Consider for a moment the lowly pinto bean.
Just a wonderful, hearty, delicious Texan Food…
When Properly Served-up as my photo below illustrates.
This Dish is Perfectly Acceptable to any Texan. In Fact, I cook and eat Pinto Beans all-the-time. I cooked this batch while
But NEVER on the same day as I am cooking Texas Chili!
Chili was recognized as the official state dish of Texas in 1977 (House Concurrent Resolution No. 18, 65th Legislature).
The Texas Legislature proclaimed chili the state dish “in recognition of the fact that the only real ‘bowl of red’ is that prepared by Texans.”
House Concurrent Resolution:
WHEREAS, One cannot be a true son or daughter of this state without having his taste buds tingle at the thought of the treat that is real, honest-to-goodness, unadulterated Texas chili; and
WHEREAS, Texans continue today the tradition begun in San Antonio 140 years ago of making the best and only authentic concoction of this piquant delicacy; and
WHEREAS, President Lyndon B. Johnson commented that “chili concocted outside of Texas is a weak, apologetic imitation of the real thing,” and Will Rogers described Texas chili as “the bowl of blessedness”; and
WHEREAS, Texas has been the site of the annual International Chili Cook-Off since 1967 and is the home of the 1976 World Champion Chili Cooker, Albert Agnor, of Marshall; and
WHEREAS, It is customary for the legislature to designate certain state emblems in recognition of this state’s great heritage and rich resources; and
WHEREAS, The beauty of Texas trees and flowers is represented by the pecan and bluebonnet and the mockingbird is emblematic of our abundant and varied wildlife, but the internationally esteemed cuisine of this great state had received no official recognition and has no official symbol; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the State of Texas, the Senate concurring, That the 65th Legislature in recognition of the fact that the only real “bowl of red” is that prepared by Texans, hereby proclaims chili as the “State Dish of Texas.”
I actually remember when this happened in May of 1977. I was So Proud of Those Folks in Austin!
Texas Chili Parlor Austin, Texas
Photo Credit: Danny Baza Blas
Sittin’ here thumbin’ through the pages of a magazine
The pages tell me come right away, you know what I mean
The air is so spacey, the ladies are lacey
And there is nothing you gotta do
But eat hot chili
Hot chili is groovy
After a movie or watching TV
Cred for Vid Share: CaptainJimKirk
Still somewhat freshly liberated from, and freshly pressed from, California,
(Actually four years into being ‘freshly pressed,’ but some things take more time to manifest than others) I did not really know nor understand this at the time.
I am a Native Texan, Born in Ladonia at ‘The-Marcom-Hospital’—Delivered into Texas by my Paternal Grandfather, Dr. Gordon A. Marcom.
You really cannot get much more “Native Texan“ than that.
But I had been Forced by my Mother to ‘Live’ exiled in California for Many, too Many, Years. What Horrible Crime Had I committed to Warrant
My Grandfather, Dr. Gordon A. Marcom
My junior year in Honey Grove High School I volunteered to produce the chili for the fundraising endeavor of my class. We were to sell Chili-Dogs and Frito Pies during the breaks—the break before lunch and the break after lunch just before liberty: Two of the hungriest times in High School.
We would have a captive clientele and a Monopoly on two of the Greatest Texas food items ever created.
On the Friday afternoon before the first Monday break time when the ’74 Junior Class was to unveil their fundraising enterprise, I was at-a-loss. I had never cooked, nor ever even considered cooking anything that might resemble ‘eat-able’ food.
Once, during a camping trip years before, a man who was somehow kin to me, (by marriage—not genes), brought out some bacon and proceeded to throw it into a skillet on the camp fire.
“Hey!” I said. “Don’t you need to put some flour or somethin’ in there with that bacon?”
Yes. I was ignorant and stupid.
So there I was, after shooting off my big mouth, needing to produce tons of chili for the chili dogs and Frito pies. (OK. I do realize there are some not-Texans who have no idea what the fuck is a Frito Pie. Here is the quick version: Take one ah them very small packs of Frito’s corn chips, slice it down the side, open it up, pour chili on top, et voila!)
Frito Pie, or as some call it: ‘Meskin Lasagna’
An extremely popular concession stand savory delight sold at Texas High School football games.
“Dear Gloria,” I said to My Stepmother, who was actually from ‘Up North’—Montana, Nebraska, or some such place.
Gloria in Fake ‘Nice’ Form
“Yes? What do you want?” I had never used ‘Dear’ on her. Ever. Naturally her bullshit meter was instantly activated.
“Dear Step Momma,” I continued. “I need to cook up a big batch O’ Chili. Can you help me?”
“Sure, Stepson, I can help you.”
“Well… what do I do first?” I honestly enquired.
“Stepson, first you soak some Pinto beans.”
“Beans? I am makin’ chili. Why do I need beans?”
“You need beans, Red-Headed-Step-Son, to fill in the profit.”
“I don’t recall beans in chili, Step-Mom.”
“Trust me, Step-Son. Beans are what everyone needs… in chili… here in Texas…”
Gloria in “True” Form as
“So… I need to cook beans before chili?”
“How do I do that?” I asked.
“First you soak them. Soak them for twelve hours.”
“Cook them. Cook them for about an hour.”
“And the chili? What goes into chili?”
“Cook the beans first and then I’ll make you a list of what you need to get from Jesse’s.
Jesse Smith owned one of the two ‘Super’ and I use that term loosely, Markets in town. The other being Piggly-Wiggly. We did not shop at ‘The Pig’, as we referred to it. Nothing was ‘wrong’ with The Pig. We just preferred Jesse’s.
“Then you’ll help me cook the chili?”
“And then? Then what?” I asked.
“So… I ‘combine’ the chili with them beans?”
“Do not say ‘them’ in this house.”
“Sorry. ‘Those’ beans.”
“Yes, you ‘combine’ the beans with the chili, and then you have a profitable enterprise.”
“I see, Thanks Dear Step-Mother-from-North-Dakota.”
“I’m from Nebraska, Not North Dakota!”
“What’s the fuckin’ difference?” I only ‘thought’ that. I was stupid, but not near enough stupid to verbalize that.
Following Monday, I show up with my ‘CHILI’
Very first customer, A Senior. A Linebacker and Teammate of mine on The Honey Grove Warriors. Big, Mean MoFo’
“Marcom!” He yells. “What the fuck is this shit? This ain’t chili! This shit has beans! Beans! Beans!”
Imagine my shame.
“But…but…but… My Mom… er…my sometime Mom…
The rest of my day did not improve.
In Fact, it grew worse.
Only ‘Redemption’ Side For Me: We Managed to ‘Sell-Out’ Completely and made a shit-ton of money.
I guess High School Kids Will Eat Anything.
(And… We Had Four More Days Scheduled To Do This–Yeah, I had Made A Lot of ‘Chili–Not–Chili’)
I shoud have known better though, and trusted my original instincts over that ‘Yankee Bitch-of-a-Step-Mother.’ She probably knew I was gonna catch Hell and had me pollute my chili out of spite and her natural inclination to hate me. But I would have my revenge.
Some Day, I may write and post that story.
Just gotta ensure that the Statute of Limitations has run out before I do.
This Is A Perfect Example of an Ignorant, Too-Trusting & Naïve Teenager Being Abused and Taken Advantage Of.
Sometimes Life’s Lessons Can Be Difficult, But Never Useless If One Learns From Them.
I Have Lived!
And Sometimes, I have Even Learned.
(This Post Is An ‘Oldie’ Completely Re-Written)
Brantley Gilbert – “Hard Days”
Song Video Performance Credit: Brantley Gilbert