April 2011 Issue

On the Cover

Home Plates

The heritage, splendor, and proper preparation of the ten dishes every Texan should be able to cook from scratch, from smoked brisket and migas to fried catfish and bacon-wrapped dove. Skillet and shotgun not included.



The Last Blast

Few things are as majestic as the launch of the space shuttle. But after nearly thirty years, NASA is sending up its final orbiters. Here's the view from up close.


Cheese Enchiladas

The Dish They are, simply put, an addiction. First, there’s the frequency with which we consume them, which, if we’re honest, is at least weekly. Then there’s their powerful nostalgia—of long Saturdays cooking with your welita, of Sunday lunches out with family, of Christmas Eve dinners. And finally there’s their

Grilled Ribeye

The Dish Cutting into a deftly seared, pepper-crusted ribeye to reveal its ruby interior brings a quiver to your hand, perhaps a catch in your throat: You want the moment to last, but you can’t endure the suspense. There’s nothing like that first bite, that tandem brush of satiny meat


The Dish To stare into the glossy depths of a Texas bowl of red, with its heady currents of beef and blessed absence of beans, is to understand a truth about chili: It demands passion. In the history of our state, no other native dish has sparked such shameless boasts

Fried Chicken

The Dish You can identify the smell with your eyes closed: The salty, intoxicating aroma of fried chicken can be mistaken for nothing else. And if you grew up in Texas a generation or more ago, you know the sound, because Sunday dawned with the certainty that around eleven you’d


The Dish Once the migas habit takes hold, once you realize you’re held hostage by thoughts of softly scrambled eggs mingled with crisp tortilla strips and onion, tomato, jalapeño, and cheese, you find that neither the blueberry pancakes nor the eggs Benedict you once loved so dearly can touch your

Tools of the Trade

Cooking like a Texan requires its own special gear, whether it’s a woodpile for the smoker, a skillet your granny used, or a well-worn wooden spoon (maybe even the one your momma spanked your hiney with as a kid).Tortilla PressOne simple push = one fresh corn tortilla!Lime SqueezerFor that citrus

How Not to Cook Like a Texan

I’m still shocked by the number of people who suggested I didn’t know what I was doing. The first such skeptic just happened to be the Texanist, my housemate that winter of 1995, who was then known to the greater world simply as Dave. When I informed him of my


A Big Splash

The biggest blue catfish ever caught in Texas—121.5 pounds—was hauled flipping and flopping out of Lake Texoma on January 16, 2004, by Howe resident Cody Mullennix. Contrary to iron-clad tradition, Mullennix did not eat the critter, stuff it, or hang its head on a rural fence post. He donated it,

Mama Grande’s Rice

My grandmother, or Mama Grande, lived in Donna, between Brownsville and McAllen, and we’d often go see her on Sundays. We’d take Highway 281, a two-lane road that runs parallel to the Rio Grande and that Dad called el camino militar. I remember sitting in the backseat of his ’57

Collage of Houston's Lost Boys.

The Lost Boys

It was the most shocking crime of its day, 27 boys from the same part of town kidnapped, tortured, and killed by an affable neighbor named Dean Corll. Forty years later, it remains one of the least understood—or talked about—chapters in Houston's history.



For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by mammoths, those giant, prehistoric creatures that once roamed Texas. So I decided to go looking for them.


My E-piphany

If Tahitian sailors could find Hawaii using only their testicles, I ought to be able to survive the modern world without a computer. But, hell, it looks like I can't.


Tracie Ferguson, Booking Agent

Ferguson, who grew up in San Antonio, has been booking bands for almost thirty years. Since 2000, she has worked exclusively for Gruene Hall, near New Braunfels, the oldest continuously running dance hall in Texas.In college my friend Denice Franke hooked up with three guys and formed the Beacon City

How to Square Dance

The event The square-dance social may seem like an antiquated notion, but dozens of clubs in Texas still preserve this pastime. “Square dancing persists because people enjoy the fellowship, the wholesome entertainment, and the exercise,” says Wayne Morvent, who’s been a caller for more than fifty years and currently works


An Excerpt From Devil Red

Chapter 1We were parked at the curb in Leonard’s car, sitting near a busted-out streetlight. We were looking at a house about a block up. It was a dark house on a dark street next to another dark house, and beyond that was an abandoned baseball field grown up with

An Excerpt From Trillin on Texas

IntroductionYes, I do have a Texas connection, but, as we’d say in the Midwest, where I grew up, not so’s you’d know it. I come from an immigrant family. Although my father sounded like Harry Truman and freely used phrases like “Haven’t had so much fun since the hogs ate


Roar of the Crowd

Roar of the Crowd

Power of AttorneysConcerning your February cover story [“Power Company,” 2011], in which you discuss Texans for Lawsuit Reform, I have three comments: First, Dick Weekley is the primary founder and moving force of TLR. I am proud to have been at Dick’s side at the beginning and throughout TLR’s journey

Holy Frijole

The first person I think of when it comes to cooking like a Texan is Enrique Madrid. You probably have someone you think of, your father, perhaps, or your grandmother. I think of Enrique, a historian, archaeologist, cook, defender of the borderlands, author, and lecturer whose family has been living

Explore the Archive

See all issues
Magazine Latest