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The Manual

Texanness is often distilled into a dimension-less series of adjectives. “Independent.” “Friendly.” “Hardworking.” “Brash.” “Proud.” But in truth, a Texan doesn’t establish his bona fides simply by inhabiting a personality trait or two. Rather, he is more rightfully credentialed by the actions he undertakes: how he cooks, dresses, plays, and celebrates. How he navigates the harsh Texas elements. How he works the land and the creatures he shares it with. 

The following series, aptly titled “The Manual” and penned by deputy web editor Andrea Valdez, ran in Texas Monthly from 2007 to 2012. Featuring 47 lessons—laid out in easy-to-follow steps and executable by both the native-born and the wannabe—it charts a bluebrint for how to live like an authentic Texan.