As the Texas weather changes to Fall and Texans return to outdoor living and cooking, I began to focus on the similarities of the two cultures that I am lucky enough to know, live and embrace. On the island of Isla Mujeres, in the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula in the country of Mexico, the practice of outdoor living never changes. Families gather on the patio around a small grill as a daily practice of food preparation and comradery. Conversations are jolly and focus is on the individuals at hand. The young and the elderly, all present for the sheer joy of cooking and conversation.
In Texas it is much the same. Maybe not necessarily out of the need of the grill, but perhaps for the joy of laughter and discussions of the latest matters at hand. A rejoining to the simple things, like the joy of talking to a person, rather than to reading a text or an INSTAGRAM posted by someone we may never meet. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of social media use on the island as well, but I witness human interaction as being more important than the device. And that is the magic of the grill, in both places! Gathering and laughing.
In Texas we eat farm to table, so to speak, and on the island it seems to be sea to shore. Food is from our “backyard"… close to home. In Texas, we think nothing of throwing a bone-in ribeye on the grill and a hogfish or a fresh lobster is the typical fare on the island. The side dishes are much the same, just culturally different names… elote (sweet corn cooked in its husk, slathered with mayo and queso crema) and in Texas it’s corn-on-the-cob with sweet cream butter. A wedge in Texas is substituted with a cabbage cole slaw on the island. We are more similar than we are different, and I cherish the opportunity to live and learn equally in both worlds. Enjoy the photos of Texas grilling and living, along side the Isla lifestyle. They both rock!! --E