Archive for the ‘NOVEMBER 2010’ Category

Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is fast approaching, and it’s a traditional holiday down here in South Texas. According to Wikipedia, scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years – to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl. Pronounced ‘Mikt-eyk-as-see-wahl’. In case anyone asks.

If you are in South Texas, head to Port Isabel for the celebration and enjoy a skull candy workshop, listen to poetry, learn altar making and watch the talented live entertainment. Or gather up your friends/family and throw your own! In search of ofrendas? Vosges has these yummy chocolate skulls ready to go…or try this yummy salted pumpkin caramel recipe from Amanda Hesser. Sure to bring em’ back to the living. Don’t forget the calaveras, pan de muerto and decorations!

Quien con la esperanza vive, alegre muere!


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At first glance, this part of south Texas is a fairly unremarkable region. The towns have a few nice old buildings and downtown parks. In fact, this area southwest of San Antonio is known as the “Winter Garden”. Mild conditions mean farmers can grow and harvest spinach throughout the winter and spring. It totals about 20 million pounds, making Texas the nation’s fourth largest spinach provider. The Winter Garden area also produces large quantities of onions, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, watermelons and cantaloupes.

Del Monte built a local cannery back in the 1940s and it’s still the nation’s biggest. Giant harvesters clip the leaves off the top of each plant, then they let it grow some more. That means farmers can harvest the same field up to three times in one season. Del Monte says this plant can turn out a million cans of spinach a day for 70 to 80 days a year. It takes about 25 acres to produce those million cans a day and Del Monte gets all their spinach from about fifteen local spinach farmers. The company provides the seed, gives advice on land preparation and planting and helps with the harvest.

The annual Crystal City Spinach Festival is held during the second weekend of November. The festival features a spinach cook-off, parade, live Tejano music, carnival, car show, a variety of food and beverage booths, a 5K run and related activities.

What else is going on in Crystal City?

View looking east of the entire Crystal City WWII civilian internment camp. Smaller “E” in center is the Japanese Market. German Section lower left; L-shapped building is German School.” (Photo and caption from UTSA ITC archives.)

View looking east of the entire Crystal City WWII civilian internment camp. Smaller “E” in center is the Japanese Market. German Section lower left; L-shapped building is German School.” (Photo and caption from UTSA ITC archives.)

During World War II, Crystal City was home to the largest alien internment camp housing American civilians of German and Japanese immigrants, and, to a lesser extent, Italian ancestry, as well as enemy aliens of similar backgrounds. However, the majority of internees were South American citizens that were mixed in with a smaller number of German, Italian, and Japanese internees. An annual former internees reunion was initiated in 2002. Zavala County Historical Commission: P.O. Box 616, Crystal City, Texas 78839.

Crystal City Spinach Festival
November (middle)
Telephone #: 830/374-3161
Web Page: www.ccspinachfest.com

Thanks to America’s Heartland for spinach info.

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Port Isabel 1920

Head on down to Port Isabel in November for the World Championship Shrimp Cook-off. This annual event draws up to 9,000 visitors eager to taste the recipes of top amateur and professional chefs. Along with plenty of great shrimp, the event features the Annual Folk Arts Festival, a small carnival, and live entertainment for the whole family.

While you’re there, check out the Port Isabel Lighthouse. It’s the only lighthouse open to the public on the Texas Gulf Coast. A stroll to the top rewards the hearty with a 16-mile view.

17th Annual World’s Championship Shrimp Cook-Off
Nov 7, 2010
Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
421 Queen Isabella Blvd. next to the Lighthouse
Telephone #: 800/527-6102
Web Page: http://portisabel.org/chamber/?page_id=53

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Happy Cows at Chaloupka Farm

Happy Cows at Chaloupka Farm

Chaloupka Farm consists of three generations of dairy farming in Lavaca County, dating back to 1947 when Ernest and Marcella Chaloupka began milking just three Jersey cows. They currently milk Jerseys, Holstein/Jersey crosses, and Holsteins, and are in the process of moving to a full Jersey herd.

Chaloupka Farm cows are fed a ration that includes home-grown feedstuffs such as hay, silage, greenchop—all that are fertilized with natural products.  The fresh raw milk they offer comes straight from a group of pure-bred Jerseys cows that are separate from the rest of the herd. Their milk is tested often by the Texas Department of State Health Services to ensure the highest quality of milk and contains no hormones or antibiotics.

The farm also runs a Farmers Market selling fresh garden produce, dairy products, jams and jellies, plants and more. You can pick up milk anytime – just call ahead to make sure someone will be here.

Corn Maze at Chaloupka Farm

Be sure to check out their  Rocky Creek Maze – 7 acres of corn with carved pathways creating a giant puzzle. They’ll show you the way in, and you find the way out!  Gates open on late September and close late November. Here’s a MAP .

Chaloupka Farm
Selling on Fridays from 5-8pm
784 County Road 251
Moulton, TX 77975

Please call for additional information:
361-596-7292 [or] 361-798-6131

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Quintessentially Texan.

Local volunteers will be serving up heaping plates of eggs, refried beans, biscuit’s ‘n gravy, sausage, tortillas, coffee and juice.

Team roping, horseshoeing, rawhide braiding, and old-time cow camp cooking demonstrations will be part of the morning’s activities, along with cowboy poetry, storytelling, and musical entertainment. Come join us for a taste of the cowboy life.

Held in November on the Saturday before Thanksgiving – 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Tickets: ages 4 and up $6.00 – ages 3 and under FREE!

Advance tickets may be purchased starting in November at:
• King Ranch Saddle Shop
• Kingsville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
• King Ranch Visitor’s Center
• or at the Breakfast

For more information call: 1-800-333-5032 or 361-221-0116
King Ranch, Highway 141, Kingsville, Texas

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