Will this be the legislative session that fixes the way Texas funds public schools? We’ll explore new recommendations. And speaking of the legislative session, there are new bills filed. We ask lawmakers why certain bills are near and dear to their hearts. We also say goodbye to members of the Texas delegation in Washington. And ’tis the season to go shopping, and get a discount: we’ll tell you how. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:
Snow to the north, flooding to the south, storms close in on the Lone Star State, with dangerous implications. We’ll hear the latest on weather warnings statewide. Also a man in a jail cell in Odessa may be one of the most prolific serial killers in history. Why did it take so long for authorities to catch him? Plus, why Texas appears to have become ground zero for a cryptocurrency crackdown. And challenging assumptions: one of the most comprehensive profiles of Latinos: ever. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:
An historic new era set to begin in Mexico on Saturday. What does Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador mean for Texas? We’ll explore. Also, it’s been more than a year after Hurricane Harvey. Whatever happened to those long promised fixes to the floodplain maps? We’ll take a look. And in the first Texas city to shift to 100 percent renewable energy, plans to redesign the neighborhoods of the future. Also, the big news this holiday season may not be buying the latest smartphone, but what we’re buying with those smartphones. Our go-to digital guru Omar Gallaga has got your number. All that and then some today on the Texas Standard:
Don your face paint, costumes and masks for Halloween, but don’t forget that it’s not always movie monsters or villains that are the scariest ghouls to haunt our waking days. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
Even if you’re not a frequent denizen of the local mall, you’ve probably spent some time there this holiday season. And if not, you have some memories of teenaged days spent hanging out there.
Grab your green beer and your friends to enjoy this St. Patrick’s Day-inspired poem by the Typewriter Rodeo.
Some people do their holiday shopping all year long, others wait until the last minute. With online shopping and fast delivery, it’s easier than ever to take care of everyone on your list without leaving your couch. But a brave few are determined to make gifts, with their DIY skills and eye for detail.
(But online shopping is a nice backup for those of us who can’t draw a straight line.)
A foreign government cyberattacks the election. The US president pushes back. But is the response big enough to satisfy Texas? We’ll explore. Scores of Texas hospitals on a list for federal cuts and why in this case the injuries might be self-inflicted. Also: the doctor sees the symptoms, but what about the whole person? We’ll hear about a culture shift underway in medicine. Plus, a quiet revolution in how Texans are getting their energy. And worried you waited too long for holiday decorations, our tech guru tells us what you might need is laser like focus….or maybe not. All that and a whole lot more…turn it up, its Texas Standard time:
It’s that time again – time to pull out the yule log, unwrap a candy cane, spin the dreidel and pour yourself a cup of nog. The creamy holiday treat is what inspired Typewriter Rodeo’s David Fruchter to write this week’s poem.
The time has come for holiday cards and the epic holiday letter. That was the inspiration for Typewriter Rodeo’s Kari Anne Roy as she wrote this week’s poem.
Every Christmas my mom would bake eight pies: four apple and four pecan. Now, we wouldn’t eat all of those ourselves. Two would be given away to pie-less people and two would be placed in the deep freeze for some emergency of the future. Pies and money were similar in my mom’s mind. Save a fourth of everything in deep savings for some future need.
When baking these pies, she had a quite a memorable ritual she followed.
First she would prepare the dessert table in the dining room. She’d cover the corner table with her mother’s crocheted table cloth and light some red cinnamon-laced candles. She’d tell us every year, “See this table cloth? Took your grandmother a year to crochet it. She made the whole thing while watching Gunsmoke.”
Next she’d put on some Christmas music on the old phonograph. Usually Bing Crosby or Perry Como or Doris Day. Then she’d close off the kitchen and announce to any of us kids in there: “I’m going to bake now. You’re either a help or a hindrance. If you’re gonna, help, help. If not, get on outside.”
I’d generally stay because there were rewards to be had in testing and tasting. I served as quality control. At the age of 9, just sitting in the warm kitchen amidst the aromas of baking pies had no olfactory equal in childhood.
My mom always cooked kind of dressed up. She wore a collared, mid-shin length dress with a blue and white, checked apron over it. Made her look, to me, like a Butter Krust bread wrapper. She looked like Betty Crocker without the pearls and the low heels. She’d wear a comfortable pair of beige Keds, instead.
As I was partial to her apple pie, I’m gonna tell you, right quick, how to make it like she did. You should feel honored because this is a treasured family recipe, lovingly snipped from the pages of Good Housekeeping in 1912 by my grandmother.
First, you need to put some wassail on the stove to give the room the proper Christmas aroma for pie baking. Next you’re gonna need a formica table with a blue, broken-ice pattern and chrome trim. Cover half the table with wax paper, get out your flour and rolling pen and make some pie crusts. Go about it vigorously so there’s flour floating in the air. Line your pie dishes with the crust, snip off the excess, push in the crimps around the edges, and pop ‘em all in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you’re only baking one pie, you can stick the crust in at 400 degrees for five minutes.)
Now, if you’re like my mom, never one to waste time, while those are baking, you can grab a nine-year-old boy and rush out to the clothes line and bring in the laundry, fold it and put it away before the pie crust is ready.
Back to the pies: Cut, peel and core five Granny Smith apples, cut into slices. Yell for your husband to turn the record over so you can hear Dreaming of White Christmas, which is certainly a crazy thing to be dreaming about anywhere south of Austin. You’re more likely to get a Christmas tan.
In a big stainless steel bowl, mix the apple cubes, white and brown sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg all together. Nutmeg is the secret ingredient – it smells magical all mingled with the wassail warmed up on the stove. Now pour this mix into the pie shells and add a crumb topping that has lots of butter and sugar and cinnamon. You’re almost done with your Dutch apple pies.
Put them in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. When they’re done, set ’em up by there by the screened window to cool.
Now you can get started on the pecan pies, but that’s not my specialty so you’ll have to look up that recipe.
I’m just waiting for the apple pies. As soon as they cool, I’m gonna try a slice, with some Blue Bell vanilla ice cream of course. Life doesn’t get much better I’d say.
May your holidays be equally blessed.
W.F. Strong is a Fulbright Scholar and professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. At Public Radio 88 FM in Harlingen, Texas, he’s the resident expert on Texas literature, Texas legends, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Whataburger (with cheese) and mesquite smoked brisket.
Coming up, we explore the North Texas dam holding back 2.5 billion tons of water. A Dallas Morning News investigation dares to look at what would happen if the dam broke. Fishing for the facts at Lewisville Lake Dam.
Plus, the fresh scent of holiday pies…
and toys to help a baby learn to crawl?
All coming up in today’s Texas Standard
Millions of Texans are hitting the roads this weekend for Memorial Day. Soon, it’ll be time for the Texas road trip – you know, where you drive ten hours and are STILL in Texas! That was the inspiration for this week’s Typewriter Rodeo poem by Sean Petrie.
Tradition compresses time and brings us into the moment of timelessness when things are safe. In jazz, the art of tradition is to recreate sounds and lives, to bring the listener back home, especially during the holidays. The tradition of jazz is the expectation of improvisation and requiring the artist to be on top of their game.
For many of us, Thanksgiving means spending time with our families, carrying out traditions that we’ve practiced for years. While it can be very stressful, messy, and challenging to spend time with family members you don’t see very often, it can also be a beautiful time of recentering. Traditions serve a psychological function. By repeating the same traditional activity with the same group of people over the years, we construct a chronological record of who we’ve been before – and who we are now. It’s a hidden way of staying in touch with the consistent elements of our identities, and it allows us to track ourselves as we develop and change.