Organizations create cookbooks for all sorts of reasons. Anniversaries are a biggie. I already have a pretty good collection of Bicentennial cookbooks, but I was looking through some of my recent acquisitions and found yet a new niche sub-collection possibilities: Texas Sesquicentennial cookbooks. I’m sure I have others, but these two just happened to jump out at me from a recent buy-a-thon.
The Texas Sesquicentennial was in 1986, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Texas declaration of independence. Non-Texans (and people who failed history) might say, wait, Texas is a STATE in the grand old USA, which happens to have it’s OWN Declaration of Independence, in 1776. Well, that is true (and they celebrate that one too), but in 1836, the province of Texas declared their own independence with their own document and their own war and was its own country for nine years. There are people there who still wish it was so. Anyway, 1986 was the 150th anniversary and … well, any excuse to make a cookbook, right? Today, I’ve got two!
I’ve mentioned my “must buy” categories before. Texas is one. Signed is another. I guess I don’t need to add sesquicentennial to the list since that would be Texas but there are others .. I think I reviewed a Canadian one a while back. Hmmmm. Anyway, picked up The Texas Celebrity Cookbook and … yay, it is signed by one of the compilers, Chris Farkas. The other compiler was Russell Gardner. As is common with anything “celebrity” they asked around and got quite a number of Texas celebrities to send in recipes, whether they still live there or not. Lady Bird Johnson was always a good choice. Football players and famous coaches, mayors and senators, representatives and newsworthy people. The list is way too long to give but I’ll share a few that struck my fancy.
Like — Dave Ward. If you haven’t lived in Houston for like the past 50 years the name means nothing but Dave has been a news anchor on Houston’s channel 13 for almost 50 years. He still is, although his health has suffered a bit in recent years he’s still trying. I don’t know if his Green Grape Delight has added to his longevity but here it is for you to check out.
What early fan of Monday Night Football can forget Dandy Don Meredith? Did you know he made his own Pimento Cheese? Now, I lived in his hometown of Mount Vernon Texas for the better part of a year in the late 1970’s … it was likely they needed to make their own pimento cheese back then. I worked in a store and my boss played HS football with him. Sure, I have a secondary connection here so I included the recipe.
Everybody knows Dale Evans was from Texas, right? Well, if not, yes, she was. Here’s her “Chili Tex” concoction … she doesn’t say if Roy liked it but it looks like Gabby Hayes might have.
Famed heart surgeon Denton Cooley included a Crab Curry sort of dish … you know, it looks pretty heart healthy too. Why would I include this? Easy, I went to school with his daughter. I also mentioned him in my other blog recently over at thomasfenske.wordpress.com. I was talking about heart transplants.
These were just a few of the celebrities … the book is huge. I’m lucky I got a good copy … the thirty-year-old plastic binding is still in good shape!
Celebrate San Antonio, A Cookbook was published for the Sesquicentennial by the San Antonio Junior Forum, whatever that is. It is an impressively done hard cover book … very nicely done. If you are interested in the history of San Antonio it has it all, from the early Canary Islander immigrants through the republic and statehood. Yes, Canary Islanders. Not many people realize that many of the flavor combinations common in TexMex came from these very settlers. Don’t take it from me, read the book.
I included so many recipes from the other one, I decided to just include two .. both on the same page, both involving Texas-style Brisket. I think I am hungry for Barbeque. Actually, I make brisket in the oven quite often … just set it low and cook it long. I will have to try this.
So we’ve learned a little about Texas History, a little about me, and a lot about food. That’s about it for today.
Be sure to check out my improved web page: http://www.thefensk.com … that’s me the writer, not me the cookbook crazy, but I’ll be integrating this blog into the web page very soon.