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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankgiving "It's a Family Tradition"

FAMILY TRADITIONS - Pass me the Wholly Guacamole

Families across the nations have many customs and traditions which they celebrate their holidays doing the same thing repeat each year. I love traditions as they are a routine followed from generation to generation. In South Texas we have a few of our own which many perhaps follow those across our nation while others are strictly uniquely our own.


Our traditions start days before the Thanksgiving Holiday. First deciding which family member will host our gathering reuniting since many of us are spread out across the state. This year, the family has plan to visit together at my younger brothers home in Pipe Creek, Texas at his JK Ranch.

Next, is the list of what to bring. The host always does the Turkey. This year, my older brother plans to do one also "Turkey Fried" while my younger brother hosting will do his baked. Both are savoring good flavor while other family members will bring sides, condiments,  drinks and other items to make this a superb family shindig. Once everything is organized, note that my sister will ensure we each get a copy via email confirmed on what is needed and who brings what, the time and place is set. "Be on time" is emphasized as we do not want to be waiting one member with the sides like pecan pie, sweet potato pie or corn casserole.

I have to praise my sister as she has taken the link which continues to keep our family bonded once carried by our mother who has past on. Each generation develops that special link that becomes the family cornerstone. Those families that loose their link also loose that bond which we call family and without family then what would tradition be about than having those we love to share our life with.  

Although, tradition means repeating those things we do each year and my son Austin and I head out to the KING RANCH for the annual King Ranch "Ranch-Hand" breakfast. It's our time bonding as father and son while also visiting with old friends and meeting new ones too. The day is filled with western events that makes one proud to be a cowboy living in South Texas. Old fashion country music pick-in while folks eat heaping plates filled with scramble eggs, sausage, biscuits with gravy, frijoles and tortillas,  orange juice and coffee. I get to spend time with friends assisting them cooking from the chuck wagon and talk about cast iron cooking, the stories of flat bread and history. Sometimes the conversations go deep into History understanding and explains traditions on unleavened bread in relation to the Jews who fled slavery of Egypt thousands of years ago.  Like Pass-Over, South Texas has traditions.

There is also a cornerstone in my home. My wife as she takes that Saturday to shop with her mother as Austin and I visit the ranch. Tammy who is a superb cook goes through the check list of all the items needed to make our meal of Thanksgiving Special. My mother-in-law who also is an excellent cook does things different than the Texas raised son-in-law. However, there is this compromise which having her live with us a blessing which I am grateful.

Since Thanksgiving requires so much time in preparation for cooking superb casseroles, savoring Turkey, mouth watering yams, homemade Pecan and Pumpkin Pie, the two ladies in our home, my wife and mother in law spend their Wednesday in this traditional preparation for our superb meal. Always making far more than necessary and never failing on creating a meal that is more than just taste.

This tradition truly begins Wednesday evening with our South Texas Tradition. Tamales, homemade corn chips, Guacamole, Queso and the flair of Mexicana which influences South Texas. My wife may be the Gringa from Indiana but she has master making TEX_MEX that even iron chefs would dare not criticize. However, with so much to do for Thursday meal, Wednesday tradition is simple, fast and enjoyable.

Tamales is a science making the perfect blend of pork, venison and beef then wrapping in a cornmeal that is rolled into a corn husk. These tamales are then steamed until cook with the spices of chili peppers mixed in. The process also very traditional with our friends who grandmothers and great grandmothers have kept as family secrets when Texas once was the northern region of Mexico.

Complexity of traditions it may seem but in a changing world, even my wife has found many ways to speed line the process of perfections. She often has helped with pot lucks meals at work training the trainers of the corporate world. Through these processes, she discovered sometimes in the fast lane of business, there is some avenues of success.

However, this is about food and one of those food avenues is ready made that even the great grandmothers of our friends question,  ¿QuiĆ©n hizo este guacamole gran sabor or "Who made this great tasting Guacamole." The secret, Don Bowden, founder of  Fresherized Foods and Wholly Guacamole. It's simple to serve, affordable and easy so my wife Tammy and her mom can spend the evening on more complicated matters like oyster dressing for tomorrows Turkey as Austin and I play video games eating another tamale and dipping into the Pico De Gallo Guacamole and Queso by Wholly Guacamole. It's the  tradition of South Texas that is spreading across a nation. 

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