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Showing posts from June, 2012

Fig Preserves

Tuesday I got this message from my good friend Lori... "TONIGHT. We have figs! Let's make some jam." Though my parents are expert canners - putting up everything from pickles to salsa to jelly to stewed tomatoes to jam, and have done it my whole life - I never joined them. (Or not enough to have learned anything.) The only fig preserves I remember eating when I was younger were made by my paternal grandmother. I don't remember eating figs any other way, ever, except in a Fig Newton. So, I was very excited to take Lori up on her offer. And not only did we make it; we made it from figs that we had to pick first. Lori grew up in Hallettsville, the same town my mom grew up in. Her parents' house was in town, though they had land outside of town at Rabb Switch, Lori's mother's homestead, for cows and to have a larger patch of some crops, like potatoes. But at the house in town, Lori's parents tended a garden with all kinds of vegetables and several kinds o…

Okra Two Ways

I was without my children last weekend and tonight so have been free to eat any foods I want. (I eat pretty much anything, unlike the boys in my life.) And what I wanted to eat was fresh okra. The inspiration came in Hoffer's, the mom-and-pop grocery store/washateria/gas station in Hallettsville on Alt. Highway 90.


I was in town last weekend for another family reunion (Morkovsky this time). I always stop at Hoffer's to see what local produce they have and Saturday was a banner day.... okra, cucumbers, green onions, tomatoes, banana peppers, zucchini, eggplant. The okra was so green, so plump-looking that it called to me. The tomatoes so red, so meaty. And what a beautiful combination they'd make with the orange banana peppers. Reunion spreads always need more vegetables, so even though I didn't have a recipe, I decided to take okra and tomatoes. Take THAT Austin Downtown Farmer's Market... I got a pound of okra for $1.35, 4 firm, gorgeous banana peppers for about .…

Peach Pie at the Orsak Reunion

Homemade pickles, dilled green beans, devilled eggs, 6 kinds of sausage, potato salad and dewberry pie. Is this the multi-course tasting menu at a new Texas-Czech restaurant? No, it’s just some of the offerings at the 2012 Orsak Reunion outside of Ganado on Sunday, June 3rd. The list of dishes goes on, reflecting my family’s Czech heritage, but also our Texas roots which include Mexican influences and years of family members living near the coast.
Appetizer table: Chips with salsa and queso, ciabatta bread with a Mediterranean seasoned olive oil, hot wings, stuffed jalapenos x 2 (one cold dish, one fried), homemade pickles, fruit platter, seafood dip and crackers.
Main dishes: Baked ham, barbecued ribs, chicken and briskit, chili, fried chicken x 2, roast in gravy x 3, baked chicken x 2, beef enchilada casserole, sausage x 6, King Ranch casserole, turkey noodle soup, shrimp and sausage gumbo w/ white rice, chicken and rice casserole.
Sides and Salads: Bread, dilled green beans, sliced f…