My family of 12 was once referred to as “a small country.” Growing up in a four-bedroom house Houston with six sisters, four brothers, and two parents fostered close ties among my siblings. Our adult lives took us on different paths and to different places, so in the 1980s, I proposed our first “Sisters’ Getaway,” a weekend escape for us to get together in a small Texas town.
Creativity will crescendo this summer in the cultural enclave of Round Top, where the Round Top Festival Institute’s Summer Festival hosts 92 classical musicians for six weeks of concentrated training.
In addition to providing a diversion for fidgety hands and keeping us warm in the winter, the quilt is also the subject of scholarly study at the University of Texas’ Briscoe Center for American History.
I noticed something strange as I drove down the tree-lined country road wending south from US 290 toward the bucolic town of Round Top. Though I’ve made this trip dozens of times, today there was one striking anomaly: The time-worn number “77” indicating the town’s population on the city-limits sign had been repainted to read “90.”
Few edibles rank as high among Texans in the category of necessary foods as pie. One of the dishes we require at every celebration or Sunday dinner, it belongs up there with chicken-fried steak and cheese enchiladas. When we need the comfort that grandma’s hugs once supplied, we reach for a slice of homemade pie. Pie has also held a significant role in the community; as pie suppers were important fund-raising events, along with cakewalks, fish frys, and chicken dinners. A look into vintage Texas cookbooks reveals recipes for syrup, pecan, peach, apple, buttermilk, mustang grape, and osgood (raisin-date-pecan) pies that were popular as much as a century ago.