Don’t you love a fish fry? Baby, we do here in Texas. Can you smell the fish frying yet? I can.
This July, we are hosting guests from our sister city in Africa, from the country of Swaziland and the city of Mbabane. The delegation of six high school students and two teachers are visiting Fort Worth for several weeks of cultural exchange hosted by Fort Worth Sister Cities International (FWSCI) as part of the summer International Leadership Academy. Our girls were regular participants and travelers with FWSCI and RM and I have hosted countless students and teachers in our home each summer. This year we are hosting two teachers from Swaziland. We get so much pleasure from learning from them and sharing our little bit of heaven here on Ashland and in Fort Worth. It is true about the paradox of life “that the more you give the more that you get” with every experience.
What better way to share a bit of Texas culture than with a traditional fish fry? It is so much easier to fry a large batch of fish using a fryer designed for use outdoors that hooks up to a propane tank. It is not a good idea to fry foods in flip-flops or bare feet but try telling these guys when Texas outdoor temperatures are in the 90’s and that’s at night.
What’s on the menu for our fish fry? Catfish, assorted salads, corn fritters (the bomb), and of course, Texas sheet cake and Blue Bell vanilla ice cream. The Midwestern Table Cookbook I found the recipe for the corn fritters in Amy Thielen’s cookbook (see link) that I checked out from our local library. The secret ingredients are light beer, white corn and poblano peppers.
We love to entertain and add a few extra touches to pamper our guests a bit. This time, we decorated mason jars and dressed them up with pretty red and white bakers twine and festive paper straws. The jar makes a fun keepsake too. We served lemonade and iced tea. We repurposed my July 4th fabric banner as a table cloth.
C3 is a baker in training and she whipped up this yummy Texas sheet cake with a sprinkle of Texas pecans for good measure. Why is the cake called Texas sheet cake? I think it is the use of buttermilk and pecans that defines it as truly Texan. But the historians are all over the map on how this cake got its name. Sometimes we add tiny marshmallows to the hot icing for an extra sweet kick. It makes a mighty big cake for a Texas size sweet tooth.