It seems like ages ago: In 2008, I had the pleasure of editing Tom and Karen Fortâ€™s story on the golden age of Rio Grande steamboating, which appeared in the July issue that year. Tom contributes another piece to Texas Highways this month (December 2013)â€”a piece on the Rio Grande Valleyâ€™s Civil War sites, and as I was chatting about the story with my colleague Matt Joyce, I remembered what a great resource historian Jerry Thompson was to us. A professor of history at Texas A &M University in Laredo, Thompson writes about the tumultuous pre-and post-Civil War decades along the Rio Grande with humor, compassion, and clarity. Â For anyone wishing to study the period, I highly recommend two of Thompsonâ€™s books, A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illustrated History of the South Texas Border and Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande Frontier: A Narrative and Photographic History (co-written with Lawrence T. Jones III).
Last yearâ€™s State Fair of Texas cliffhanger was an electrical fire that damaged the iconic Big Tex. As the State Fair opens this year, visitors will see that you canâ€™t take a Big Tex down, plus heâ€™ll have a revamped station.
There's a certain glamour to the musician's life, no doubt. But for many working musicians, the reality of scratching out a day-to-day living means long hours, multiple jobs, and low income.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park has offered an update in the aftermath of last week's heavy flooding.
According to weather forecasts, cooler temperatures arrive in Central Texas this weekend. While it wonâ€™t be quite sweater weather, these projected 80-degree days most definitely foreshadow fallâ€”and fall festival season in Texas. Â What are you waiting for?
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell speaks about the phenomenal economic impact that 2013 SXSW Conference has had on the City of Austin. Kevin Johns of Austin's Economic Growth and Redevelopment Office shares enthusiasm over the numbers.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park in far West Texas is hoping to dry out after three days of heavy rain that caused flooding and prompted the parkâ€™s closure.
A new exhibit opening at the Alamo today focuses on the Spanish mission system in Texas and the creation of the Alamo, including 16 original Spanish documents from the 1700s.
Put on your bibs and get ready to bite into this yearâ€™s winners of the State Fair of Texasâ€™ Big Tex Choice Awards fried food contest for 2013.
On Monday, Sept. 2, eight of the 50-plus deep-fried dish entries made the final cut and will be among the food offerings at this yearâ€™s State Fair, Sept. 27-Oct. 20.
Of the eight standouts, the Deep Fried Cuban Roll â€“â€“ slow-cooked pork shoulder, chopped ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and secret sauce is spread onto a slice of Swiss cheese, rolled up in pastry dough and deep-fried â€“â€“ received Best Taste honors.
Most Creative nods went to the Fried Thanksgiving Dinner stuffing and diced roasted turkey rolled in a ball, dipped in southern cream corn and rolled in seasoned corn meal before being fried. Itâ€™s served with old-fashioned giblet brown gravy and orange cranberry sauce.
Other finalist deep-fried dishes include:
Awesome Deep Fried NutellaÂ® â€“Â Cream cheese and NutellaÂ® whipped together and spread over flaky Phyllo dough sheets, rolled up, and deep fried. Served with a drizzle of honey and shaved almonds.
Fernieâ€™s Deep Fried King Ranch CasseroleÂ â€“This stick-to-your-ribs Texas-shaped creation (complete with a proudly flying Texas flag) is melted cheese, salty, spicy, goodness that is dipped in a zesty southwestern egg wash and coated in panko bread crumbs.Â Deep fried golden brown and crunchy on the outside; steamy and creamy on the inside! Served with a side of red, white, and blue tortilla chips and your choice of our homemade â€œsalsafiedâ€ sour cream or cheesy queso.
Golden Fried Millionaire PieÂ â€“ Sweetened, fluffy cream cheese filling is loaded with golden pineapple and Texas pecans then wrapped in a flaky pie crust and fried to a golden brown. Topped with whipped cream, toasted coconut, and candied pecans.
Spinach Dip BitesÂ â€“ Creamy and delicious spinach artichoke dip bites are coated with crispy tortilla chips and flash-fried until golden brown. Bites are served with salsa for an additional kick.
Southern Style Chicken-Fried MeatloafÂ â€“ Homemade meatloaf slices are coated in an authentic Texas chicken-fried breading and deep fried golden brown. Served with garlic mashed potatoes, Texas cream gravy, and a ketchup/brown sugar glaze for dipping.
Texas Fried FireballÂ â€“ Pimento cheese, pickles, cayenne pepper, and bacon are rolled into a ball, dipped in buttermilk, covered with a jalapeno-infused batter and deep fried. Served with chipotle ranch for dipping.
Thereâ€™s an elephant baby boom going on at the Fort Worth Zoo. Zoo officials are trumpeting the deliveries of two Asian elephants this summerâ€”a boy and a girlâ€”as a conservation success for the endangered species.
Newborn Asian elephant Bowie.