Mexican Chocolate; Tex-Mex; S.O.B. Stew; Devil's Food

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Jun 21 04:48:05 UTC 2000

   There are tons of gems in these Texas cookbooks.


   From THE TEXAS COOKBOOK (1949) by Arthur and Bobbie Coleman, pg. 234:

   Anyone interested in taking a few pains will be rewarded amply by getting
Mexican chocolate.  Mexican shops in this country carry two kinds.  One they
make up here into round cakes.  The other they import from Mexico, where it
is made up in squares, much like ours, except that the Mexican chocolate is
usually better and also has the flavoring, sugar, and perhaps the eggs
already in it.  Then, to beat it, you can use either the _molinillo_, which
is the wooden beater of Mexico, or a Dover egg-beater.
   We recommend only Mexican chocolate, with the flavoring and sweetening in
it, for the following recipe.
   _Mexican Chocolate_
   Take a 1-inch square of Mexican chocolate for each cup of milk.  Bring the
chocolate and the milk to a slow boil, and cook slowly for 10 minutes.
Remove from the fire and beat with a _molinillo_ or with an egg-beater until
a thick (Pg. 235--ed.) foam is formed.  Make only 1 cup at a time, and pour
very carefully into chocolate cups.


   The OED has Tex-Mex from 1945, but Tex-Mex "cooking" appears to be from
   From THE WIDE, WIDE WORLD OF TEXAS COOKING (1970) by Morton Gill Clark,
pg. 57:

   Find a Texan away from Texas any length of time and what is he longing to
eat?  Not filet mignon with Bearnaise sauce, not lobster a l"Americaine (Pg.
58--ed.), but Tex-Mex dishes...or anyway dishes with a Tex-Mex taste, such as
_enchiladas_, _frijoles refritos_, _tacos_, lettuce and sliced tomato with
grated cheese, _Guacamole_, _Tortillas_, sauce picante.

SON-OF-A-BITCH STEW (continued)

   Another S.O.B. citation (still not the 1800s, but at least closer) is from
THE TEXAS COOKBOOK (1949) by Arthur and Bobbie Coleman, pg. 45:

   And then there is the way that is all Texas' own: the original
Son-of-a-Bitch Stew.  It grew up on the far ranches, where cowbrutes are the
main source of food.  But no one should let its apparent sparseness deceive
him.  The Son-of-a-Bitch Stew is well-named--it is just that, in the admiring
   This recipe is straight off Uncle Jim's range, out in the Pecos Country,
exactly as Aunt Nannie gave it to us.  Aunt Nannie ought to know.  She has
been cooking this stew and other good food for cowpokes since we were
yearlings, more or less.  Of course, these quantities have been citified.
Aunt Nannie is more used to fixing for a couple of dozen hungry hands than
for a family.
   _Pecos Son-of-a-Bitch Stew_
   Throw into the pot 1 pound of neck meat cut in small pieces, 1 heart cut
up, the brains, all the marrow-gut, a (Pg. 46--ed.) little of the liver,
salt, pepper, and _chiles_.  Start in cold water.  Cook slowly until done,
about 6 or 7 hours.  When the meat is almost done, add 1 large can of tomato
juice, if desired.  Feeds about 8.
   For the edification of those who may be dubious about marrow-gut, it is
not an intestine.  It is a milk-secreting tract found only in calves, and it
imparts to a stew a delicious flavor all its own, without which the stew is
nothing like so distinctive.  Here is another version of the Son-of-a-Bitch
Stew, which Jack Thornton says out in the country where he ranched for many
years is called "Gentleman from Odessa" (Odessa, Texas, of course)--nobody we
ever met seems to know why--but for the mollification of gentlemen from
Odessa, he smiled when he said it.  In fact, he laughed out loud. (...)


   What else can you serve after S.O.B.?
   John Mariani's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN FOOD & DRINK has: "The first
devil's-food recipe appeared in 1900..."
   THE CAPITOL COOK BOOK (Austin, TX, 1899) has _two_ "devil's food" recipes
on page 123.  The library closed before I could copy them.

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