Hey, folks! It's me, The Kerr. We're halfway through J.T.'s annual sabbatical—she comes back in only three weeks! She wants me to let you know she misses you desperately, but she's getting good work done on the next Brit book.
Her brain never shuts off, y'all. It's amazing to watch.
I hope you had a great week. In the realm of food, I absolutely did. Fair warning: I'm about to nerd out heavily over Tex-Mex. 💃🏻
What I'm Eating
I was born in South Texas, and I was drinking salsa before I could walk. Smoky meats, hot salsa, and fresh-from-the-comal tortillas are my comfort food.
But I live in Nashville now. Nashville isn't Texas. And there aren't any good Tex-Mex places here.
Except for Uncle Julio's.
I heard from another transplant that Uncle Julio's was worth a visit. So armed with cautious optimism, on Wednesday I went to Uncle Julio's and ordered a huge platter of beef fajitas, nestled them in little corn tortillas, topped them with guacamole, sour cream, and pico... and reveled in the tangy meat bliss.
I couldn't believe it. They tasted like the fajitas from my childhood. They were so good.
Yes, it's a chain. No, I don't care. If someone serves me delicious fajitas, I do no question where they came from. Plus you know it's legit if they serve homemade tortillas.
And if fajitas aren't your thing, Uncle Julio's has all kinds of Tex-Mex classics: enchiladas, tacos, margaritas, the works. Their table salsa that's different than a straight roja—they char their tomatoes and chiles over an open flame, and it is excellent. Across the dining room I saw a few folks getting tableside guacamole. I'm springing for that next time.
Other Texas transplants, do you have the same problem finding good Tex-Mex joints? How do you get around it? I've found one way to fix it: make my own Tex-Mex... (see below)
What I'm Playing (in my ears)
You can tell a lot about a person by the podcasts they listen to.
Here's what I've listened to this week:
- The story of McDonald's Szechuan Sauce Shortage Crisis of 2017
- An interview with Friday Night Lights and Parenthood producer Jason Katims, AKA a man who has made me bawl countless times in my living room about football coaches and high school kids who are not real people
- A show about the marriage of actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd
Food and TV and artists. If someone starts a podcast about greyhounds, that'll be the pinnacle of podcast perfection.
What I'm Reading
Since my trip to Uncle Julio's, I've been clawing the walls for more Tex-Mex.
So I picked up my worn copy of The Homesick Texan Cookbook, and decided to get cooking.
This time every year, when the earth is waking up, my taste buds wake up too. I crave chiles and onions and cilantro, and I'll stop at nothing to put them in my mouth.
Texas transplant Lisa Fain wrote a book that helps me fulfill that mission. I've never made a recipe from this book I didn't like—and I've cooked my way through this book more than once.
This week, I'll whip up a few quarts of Lisa's escabeche, a spicy blend of jalapeño/carrot/onion pickles that pack a wallop of pucker and heat. I'll mix together some creamy green tomatillo salsa to put on my eggs and chicken... and to squeeze into my mouth whenver I feel like it.
My personal recommendation: make her enchiladas. Whether you pick her cheese enchiladas (tuck some onions in there, folks) or her sour cream chicken enchiladas, you can't go wrong. And if you have guests coming over, even better—it's a cheap dish for a crowd, and they'll love them too.
And for quick access to her food, check out Lisa's blog. Try at least one recipe—she has all kinds of meats and sauces, breads and desserts. Let's find new Tex-Mex favorites to gush about!
What I'm Watching
Today I'm dragging my little sister to the movies. We're going to watch A WRINKLE IN TIME.
Confession: I have tried to read A WRINKLE IN TIME no less than five times, but I always put it down. Between the physics and magic and crazy dimensions, it's goes too cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs for my wee little brain.
I hope the powerhouse acting of Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling will help me finally understand what on earth is actually going on with Meg Murry, and if she actually finds her father. We'll see. I'm paying $11 to find out.
(Also: going to one movie is more expensive than a month of Netflix. A month, people. Let that sink in.)
Dog of the Week
Crockett was over it by Friday. 😂