There are few things I enjoy more than spending a full 24 hours bringing a recipe to fruition. It's gratifying to dedicate yourself to a food project then see a houseful of people freak out over your creation.
That's the reward for all the hard work.
Once a year my Txoko brothers throw one of the biggest food parties in Austin Texas. It's putatively a crawfish boil but in the last few years it's morphed into something else entirely.
Yes, there is a table groaning under the weight of a ton of crawfish but there's also a portion of the party wherein attendees bring in a vast array of covered dishes as appetizers to get the party started.
This is what gives me an excuse to make the Kentucky classic dish; burgoo.
I've written a bit about it in the past and will append hot links below for curious eaters but here's a photo of the sign I put out with the kettle so the party people can get their minds around what's about to go in their gullet.
It makes for interesting cocktail hour conversation.
I told my dad I was making burgoo this weekend. His first response "where did you get the racoon?" That's the nature of burgoo. Had I told another Kentuckian he would've probably asked about the catamount or groundhog.
The exclusion of a certain creature of the woods renders the dish "not burgoo" to many people.
I just do the best I can with what I can gather up here in Austin, Texas.
reflecting on burgoo http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2011/4/19
the importance of homemade stock in burgoo http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2012/4/14
tales of last year's burgoo http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2011/4/14