Another favorite Texas recipe--this one from my family. Though I’m totally “gringa”, both my parents grew up in the Rio Grande Valley, and I was born there myself, so lots of our family traditions have a flavor strongly influenced by our neighbor to the South. This one is fun and not too hard to make, though I’ve been waiting for a dry day to make them this year because they don’t set
My husband’s family were among those who came to America from Germany in the 1880s, bringing their traditions with them. As Christmas approaches, I plan to share some traditional Texas recipes, so let me begin with Aunt Henriette’s Anise White Cap cookies, the same ones her grandmother made over 135 years ago! Anise White Caps 1/2 lb. sugar 1/2 lb. flour 3 large eggs 1 tsp.
Las Posadas is Spanish for "the lodgings" or "the accommodations." At Christmas time, Las Posadas refers to a traditional celebration similar to an advent play. The tradition is an old one. Brought over from Spain, it has continued in Mexico and in Hispanic communities for over 400 years. The tradition commemorates Mary and Joseph's difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and
German immigrants brought their traditions to Texas with them. One special experience that harks back to Germany’s Weinachtsmarkts (Christmas Markets). Beginning the first weekend in Advent, shopkeepers’ tents spring up in the central marketplace of many German cities, turning the shopping districts into a fairytale of lights, sounds, and tastes. Here’s a glimpse of the one in Trier,
Christmas has always been a celebration of Light that vanquishes Darkness. Now we decorate our homes with electric lighting, but before LEDs and chaser strings there were luminarias–candles set in sand and protected from the wind by a paper lantern. In Texas communities like San Antonio, where many still celebrate Christmas with Spanish cultural traditions, luminarias are featured
A piñata is a hollow shape made of papier-mâché or pottery. For special celebrations it is filled with candies and treats and suspended by a rope. Each child takes a turn being blindfolded and turned about, then they take swings at the piñata with a stout stick. The other children stand in a circle around the piñata, and cheers go up every time the stick lands with a sharp
The poinsettia plant is native to southern Mexico where the equatorial light provides the perfect conditions for the brilliant red color that makes it a Christmas favorite. What we often think of as the poinsettia flower are actually bracts, or upper leaves, that require at least 5 consecutive 12-hour nights and bright sun-lit days to burst into vivid red, salmon, orange, white,
We think of 1836 as the year when Texas won its independence from the Mexican dictator, Santa Anna, and it was...but trouble had been brewing for a long time. During the whole process, the Texians really only won two battles, but they were the ones that counted--the first one, and the last one. You likely know that the Battle of San Jacinto was the last one where General Sam Houston's
Francisco Coronado explored New Mexico, the Texas plains, and Kansas searching for the fabled cities of gold. The only “gold” he found was the sunlight glinting off the mica windows of the New Mexico pueblos and the cornfields and grass huts of the Wichita Indians. His detailed journal was perhaps his most lasting contribution.
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca was born about 1490 in Jérez, Spain, the oldest of four children. His father’s name was Francisco de Vera. His grandfather, Pedro de Vera, was a conquistadore in the Canary Islands and had a reputation for cruelty. Perhaps Álvar first dreamed of a life in the New World after hearing tales of his grandfather’s adventures.