Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Sense of Place: The Texas Hill Country.

March is here and we are testing recipes with great success.  This past week we have jumped right into the meat and potatoes of the menu. Literally. We have focused our efforts on beef brisket in the style of the Texas Hill Country. We imparted a three step cooking process that replicates the flavors of the Texas Hill Country to a "T".    Not going to share any recipes here.

The Hill Country of Texas is a region in the center part of the state stretching from Northern San Antonio all the way up to the state's capital, Austin.  Brett and I were both born here and still refer to it as home..   It is a beautiful place with weather that's always changing.  

Undoubtably Spring is one of the prettiest times of year.  The rugged limestone hills are checkered with splotches of blue from the reemergence of the sleeping state flower, the Bluebonnet.  The prickly pear cactus displays its softer side with inviting, delicate yellow flowers tempting the many winged insects of the region to polinate the fruit on which they sit.   The soft Spring days lead into the long hot and dry Summers when the air is hot with the smell of cedar and oak.  Wispy golden grasses sway in the wind and cover the low areas between the hills.  The sky is as clear as it is hot.   Cumulous clouds and thunderheads trade time in the afternoon skies, occasionally breaking out into lightning storms.

It is here in the summer months that the Cicadas hide in cool places during the day only to emerge in the evening hours, greeting the people who live there with their evening songs.  It is in the cool evenings that people come out from the shade, the earth cools, and the night comes to life.  People dance, drink cold beers, and often cook over an open fire of Live Oak and Mesquite.

It is all these elements that I remember as a child, and after 8 hours of cook time, the finished product took our senses back to a specific time and place.

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