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Showing posts from August, 2008

Hopelessness

This has been a most unusual week for me, as so many of our church families are enduring painful and confusing times of crisis. It has been a while since so many tragedies lined up in one week. And to top it all off, we have a couple of storms out there that may or may not come ashore and affect us. What would it take to cause you to lose your faith and become hopeless?

Kim and I were among the many throngs of people who saw The Dark Knight when it came out in theaters in July. I have been asked by many of you if I have seen it yet and what I thought. Truth is, the movie was such a punch in the gut that I haven't been able to write about it. I think it is the best Batman movie made so far, the best comic book movie I've ever seen (sorry Spider-Man 2), and the best movie I've seen this year (sorry Indiana Jones). I came out of the theater stunned and numb, and after all this time I still cannot shake it. Let me explain why without spoiling the movie for the two or th…

Predictable Bigfoot News

Well, I saw this comming. Some of you have sent me this story from various websites. Here's a link to Fox News.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,406101,00.html
I thought the evidence would just disappear but the people involved simply admitted it was a hoax.
I still want to believe, but don't.

Exciting Bigfoot News!

Those of you who know me know that I am not a believer in Bigfoot, and never will be. I admit I am not able to explain the impressive body of physical evidence collected over the years that people use to "prove" the existence of Bigfoot. There are a lot of things in this world I am not able to explain and I don't lose sleep at night, nor do I fear camping in the woods because of Sasquatch; javalinas, maybe coyotes, but not Sasquatch. I admit that those of you who are eyewitnesses to Bigfoot have experienced SOMETHING, but I don't know what. As I have always said, if Bigfoot did live in Texas, one of you would have killed one by now and we would have eaten it at our Wednesday night meals. Chicken-Fried Bigfoot. (It helps to marinate the big foot in buttermilk for 24 hours before frying)
It turns out that I was right about Bigfoot not being in Texas! He's been in Georgia all along, and now our friends at the Bigfoot Research Society say that at a press conference in…

Comfort Food, pt. 5

It has taken me a while to write this entry because I have struggled to find the words to do justice to genuine Texas Chili. Eating a bowl of Red is a mystical experience, defying rational explanation or description. A good bowl of Red touches you deep inside, satisfying not just a hunger in your belly but a longing in your soul, and burns brightly within you, like a fire in your bones, or your gut, depending on you constitution.

"Chili heads" are passionate about Texas Chili. Just do a search on the Internet and see what turns up. My addiction to chili formed early in life and I have never recovered. While I am not a "Chili head," I am passionate about the dish and respect others who are as well. One man said that the cook at the diner where he bought chili believed that every pot of chili had a soul. Lyndon Johnson once said, "Chili concocted outside of Texas is usually a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing." Legendary frontiersman Kit Carson…

Comfort Food, pt. 4

I will admit to being a huge fan of home-made fried chicken. Hot or cold, the stuff is good. As good as it is, I much prefer home-made Chicken Fried Steak or CFS for short. In fact, I never order CFS at a restaurant. My mother has made CFS as far back as I can remember. And, if I had my choice, I would choose her's over just about anyone's.

The origins of CFS are lost to us, although the recipe for various southern versions of county fried steak can be found in recipe books going back almost 200 years. In Texas, and I think CFS is a Texas cuisine, the dish is a combination of a number of things.

First, dredging beef in flour and frying it was common in the antebellum south. As Anglos moved west into Texas, this dish may have come with them. In Texas, however, the Germans brought with them one of their favorite dishes from deutschland: wiener schnitzel, which is a veal cutlet dredged in flour, eggs and breadcrumbs and then fried. Veal never caught on well in Texas, at least not l…

Comfort Food, pt. 3

So here's another of my comfort foods: Tex Mex. And let me be clear, I am not talking about Mexican food, which is very good. Tex Mex is much different, and better, in my opinion.

My roots run deep here, from early memories of El Chico (back when that was a pretty good place to eat) to Jose's Restaurant in Cleburne, to Joe T. Garcia's in Fort Worth, to many wonderful little places in San Antonio (my favorite was Tex Mex Willie's, which moved and changed names). That meaty, cheesy, spicy flavor has left an indelible mark on my life. When I need to reconnect with something deep inside me, it never hurts to have Tex Mex.

So, what separates Tex Mex from traditional Mexican cuisine? I'm glad you asked. There are several answers to this, but two things stand out in a big way.

First, Tex Mex uses yellow cheese. This is the American influence on traditional Mexican fare that made it north of the border. Government cheese was easy to produce, often free, and was bright…

Mystery Man is a Hero in Fulton Harbor

Saturday night there were many from our church gathered at Paws and Taws at Fulton Harbor for a wedding reception. Someone noticed that in the water, maybe 50 or 75 yards offshore, there appeared to be a sunken sailboat. And everyone agreed that there appeared to be dolphins swimming very close to the wreckage in such a way that indicated that they were caught and could not break free. After time someone suggested that it was not dolphins but actually sharks, with black tips on the dorsal fins, that were caught in the wreckage. This made sense because we never saw the dolphins surface for air, which meant they would drown soon if they were, indeed, dolphins. From time to time we could see the dorsal fins break the surface of the water. This went on for about 45 minutes.
Well, no one was in any hurry to walk out there and free the dolphins, or sharks. Eventually we called the sheriff's department, who put us in touch with Texas Parks & Wildlife, who sent out a game warden to as…

First Pro Baseball Game

I thought you all might enjoy this picture of Michael at his first baseball game. Thanks to Bobby and Kathryn Albin for taking us. Michael had a good time but didn't last the whole game.

Comfort Food pt. 2

Another of my comfort foods is pizza. But not just any pizza. Most pizza is good, although I tend to stay away from cheese pizza or pizza with only vegetables on it. Why not just eat quiche? For me, the more meat the better on pizza.

By far my favorite pizza all my life has been from a place called Mama's Pizza. They have the perfect combination of thin crust, great sauce, real cheese, and fresh toppings. They roll their crust at the edge of the pizza to create what is essentially a bread stick you can dip in ranch dressing. When I was seven years old my family started ordering pizza from the Mama's in Cleburne. That was 30 years ago and I am still and ardent fan. The only Mama's left in north Texas I know of are on Berry St. and Camp Bowie in Fort Worth, and there is one on Parker, I believe, in Plano. I've never seen them anywhere else. At lunch they have all you can eat buffets, and I can put away quite a bit. "Haven't you had enough?" Uh...no.

My second…