Hello Atascosa County! You’ve all heard the saying about Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer. It sure does feel like summer, but unfortunately it is still officially spring. We talk about summer and the heat and I can’t help but gravitate towards ice cream, cold desserts, confections, homemade dairy goods, and we can’t omit barbecue (or bbq for short).
I spent plenty of summers watching cheese and butter being strained, drained and hung up to drip. Most of this was done outside and it was a daylong project. Cheesecloth was used for draining the dairy products, but that didn’t limit the cheesecloth to dairy products. Growing up, we had a small Mustang Grape vine that produced a pretty decent amount of grapes. You couldn’t eat them because the skins were tough, but they were great for jellies and wine. Enter the cheesecloth once again. Peaches were just coming into season about this time of year, too. Peaches were canned and peach preserves were made to use and store for months. Peaches have seemed to be a multi-use fruit as of late and I am personally a fan.
In high school, I was in FFA every year and in late May was the Annual FFA Awards Banquet. I wish I knew who was responsible for it, but someone would always make homemade vanilla and Big Red ice cream. It’s the homemade and old-fashioned cooking that has always gotten my attention as favorites.
Everyone who knows me knows that I love to talk about food and especially barbecue. The hot weather brings out the inner pit master in us all! I read an article on the Texas Historical Commission’s Facebook page recently about the history of barbecue. This is a hot topic and controversial amongst pit masters due to the debates of different preferences of tastes and traditions. Nonetheless, most of these discussions don’t get heated enough because we start to get hungry and that is first priority! I’ve been fortunate enough to have partaken in different types of barbecue. But if you want a debate and a good meal, talk about barbecue in Texas. Experiment with the variations freely and enjoy.
Y’all be safe and healthy, and keep our history alive!
Keep up with us on Facebook until next time.
MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.