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Publications of the Texas Folklore Society

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Tales of Texas Cooking

Stories and Recipes from the Trans-Pecos to the Piney Woods and High Plains to the Gulf Prairies

Edited by Frances Brannen Vick

According to Renaissance woman and Pepper Lady Jean Andrews, although food is eaten as a response to hunger, it is much more than filling one's stomach. It also provides emotional fulfillment. This is borne out by the joy many of us feel as a family when we get in the kitchen and cook together and then share in our labors at the dinner table. Food is comfort, yet it is also political and contested because we often are what we eat--meaning what is available and familiar and allowed. Texas is fortunate in having a bountiful supply of ethnic groups influencing its foodways, and Texas food is the perfect metaphor for the blending of diverse cultures and native resources. Food is a symbol of our success and our communion, and whenever possible, Texans tend to do food in a big way. This latest publication from the Texas Folklore Society contains stories and more than 120 recipes, from long ago and just yesterday, organized by the 10 vegetation regions of the state. Herein you'll find Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s Family Cake, memories of beef jerky and sassafras tea from John Erickson of Hank the Cowdog fame, Sam Houston's barbecue sauce, and stories and recipes from Roy Bedichek, Bob Compton, J. Frank Dobie, Bob Flynn, Jean Flynn, Leon Hale, Elmer Kelton, Gary Lavergne, James Ward Lee, Jane Monday, Joyce Roach, Ellen Temple, Walter Prescott Webb, and Jane Roberts Wood. There is something for the cook as well as for the Texan with a raft of takeaway menus on their refrigerator.

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Thirty-three Years, Thirty-three Works

Celebrating the Contributions of F. E. Abernethy, Texas Folklore Society Secretary-Editor, 1971-2004

Edited by Kenneth L. Untiedt and Kira E. Mort

Francis Edward Abernethy served as the Secretary-Editor of the Texas Folklore Society for 33 years. He played an integral part in the process of moving the headquarters from the University of Texas to Stephen F. Austin State University in 1971; for more than three decades, he managed the organization’s daily operations and helped it continue to grow—sometimes through lean years, both financially and in terms of academic interest. In addition to fostering many new members and guiding their contributions to folklore scholarship, his editorial accomplishments were substantial. In all, he edited two dozen volumes of the PTFS series, including the three volumes he wrote himself that serve as the Society’s history, from its beginning in 1909 up until the year 2000. While some publications during his tenure as Secretary-Editor may list the name of another writer (for an Extra Book) or a guest editor (for a special-topic PTFS), he most assuredly provided critical and creative input regarding the style, layout, content, and other aspects of the manuscript to make sure it was worthy of being identified as a TFS book. This Publication of the Texas Folklore Society celebrates Ab Abernethy’s many years of leadership and dedication to collecting, preserving, and presenting the folklore of Texas and the Southwest. Ab’s contributions to the Society’s publications cover a variety of topics. Here, they’ve been organized into some basic categories that serve as chapters. The prefaces to some of the more memorable volumes he edited are included, along with articles he wrote on music, teaching folklore, interesting anecdotes about historical figures and events, and a generalized category of articles on “cultural” examinations of the things we hold dear. In all, these pieces tell us what was important to Ab. In part, it also seems fair to say that these topics are what was—and still is—reflective of what’s important to the Texas Folklore Society.

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