Willie Nelson writes forward for Hidden Kitchens Texas


Forward by Willie Nelson:

Welcome to Hidden Kitchens Texas.  These stories are about Texas, where I grew up and I still live.  They’re about ice houses and truck stops, chili queens and space food.  About cotton picker’s kitchens, cowboy kitchens, oil barrel barbeques.  About biofuel made from restaurant grease and farm crops.  About the birth of the Frito, the birth of the Slurpee, the birth of the frozen Margarita.  Texas stories of land, music, family and place.

I first met The Kitchen Sisters in Camden, New Jersey in 2006.  Davia and Nikki were there recording a hidden Kitchens story for National Public Radio about Farm Aid, the now 20-year tradition I started with my friends to help America’s small farmers and to bring good food to our tables.  They asked me about my own hidden kitchen and we got talking.

I grew up in Abbott, Texas, a little town of about 300 people, south of Carl’s Corner, near Waco.  I started picking cotton alongside my grandmother when I was maybe five or six years old.  I had a little bitty cotton sack she made for me and some knee pads so I could crawl along beside her.  I learned a lot about what hard work farming is.

As a kid I worked on farms baling hay, pulling corn.  There were a lot of black farm workers, Mexican farm workers, a lot of guys like me — little white guys going to school trying to make a living.  We all came together out there working.  You’d hear the blues coming from over here, the Mexican music coming over there.  Bob Wills coming from over here.  It was like living in an opera.

I was raised by my grandmother.  She worked in a lunchroom and taught music. There wasn’t a lot of income.  She did all the cooking.  Her speciality was chocolate pudding.  That would go a long way in the morning.

We grew our own food, had a garden.  Chicken was a rarity.  We bought a lot of soup bone.  After everybody carved the meat off and sold it we’d take home the bone and make soup out of it and it was really good.  It’s where the term soul food came from — food that feeds your soul.

Hidden Kitchens Texas — little told stories of people who grow, harvest and cook across the Lone Star State. Stories of how we tend and feed our communities.

— Willie Nelson

To purchase the book:  http://www.blurb.com/books/588512

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