November 21, 2012

Turkey, Texas? Gobble, gobble, gobble...

I spent a few days wondering just what the heck I was going to write about for Thanksgiving. I mean, there have been ump-teen (Texas word for many, numerous, lots...) stories on Turkey and Dressing, the Pilgrims, Pumpkin Pie and all sorts of other stories that give homeage to the holiday.
It suddenly came upon me that there may be "side stories" to some of the main characters of this, my most beloved holday. The first one that came to mind of course was, the turkey. And for what ever reason, the town of Turkey, Texas entered my mind. And to answer your first question, yes, it is indeed a real town here in Texas. But what some may not know is that an icon of the music industry was from that Panhandle Hamlet.
It was originally called "Turkey Roost" for Turkey Creek and the roosting turkeys there when settlers began arriving in the 1890's. The name was shortened when the post office (the dug-out of Alfred P. Hall, postmaster) was granted in 1893.

The town plat was recorded in 1907 and in 1927, the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad arrived. The Turkey Volunteer Fire Department was organized in February of 1928 after two disastrous fires destroyed most of downtown Turkey. Major crops are
cotton, watermelons, peanuts, and sweet potatoes.

Turkey is best known as the home of Bob Wills, the King of Western Swing. Wills was a barber in Turkey during the 1920's. In his biography “Hubbin’ It”, Wills said that the lotions and soft-work of barbering kept his fingers pliable for playing the fiddle. It was a trade that many musicians shared, since the day work of barbering never interfered with dances and holiday celebrations. Wills formed the Texas Playboys band and their music introduced a new offshoot of county-western music known as “Western Swing.”
The former Turkey school buildings were purchased by The Bob Wills Foundation and city offices, the library, a senior citizens room, and the Bob Wills Museum are located in the former grade school building. The Foundation has built a Bob Wills monument and Bob Wills Park.

And now you know the story of Turkey, Texas. I have on my bucket list to visit there one day, since I am a big time western swing fan. I can still see my mother scootin' across the floor of our house singing along to "Rose of San Antone"...ah yes, the good old days.

I pray that all of you have a fantastic "Turkey" Day or Thanksgiving. Eat lots of turkey and dressing and make sure you have the couch all ready for the afternoon nap so you can wake up and watch America's Team, the Dallas Cowboys play.

I leave you with a video of the man that put Turkey, Texas on the map, so to speak...

Happy Thanksgiving to all from The Impulsive Texan!

"I may not get much done, but I sure am slow"...

November 13, 2012

Chili Time!

Yes, mi amigo's, it's that time of year once again. There's a touch of "cool" in the air in Texas here lately. Crisp, nippy mornings are beginning to welcome us, the leaves are falling and football is in full swing. And when Texans get that first burst of fall we know it's time to get out the chili recipe's.
I went out on a limb and tried a new recipe this year on the occasion of my very first chili cookoff competition. And to my surprise and dismay, it pulled the "Hottest Chili" award. I thought sure the flavor would garner the favor of all of the judges, but it wasn't meant to be for my first event.
I spent the better part of two weeks looking for a new recipe that suited my Texas Palate. I finally ran across one that caught my eye that was listed on the website of a local North Texas chef. 
Myself and two co-workers were teamates in this event so we put all of the ingredients of the recipe in the mix and a few of our own and what came out was the prettiest deep, rich, dark crimson bowl of red that you've ever seen. It has a deep, rich, earthy flavor from the New Mexico, Guajillo and Pisilla peppers and it's nice and thick and hearty.

Everyone at the competition that sampled our recipe was very taken by the taste, the color and the OH MY GOSH heat. It, uh, turned out a tad bit hotter than what we expected... and quite by accident. When we were putting the mix together, I sampled the base and there wasn't one bit of heat in it. So we decided to put in the last jalapeno we had bought, to try and boost the heat a bit. Well, it worked like a charm. It turned into the prettiest deep, rich, dark crimson BLAZING bowl of red that we actually had not planned on. Our strategy was to go for the best tasting category, but instead, quite by accident, we won the "Hottest Chili" award for the event. That wasn't a problem though, because if it hadn't been for that lone jalapeno, we would have went home with nothing but a good case of heart burn and gas.


But, as they say, "all's well that ends well" and we had a fantastic time at the 1st Annual Midlothian Chili Cookoff. And we'll definitely be back next year.
So drag out those "Red Recipe's" fellow Texans and Texans at heart. The cooler weather is calling out to the "chili heads" to enjoy yet another year of good, hot red, chili.


And before ya'll ask, no the hat's not that big, it's just that my head is that small. May the cooler weather bless your part of the country and may your chili be hot and red!
"I may not get much done, but I sure am slow"...