That’s Right, You’re Not From Texas, But Texas Wants You Anyway

Today, March 2, is Texas Independence Day, the anniversary of the signing of the declaration announcing Texas’ independence from Mexico in 1836 and establishing a new country, the Republic of Texas. There was a quick war about it, culminating in the defeat of the Mexican forces at the Battle of San Jacinto the following April. Texas was only a country for ten years before being (voluntarily) annexed by the United States, but by god we’ll never forget it.

Everyone loves piñatas

I have taken to throwing a Texas Independence Day party at least in my first year at post – after that the procurement of necessary supplies gets a little more complicated. I had this year’s party on Sunday, and I think it’s safe to say it was a huge success.

There was music – a custom playlist made exclusively of songs about Texas and/or by artists from Texas. There was beer – cases of Lone Star, Shiner, and St. Arnold’s. The Shiner Prickly Pear was especially popular. There was a piñata, brought all the way from Texas in a giant mass of bubble wrap, stuffed not only with the traditional candy but with Texas pins and little airline bottles of tequila. (Those were popular too.) And of course there was food. I made beef fajitas and carnitas with all the trimmings. I made chili and cornbread and jambalaya and veggie enchiladas and guacamole. I made pecan pie and tres leches cake. Other people provided 7-layer dip and blueberry cobbler. I had hoped to smoke a brisket but the logistics on that turned out to be tricky. Maybe next time.

This is a logistically-challenging event to pull off. I started planning last July to get all the beer and the piñata + stuffing and the Texas napkins and such shipped with my consumables. I brought home the fajita meat frozen in my suitcase when I was back in the States for Christmas. The pork shoulder for the carnitas was shipped in from Kenya. And I cooked for weeks to have all the food ready – even the tortillas I made by hand. But everyone had a great time and said nice things about my cooking, so it all paid off. And hopefully they learned a little bit about Texas.