Monday, May 31, 2010

They Have Indian Food in Kansas?

I'm a food writer. The past 10 years of my New Hampshire life have been spent writing about restaurants, chefs, food events, and home cooking--1,000 articles worth! My friends all know that means, when it comes to food, I ask a lot of questions. Last March I was chatting on the phone with my friend, Derrick, who lives outside of Topeka, Kansas. He was telling me about a dinner with a friend at an Indian restaurant. My first thought was, "They have Indian food in Kansas?"

Well, I'm about to find out! Three weeks from today I'll be living in Meriden, Kansas. In other words, Hell has frozen over since the only way I ever thought I would leave New England was if that event took place. I've lived here for 18 years. I love the history, people and weather of this region. I love the fact that within a matter of an hour or two you can go from the ocean to the mountains. I love the traditional food--maple syrup, apples, pumpkins, blueberries, seafood, and boiled dinner--and the plethora of restaurants of all styles and ethnicities. And I love my friends, some of whom I've known for more than a decade.

I love my family more.

My parents live in Missouri, where I grew up, and it's time for me to move closer to them. Since my divorce two years ago, the family ties I have in the Midwest are stronger than the ones here, and are calling me home. So I decided in late autumn to move back, and when Derrick said he was looking for a roommate, I knew where I was going. Meriden is about 17 miles outside of Topeka, and just about 2 1/2 hours from my parents' home in little Hughesville, Missouri.

As much as I love New England, I'm just as excited to explore my new home. Especially the food. So let's head to the prairie and see what we find. I want to invite all of you to come along with me on my journey as I say goodbye to New England, drive across the country, and discover the cuisine of Kansas. My impression is of farmhouse food and Sunday dinners of pot roast or fried chicken. but I hear there is so much more, including Indian food. :) Let's find out--recipes included!