Katie and I just returned from a long weekend in Hot Springs, Arkansas for my cousin’s wedding. Hot Springs is a small town about an hour outside of Little Rock, the state’s capital. You wouldn’t expect it to be a hotbed of international cuisine but, if our weekend was any indication, it most definitely is!
My mom’s sister married into a large family of Greek-Americans who still have strong ties to their ancestral culture. When children in this family are married, it is an excuse for a veritable feast of Greek food – and my cousin’s wedding was no exception! We had spanakopita, tiropita, lamb, and, of course, baklava. The wedding and reception were great fun – Katie even tried her hand at Greek folk dancing – but the best part was definitely the food!
The very next night my dad’s side of the family got together for another feast – this one Italian. Pepperoni arrostiti, fried zucchini, and my grandmother’s incomparable rigatoni with meat sauce (and a vegetarian version for Katie). Nonna may be gone, but she will always live on through her cooking – and through the [loud!] gatherings of all of her children and grandchildren.
Something I love about the US is how you find pockets of international ancestry and culture tucked away in all kinds of random places. Most of us are proud to be Americans but we’re also proud of our roots – our delicious, delicious roots!
Congratulations to my cousin on her marriage and many thanks to her for providing a reason for us to dine so well all weekend!