I moved to Boston in July, when I married my awesome husband and best friend who had been living here. I quickly fell in love with the city. Living in the South End (and writing songs about it), I love the walkability of Boston, the street lamps at night on the old streets of Beacon Hill, the crowded & noisy North End, and the people of Cambridge, all of whom seem to be carrying a laptop and a thousand thoughts. Boston is a big small city, with history, with arts, with science, with sports, and with everything else you could want in a city. I love my sphere of biomedical science and nutrition research, where everyone is pushing for new discoveries. Boston emanates innovation, and it comes from a people full of enough wit and grit to endure each others' frankness and our brutal winters. I love Boston.
I also love L.A. and feel wonderfully at home there, where I lived 10 years and hope to one day return. Most Los Angelenos have a conflicted love/hate relationship with the city, but, then again, they seem to have a love/hate relationship with everything, depending on what's trendy, am I right? What I love most about L.A., besides the Perfect year-round weather, is that there's a neighborhood for everyone. At its worst, though, L.A. is self-centered, materialistic, fair-weather, and ADHD. You find in L.A. an anxious desperation for uniqueness. A hot mess. On the other hand, L.A. is an optimistic town bursting with creativity, encouragement to Be Yourself (and Tweet and Facebook about it), and a focus on relationship-building (aided, of course, by your therapist, which everyone has). With the hellacious 405 and brutal state taxes, with its sunny sidewalk cafes and the USC Trojans, all in all, I love L.A.
Hawaii feels like another world, compared to Boston. I lived in Waikiki for 4 years, while studying nutrition. Destination Education. If I had to use one word to describe Hawaii, I'd use "Magical". If I got a second word, it'd be expensive, or maybe slow. But I loved being outdoors. The hikes, the runs, the swims-- they were surreal, and I never wanted to shut my eyes. In Hawaii, you can take your time. You can exhale. You can take a nap. Nobody is rushing you to wake up. In fact, nobody is rushing for anything. Yawn. But in Hawaii, memories are made with all the senses, and they are beautiful indeed.
While Hawaii was gorgeous, l.A. suited me, and Boston is great... I am now and will always be a TEXAN. Texas speaks to my heart; Texas resides in my soul. Not only was I born and raised in Houston, several generations of my family traced back lived their lives as Texans too. It's in my blood. I'm a Texan.
Texas isn't about geography. It's a whole culture unto itself--to outsiders this is "for better or worse". We think BIG. We're proud of our roots. We love independence, freedom, and traditions. Family and the Protestant work ethic. Respect for the military, and football. Church picnics in fields of bluebonnets. "Boldest and grandest", our state song goes, and that's how Texans feel about our land. There's nowhere else in the union whose people identify so strongly with their home state than Texas.
I love Texas. Texas has space, big skies, bright stars. Texas has my childhood, and Texas has my Mom.
Texas also has good food. REALLY good food! One thing we do really well is chili. Here's a recipe I made this week I wanted to share. It'll make you feel like you're right back in the Lone Star state.
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb beef brisket, chopped
1 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can tomatoes, diced, undrained
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprkia
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp Mesquite seasoning
1-2 shots tequila
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup salsa verde
4oz can diced green chilies
Saute the beef stove top, then add to a dutch oven with all other ingredients. Cook on low for 30 min. Serve with sour cream, green onions, and cheddar cheese. Tastes even better the next day!
I found a great recipe for skillet cornbread, that goes great with my Texas chili! Click here to follow.
Y'all take care now!