Sunday, August 29, 2010

Texas food and looking ahead to the week

Did you know that at the turn of the 19th century there were hundreds of pasta companies across America, owned by Italian American immigrants who catered to Italian communites and their need for pasta? It was a good economic risk--pasta is cheap and easy. And to my surprise, as early as the 1920s, there was a large Hispanic customer base for vermicelli, the thin spaghetti sometimes called "little worms." It was cheap, and migrant workers could cook it easily on cook stoves in the field. Today the only pasta company in Texas that survives and flourishes is O. B. (Our Best) Macaroni, which started as the American Macaroni Company. Those early pasta makers named their companies macaroni companies, probably in an attempt at Americanization. O. B. was owned and run by four generations of one family and only sold last year, fortunately not to a mega-agricultural corporation but to a couple who seem to care passionately about the company and its history. Those are the stories that intrigue me, and that's how I spent my morning--revising and enlarging my piece on O. B. Macaroni. And this evening I wrote a piece about that iconic Texas food--chicken fried steak. It's not a brand that went on to national distribution, but how can you leave it out of a book about Texas food? The worst news: Chicken fried steak is the Official Dish of the State of Oklahoma. Hold on, folks--that's Texas food.
Anyway, it was a good lazy day, and I accomplished a lot.
Also enjoyed leftovers--the avocado I forgot to serve Jordan last night, the chicken salad we didn't eat, the Ellerbee's tomato salad that was left over and maybe even better tonight. I decided heirloom tomatoes do make a difference.
Now I'm looking ahead to sort of a dismal week--the things that pop up on my calendar for the next couple of days are taking the cat to the vet--this entails going to the vet to borrow a carrier, coming home and crating the cat, and going back--and going to the dentist. Pretty dismal, but I will have lunch with a good friend tomorrow, which will brighten the day a bit. The cat has to go to the vet because she/he has fleas--I don't want to talk about it anymore, but remember that she spends most of her time on my desk! I'm not sure how she got them because she never goes outside and Scooby is on flea prevention medication. Yikes! One of life's many little but disturbing problems.

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