Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bountiful Arkansas

Brett and I just returned from a week vacation visiting my extended family in "The Natural State." Arkansas is one of the greenest places I have ever seen. It probably helped that it rained for the entire month of May, but even so, trees far outnumber people, whereas in San Diego it is definitely the other way around. I have spent nearly every summer of my life in Arkansas and it is a wonderful place to recharge your batteries.

Sharing food is commonplace there. Family, friends, and neighbors bring over a sack of whatever they have from their garden, whether it's fresh picked blackberries, hand-shelled black eyed peas, okra, corn, tomatoes, pecans, or squash. I had more fresh produce picked by somebody I know in one week than I had all year in California. It makes you feel closer to your food, and more appreciative of the generosity of others.

(Here I am standing in my grandparents' tomato patch)

Every meal is home-cooked, with one exception: the night we eat out at The Fish Net. I get fried catfish once a year, but it's not the catfish that gets my mouth's the hush puppies! They are little drops of fried dough that are Heaven in your mouth. I could eat an entire meal of them. I practically did! The catfish is an afterthought.

Now it's back to dry, brown San Diego, and whatever the grocery store has to offer. The home-cooked part will stick around though :)

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