My Thanksgiving in Texas
BY Copy Editor
When one thinks of Texas, a few things probably come to mind: Tex-Mex, rodeos, South Padre Island, JJ Watt, etc. Texas is truly one of a kind and our Thanksgivings are no exception.
While H-E-B, a supermarket chain based in Texas, recommends beer can turkey, jalapeño mac and cheese and sopapilla cheesecake, some of the best Texas Thanksgiving traditions are just that: traditions. But since most at our university have never had the blessing of a Texas Thanksgiving, I’ll tell you what you’ve missed.
Tamales: Drawing from our state’s Mexican roots, no Texan Thanksgiving feast would be complete without tamales. The best are spicy and homemade, and their cornhust wrap add to the day’s “pilgrim” aesthetic.
Pecan Pie: Though we’re not Georgia, the entire South loves their pecan (pronounced pee-can) pie. The middle should be gooey, the outside should be flaky, and a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream should be served with every slice.
Sweet Tea: For everyone born north of Norfolk, Virginia or west of Oklahoma City, no, “sweet tea” is not cold, unsweet tea with two sugar packets added. Real sweet tea is brewed and sugar is added. Next, the tea is stirred until the sugar is completely dissolved. Finally, it’s served over ice. Any other process is un-American.
Honey Baked Ham: For all my “Christmas with the Kranks” fans, yes Honey Baked Ham is a real thing and it is delicious. While it has been assimilated into many homes across the country since being thought up in Detroit in the 1950s, Texans have taken a special liking to it, mainly due to the horribly unhealthy sodium content.
Biscuits: A classic southern dish. Flakier than the flakiest pie crust, handmade and drowned in gravy is the only way to serve biscuits. Like popcorn, pistachios and Whataburger french fries, you can never have just one.
Black Friday: A lesser known thing about Texas: we love our malls. The Galleria in West Houston is one of the largest malls in the country and Black Friday makes for a madhouse. Whether your taste is more Forever 21, Brooks Brothers or Footlocker, the Galleria has you covered. Be sure to take a break and walk across the street to one of only a handful of 24-hour standalone Starbucks locations.
Christmas Lights: A favorite holiday pastime in any city is driving through the rich neighborhoods and seeing what absolute nonsense yard ornaments the bourgeoisie have picked out this year, and Texas cities are no different. Whether passing the Gullo house in Magnolia, Santa’s Wonderland in College Station, River Oaks in West Houston or Preston Hollow in Dallas, Texas satisfies all your premature Christmas decorating needs.
Lastly, someone Texans and Americans in general often overlook when giving thanks on the fourth Thursday of every November is the singular person whom we can credit the entire holiday to: Squanto, the Patuxet who lived through years of slavery to become the sole surviving member of his nation only to turn around and teach the Mayflower Pilgrims how to farm native foods, saving them from starvation.
So while this holiday season you may just be stuck wishing you were in Texas or anywhere except with your weird extended family, remember to stop, look around, be thankful for what you have and never forget what led you and our country to this day.