October 2002 Issue



MY HUSBAND, RICHARD, AND I were sipping margaritas on the hillside patio at the Villa Montaña hotel. The sun was setting behind the mountains on our left and a midsummer thunderstorm, complete with rainbow, brewed over the mountains on our right. Spread out below us, in all its centuries-old charm,

The Yucatan

AS MUCH AS I LIKE to think of myself as a grand adventurer, an explorer of all things exotic, I have to admit that when it came time for my Mexican vacation, I headed straight for a beach resort. I’m not talking about a tiny hotel on a remote beach


LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT Puebla, a city obsessed with a sauce. You think Naples is nuts about tomato sauce? That Paris is passionate about beurre blanc? You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen how they carry on about mole poblano in Puebla. Ever since the exotic chile-and-chocolate sauce was


Boys Will Be Boys

Why has it taken so long for my sons to get married? Is it the wet towels mildewing on their apartment floors? The pocket change accumulating on every flat surface? Or is it that I've given them a skewed idea of what women expect?

Twins Peak

Julián and Joaquin Castro's résumés look as similar as they do: degrees from Stanford and Harvard, billable hours logged at a tony law firm, and now, promising careers in San Antonio politics. Nothing could please their mother more.

Mexico City

MEXICO’S CAPITAL IS NOT ONLY bordered by volcanoes, rattled from time to time by earthquakes, and inhabited by nearly twenty million people. The megalopolis is also sinking so rapidly into the ground that its church steeples lean at odd angles along the skyline. “Embrace the insanity of the place,” a


Water Foul

When the City of Marshall wanted to pump millions of gallons of water out of Caddo Lake and sell them to the highest bidder, the state said, "Sure." Residents of Karnack, Uncertain, and other tiny northeast Texas towns said, "Hell, no." Guess who prevailed (for now)?




Living Legends

The truth about the Lady of White Rock Lake, the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe, and other seemingly tall Texas tales.

Days of Their Lives

Novels about college classmates reconnecting and rekindling at reunion time are nothing new, but Tim O'Brien's July, July succeeds with honors.

Around the State

Cheese Soup

This recipe is hotel executive chef David Bull’s adaptation of Texas cooking maven Helen Corbitt?s original cheese soup. He likes it a bit spicier and he uses Velveeta, which melts beautifully. If you substitute cheddar, which was called for in the original, be sure to grate it finely or it


Get Out

HOT WHEELS Whether you like to ride low and slow, in high style, or with the wind in your face, this month offers several events that will get your motor running. Start your engines at San Antonio’s Low and Slow Classic Car Show, where more than two hundred flashy vehicles


Straight Talk

Pop artist Peter Max brings his psychedelic stylings to Fort Worth’s Milan Gallery for a month-long show beginning October 26. Max will christen the exhibit with an appearance. What can people expect to see in the exhibit? Well, my exhibitions are sort of semi-retrospectives. What you will see are works



COMING ATTRACTIONS For thirty years El Pasoan Willie Varela has been best known for his avant-garde super 8 films. This month, however, the 52-year-old debuts his other artistic undertakings. On October 31 the El Paso Museum of Art and the UT-El Paso Fox Fine Arts Center open a two-part exhibit,


Tune In

JAZZ IT UP Jazz, the great musical art form invented in the U.S., became a part of world culture, fusing different rhythms along the way. This month sample the new sounds beginning October 6, when Calle 54, a musical performance based on the film of the same name about Afro-Cuban


Books That Cook

Books That Cook

THIS 450-PAGE COOKBOOK IS LOADED with information—but not visuals. Don’t expect to put this on your coffee table, but do expect to keep it handy when you’re cooking. Put together by Steve Petusevsky and the Whole Foods Market team members, this cookbook is billed as a “guide to natural foods”


1886 Cafe and Bakery Cheese Soup

This recipe is hotel executive chef David Bull’s adaptation of Texas cooking maven Helen Corbitt’s original cheese soup. He likes it a bit spicier and he uses Velveeta, which melts beautifully. If you substitute cheddar, which was called for in the original, be sure to grate it finely or it

Pat's Pick


CUISINE ART If your pocketbook can spare the $125-a-plate charge, then pull up a seat for Cena Con Frida—Dinner With Frida. The flavorful fare of saucy Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, passionately dished up by La Mansión del Río Hotel executive chef Scott Cohen, is the main course at this fiesta

Pat's Pick

On The Road

THE REAL DEAL In 1902 Dell and Charlie Wunsche built a small saloon and hotel in Spring, a wide spot in the road north of Houston, never dreaming that their modest enterprise would last long enough to celebrate a centennial. Score one for longevity: On October 18, 19, and 20

Happy Trails

Happy Trails

For a quick taste of Mexico, head south to Nuevo Laredo, where you'll find colorful people, wonderful shops, and fine restaurants.

Pat's Pick

1886 Cafe and Bakery

BACK TO THE FUTURE I had no idea how much I was yearning to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a Victorian dining room until the 1886 Cafe and Bakery opened in Austin’s Driskill Hotel, a mere block from my office. I’ve been all but boarding there since August. Early


Stuffed Pineapple

1 large ripe pineapple 1 cup heavy cream 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 12 canned cherries in syrup, chopped 1/2 cup pine nuts, finely choppedKeeping the leaves intact, cut a slice off the top of the pineapple and reserve. Scoop out the pulp, core it, and finely chop it. Whip the


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