Watching lawmakers bicker over the state budget in Austin reminds us of the old adage about what politics and sausage have in common. Fortunately for sausage, its approval ratings are through the roof. “It’s become easier to stuff sausage at home, since more places are selling small grinders and stuffers,” says Braden Boehme, an owner of La Coste Meat Market, just west of San Antonio.
Wild horses, which can cover up to twenty miles a day, wouldn’t think of having their hooves done, but leave it to humans to change all that. “When we domesticated the animal, ten thousand years ago, we restricted its movement,” says John Burgin, the owner of the Texas Horse-shoeing School, in Scurry. “Now their feet need protection, just like a person’s.” Optimal maintenance includes regular inspection and cleaning; reshoeing should be done only every six to eight weeks.
“The kernel of South Texas cuisine is economy,” says Melissa Guerra, a South Texas native and the author of Dishes From the Wild Horse Desert: Norteño Cooking of South Texas. “Barbacoa, made from the meat of a cow’s head, is cheap yet rich in flavor.” Customarily served at weekend breakfasts, the cheek, or cachete, is loaded with collagen, and slow-roasting enhances its savory flavor and silky texture.
When Theodore Roosevelt visited Texas in 1892, he insisted on booking a six-day javelina hunt. He shot two but later opined that the best way to dispatch the animal would be by spear. Teddy was on to something. “Because of their poor eyesight, it’s easy to close in on javelinas,” says David Synatzske, the manager of the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area, near Cotulla.
The Laguna Madre, near Corpus Christi’s Padre Island National Seashore, is known as one of the nation’s best windsurfing sites because of its shallow waters and consistent breeze. It’s also a perfect spot for beginners, says Angela Hurley, an instructor for Worldwinds, a local windsurf shop. “With good instruction, the basics can be learned in a few hours,” she explains. Before starting, determine the wind’s direction and speed; ideal conditions range from 5 to 15 miles per hour.
Before waltzing into a Tejano nightclub—or into any big party in South Texas, for that matter—you should know how to dance cumbia. Originally a folk dance from Colombia, the cumbia shuffled across Latin America, picking up small changes along the way, and has comfortably settled here with a distinct Tejano flair.
Every November 2, known as the Day of the Dead or All Souls’ Day, Hispanics across the Southwest transform grave sites, offices, and corners of their homes into vibrant memorials for their deceased loved ones by assembling multitiered ofrendas, or altars. “The day is devoted to the departed, and an altar pays special tribute,” says Malena Gonzalez-Cid, the executive director of Centro Cultural Aztlan, a nonprofit that has organized San Antonio’s largest Día de los Muertos celebration for 32 years.