Kitchen Road Trip: Arkansas

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This week, we’re taking Kitchen Road Trip to Arkansas. My only memory of Arkansas is stopping there, briefly, during a road trip. Someone in my family figured out there was a town named Brinkley (my last name!) along the highway and we decided spontaneously to stop there. It was at night, so we only stayed long enough to eat a quick dinner, take a picture in front of a sign with our name on it and get stopped by quite possibly the longest, slowest train in the world. Though I didn’t get to explore any of Little Rock, Fayetteville or the back country, it still counts as a state visit by my standards. Although, I’d like to go back and have some of the culinary experiences that Arkansas is known for — watermelon, barbecue, cornbread, purple milkshakes… Well, I’m not so sure about that last one, but my friend Emmie tells me it’s true. Many thanks for your help on this one, Em! // Susannah

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Kitchen Road Trip: Washington, D.C.

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Traveling has always inspired me. As a kid, I was very fortunate that my parents could afford to take my siblings and me on vacations from time to time. Some were by plane and some were by train, but my favorites were the road trips. There’s nothing quite like arguing with your brother and sister in the back of the family minivan about which “The Lion King” song to play next, am I right? (The answer is “Hakuna Matata,” every time. And on cassette tape, no less!)

To me, the kitchen is the best place to bring back those kinds of memories, and to create new ones too. A little comfort food can go a long way if you’re feeling nostalgic for someplace special or craving an expedition to somewhere new. Until you can travel again, I also recommend surrounding yourself with things that remind you of that time or place. So, each Monday, I’m going to pick a state and list a handful of food- and kitchen-related items that are from or reminiscent of that state. As often as I can, I will highlight local products and designers. One state a week for the rest of the year should take us right up to 2015. Starting next week, I’m going to tackle the states alphabetically, as that allows for a bit more diversity than going by history or regions. Feel free to send me any recommendations for design or food-related products from any state in the Union! 

First up is Washington, D.C., for two reasons. One, that’s where I am right now! Two, it seemed like a good place to begin this series, what with it being the nation’s capital and all. Whether you’re suffering from D.C. wanderlust, homesickness or political worry, these goods should tide you over until at least the next election. Many thanks to my friends Mollie and Greg for their recommendations! // susannah 

See the list after the jump…

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