> Bless Their Hearts Mom: Recipe Weekend: Texas is Chili Country by Judy Alter
Friday, August 7, 2015

Recipe Weekend: Texas is Chili Country by Judy Alter

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from
via Edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Keeping with our National Historical Book Week, 
I have a book that is part history book and part recipe book today!

Texas is Chili Country cover


Texans love to eat, and one dish they can’t get enough of is chili—so much so that chili con carne is Texas’s state meal. This seemingly simple staple of Texan identity proves to be anything but, however. Beans or no beans? Beef, pork, or turkey? From a can or from scratch?
            Texas Is Chili Country is a brief look at the favored fare—its colorful history, its many incarnations, and the ways it has spread both across the country and the world. The history includes chuckwagon chili, the chili queens of San Antonio, the first attempts at canned chili, the development of chili societies and the subsequent rivalries between them, and the rise of chili cook-offs.

            And what would a book about chili be without recipes? There are no-fat recipes, vegan recipes, and recipes from Mexican-American cooks who have adapted this purely American food. Some have been tried, but many are taken on faith. Recipes are included from state celebrities such as Ladybird Johnson, Governor Ma Ferguson, and chili king Frank X. Tolbert.
This is a fascinating look at the history of chili, and how it got it's start in Texas. Who knew Wolf Chili would be the precursor to teaching the US what chili was! The book also shares about how beer goes along with chili. What I found interesting was how both Wolf and Lone Star beer were bought out by national conglomerates in the late 1990s, as they were approaching 100 years in business. How times change. 

This book really sheds light on what we now consider a 'basic' food and Alter shares some great chili recipes, from popular chili restaurants, and classic recipes including one very close to our family's venison chili recipe (I still think chili taste best with venison!). Like her, I was surprised to find out about 'donkey ears' and their chili connection. An all beef hot dog is encased in a tortilla and wrapped burrito style, deep friend and then served with bowls of mustard, salsa and chili. Who knew? But the description, sorta makes you want to try it doesn't it? she also talks about whether chili should have beans or not, and if vegetarian chili is really chili! All in all it's an interesting book, and perfect for gift giving!
Here's 2 recipes from the book that will be perfect for your Labor Day party, as well as for Fall dinners! The chili recipe is almost exactly the same as my grandmother's!

You can use some of the chili from the above recipe in this next dip, or use a can of Wolf Chili!:

skyline chilli dip recipe

About the Author:
Judy Alter retired from Texas Christian University Press after thirty years, twenty of them as director. At the same time she developed her own writing career, focusing primarily on women of the American West. Now she writes fiction and nonfiction for all ages. She lives in Fort Worth.

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