and tartar sauce is located in my East Texas childhood. A ‘catfish fry’ is a social event as much as a food event in which family and friends gather around the deep fat fryer and enjoy yummy goodness. Catfish is not my favorite fresh water fish, that would be large mouth bass. Yet when deep-fried and paired with hush puppies and tartar sauce (and don’t forget the sweet tea) something magical happens. The planets align, foes drop their swords, and world peace occurs—at least long enough to shovel in as many filets as possible.
Pittsburgh Hot Links
It is hard to describe the emotions, desire and longing that swell up within me when I think of these beautiful delights. They are not for everyone, but they are, quite possibly, the best thing I have ever eaten in a restaurant, anywhere, period. There is only one place I know to get them and that is JB’s Hotlinks in my hometown of Hughes Springs,Texas. It is a sausage case filled with yummy, spicy sausage and then deep-fried. I eat mine with chili, cheese, and onions on top and then squirt this outrageously insane good vinegary sauce on it then eat it with crackers. The best drink pairing with this: Cherry Coke.
They are called “Pittsburgh” hot links but I do not know if that is Pittsburgh,Pennsylvania or Pittsburgh,Texas. I don’t care. I just want more. Everyone should make a pilgrimage at least once to go have some in their lifetime.
Blue Bell Ice Cream
Blue Bell ice cream is simply the best in the world. I like any of the vanilla flavors along with fresh Fredericksburg peaches. Yum. I haven’t had much of this because of the large amount of calories involved; but I have had my fix.
On the way home, back to good old Port Orchard, I think I will have to buy some Alka-Seltzer and update my workout routine.