We’re thrilled to have Lisa Fain, award-winning author and blogger of The Homesick Texan, joining us for our Byte of Texas conference at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Lisa will be signing copies of her new book, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table, from 11 AM to noon during the Byte of Texas Book Fair, and will be our keynote speaker from 3 PM to 4 PM. The book fair is free and open to the public; keynote tickets can be purchased at byteoftexas2014.eventbrite.com. Use code HOMESICK for 50% off!
Lisa took time out of her busy book tour schedule to answer a few questions.
My mom and my grandma put me to work in the kitchen at an early age, giving me difficult tasks such as licking the bowl, so it’s hard to recall the first thing I made by myself, but I believe it was a batch of cookies from a kid’s cookbook that I had called The Kids’ Kitchen Takeover. The cookies were a simple shortbread called “Easy Cookies,” and indeed they were.
What is it about Texan food you think people find so appealing?
Texas’s motto is that it’s the friendship state (the word Texas stems from the Caddo word teyshes, which means friends), and I’d have to say that this friendliness extends to its cuisine as well. It’s diverse and so there’s something for everyone, from smoked brisket to cheese enchiladas; from boiled shrimp to a bowl of chili; from pinto beans and cornbread to a tomato and cucumber salad; and from peach cobbler to pecan pralines. Likewise, Texan food is unfussy and can easily be extended to feed a few people, which makes it ideal for sharing with others. Texas food is warm and welcoming and this is why people love it so much.
Who has been your biggest blogging inspiration? Your biggest cooking inspiration?
My biggest cooking inspiration has been my family. Everyone loves to cook and making food together has always been a big part of our family gatherings, large and small. As for blogging, I have to say that blogs by Elise Bauer, David Lebovitz, and Adam Roberts were among the first that I read, and they made food blogging look like so much fun that I wanted to try it myself.
Your blog has stayed pretty much the same since I started reading it in 2009. What advice do you have for bloggers who feel constant pressure to keep up with content and design trends?
Well, I’d rather focus my energy on writing, photography, and creating recipes rather than blog coding and worrying about design and such. I guess my advice to anyone is to just do what you want to do and not worry about following the crowd or any trends. Be yourself, write about what you love, and you’ll be happier for it in the end.