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Tiffany Felan Pflugerville, Texas / 3

Letter from the Editor

The first indigo blooms of bluebonnets rippling across the Texas Hill Country signal that winter has packed up and slipped away. As the wildflowers emerge, painting the Texas landscape a watercolor worthy of Monet, we can’t help but feel lighter and brighter. We have a sense of renewal and new beginnings.

CEO AND PUBLISHER Mitchell Moorhead

I am humbled to begin a new adventure of my own as Editor-in-Chief of Heart of Texas Magazine. Few things have inspired me more than the people, the towns, and the spirit of the Texas Hill Country, and nothing makes me happier than to bring the stories of this special place to you.


In this, our most popular issue, we offer you the best in the celebration of spring. Discover the best places for sighting wildflowers, cruise the curves and serpentines of an iconic Central Texas motorcycle route, relax on a worry-free wine tour, and paddle the peaceful Guadalupe River. We invite you to learn about the stories of food and folks with traveling cookbook author Tiffany Harelik, and try some new recipes. Connect with the heart and soul of singer and songwriter Sarah Pierce, and wander the whimsical world of artist Casey Craig.


Most of all, we wish for you to explore the pages of pictures from local photographers who bring you the photos of the spring season that inspire them the most.



Our Heart of Texas Magazine aims to honor the Texas Hill Country in a way that brings a smile to your face and a touch of pride to your heart, telling the stories of the people and places that make up this extraordinary place. Enjoy our Spring 2017 issue. May it move you to celebrate fresh starts and new beginnings.

Marcy Stellfox Editor-in-Chief

SALES ACCOUNT MANAGER Shelbi Jary CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS Robert C. Deming, Jessica Pickett, Sonia Ramirez, Shannon Salas, Spring Sault, Marcy Stellfox CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Robin Barth Carter, Casey Craig, Robert C. Deming, Miguel Fasensio, Tiffany Felan, Dale Fortenberry, Tiffany Harelik, Mark S. Holly, Robert Lee, Eleazar Paredes, Jessica Pickett, Sarah Pierce, Melanie Wright Photography, Luis S. Sosa, Bill Wright SALES REPRESENTATIVES Corporate Sales Office PO Box 8343 Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657 (512) 763-0051

CONTENTS Whimsical and Wonderful.......................................10 The Art of Casey Craig

Ring in Spring...............................................................16 Visit San Saba

Heart of Texas Magazine produced by Texas Media Group

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TIFFANY’S TEXAS FOOD TRAVELS Travel Through Texas One Recipe at a Time



HEART OF TEXAS WINE TOURS Experience First Class Wine Tasting

Entertainment Spotlight: Sarah Pierce.……...46 Singer, Songwriter, and So Much More

From the Hill Country Kitchen...........................60 Chicken Fried Steak and Mimi’s Chocolate Cake

Hondo Army Airfield Sparkles.............................64 Celebrating Its Diamond Jubilee




Ride the Route of the Twisted Sisters



for the



“It’s not an easy path, and you have to have confidence and seek out the opinions of those you respect and stay focused!”



and The Art of Casey Craig by Sonia Ramirez photos courtesy of Casey Craig “I

believe that beautiful picture books are vitally important in subconsciously forming a child’s visual appreciation, which will bear fruit in later life.” -Brian Wildsmith, British painter and children’s book illustrator

10 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

Wildsmith’s words give insight into the imaginative and unique artwork of Casey Craig, mixed media artist and longtime resident of Wimberley, Texas. As a child, Craig was always drawn to art and remembers her mother taking her to the local library where she found inspiration, especially in Brian Wildsmith and his work.

and music and sound art, while new forms, such as net art, digital installation art, and virtual reality, have become recognized artistic practices,â€? says Wikipedia. An artist in today’s world faces numerous challenges, but Craig offers some great advice into becoming a long-standing artist in society today. “You want to create your work in all sizes and price points, something for everyone,â€? shared Craig. ̸,I\RXUZRUNLVXQLTXHDQGRULJLQDO\RXDUHVXUHWRͤQGD collector’s attention to keep you busy.â€? With her artwork in galleries across the Hill Country and even in Florida, Craig’s work has found a home among the hearts of Texans and beyond. Step into one of the JDOOHULHVDQG\RXZLOOͤQG\RXUVHOILPPHUVHGLQWKHYLVLRQ and imagination that is Casey Craig. “I prefer to keep my compositions simple to suggest a sense of peace and serenity. Nature’s patterns and colors fascinate me and translating and magnifying these elements into my paintings keeps me inspired,â€? shares Craig. The biggest compliment she has received regarding her work was that her art brought a smile to others. Craig hopes her work shines through as a “joyful processâ€? and WKDWUHÍĽHFWLRQLQWXUQGUDZVDGPLUHUVWRKHUFUHDWLRQV+HU advice for other artists is simple: “Hunker down and tune out negative thoughts that come your way.â€? She encourages others to follow their heart if art is their passion. “It’s not an HDV\SDWKDQG\RXKDYHWRKDYHFRQͤGHQFHDQGVHHNRXW the opinions of those you respect and stay focused!â€?

The attention to details and color in Wildsmith’s work shine through in Craig’s artwork. “Her stylized renditions RIDQLPDOVVWLOOOLIHVÍĽRUDOVDQGWUHHVDUHULFKZLWKWH[WXUHV and patterns,â€? shares her website. “Her preferred media includes paint, decorative, and hand-painted torn papersâ€? that she combines to achieve the effects that make her work so distinctive. ̸$OOSHRSOHDUHFUHDWLYHLWĚľVͤQGLQJZKDW\RXĚľUHFUHDWLYH about,â€? shared Craig when asked from where her inspiration comes. Her creativity can rise out of looking at something as simple as someone’s shirt to keeping a sketchbook where she jots down ideas to revisit later. “My paintings evolve from my imagination, so I have the freedom to exaggerate patterns or create new ones where they have never existed.â€? Patterns and designs of the 1970s were also a source of inspiration for bringing more color and design to her pieces. In today’s ever evolving and modern society some may say traditional art is taking a backseat to the newer forms of artwork stealing the spotlight of center stage through digital art. “The impact of digital technology has transformed activities such as painting, drawing, sculpture

Craig and her artwork have been featured in many mediums from the Society of Illustrators Show in New York to the American Artist Magazine, and she won D FHUWLͤFDWH RI PHULW IURP ,QGLH $UWLVW 0DJD]LQH 7KH ASPCA, The Discovery Channel, and several other national magazines, newspapers, and children’s publications have commissioned works by Craig. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas and has won QXPHURXV DZDUGV $UW DͤFLRQDGRV IURP FRDVW WR FRDVW have taken note of her work as well. Usually working on two to three paintings at a time, her current projects include an elephant, African animals, and in the sketch phase, a future piece featuring a fox. “[I’m] trying out new animals for a new year,� shared Craig. When not at work in her home studio, she enjoys spending her time with her husband, two children, and her German shepherd. Take a road trip through these art galleries of the Texas Hill Country to view Craig’s work: Artisans Gallery, Fredericksburg, Texas, Blair House Art Gallery, Wimberley, Texas, and Texcetera, Johnson City, Texas. Latitudes Art Gallery in Rockport, Texas and Signature Art Gallery in Tallahassee, Florida also show her work. You can learn more about Craig and view her work on her website at Her ZRUN LV DOVR DYDLODEOH WKURXJK KHU ͤQH DUWV SXEOLVKHU / 11

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BillValleyWright Spring, Texas / 15

Ring in Spring with a Visit to San Saba merican poet Ralph


Waldo Emerson once

said “The Earth ODXJKV LQ ÍĽRZHUVĚš and now, the whole world will hear the laughter ringing throughout Texas. Blossoms such as bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, Texas lantana, and poppies paint the roadways and rolling ͤHOGV ZLWK VWURNHV RI ULFK EOXH EULJKW crimson, and pops of cheerful yellow. And with over 800,000 acres bursting with blooms along Texas highways, there’s no better time for a Texas Hill Country road trip. San Saba is the perfect home base for a such a colorful spring visit.

WHERE SPRING IS IN THE AIR San Saba is a small town American gem in the crown of the Texas Hill Country. Fed by both the San Saba River and the Colorado River, the “Pecan Capital of the World� boasts plenty of opportunities for nature enthusiasts to get outdoors this spring. Just east of town, the San Saba River Golf Course challenges golfers to 18-holes against a tranquil Hill Country backdrop. Half a mile west of town, thousands of newly budded pecan trees burst with bright green leaves. The sweet smell of pecan SLHDQGSHFDQFRIIHHͤOOWKHDLURIWKH

Great San Saba River Pecan Company Country Store. Sample such delicacies as Mrs. Martha’s traditional pecan pie which took the blue ribbon in Atlanta at AmericasMart, (a global wholesale marketplace where new products are introduced to global retailers), for Best Dessert. Her Peach, Pecan & Amaretto Preserves were DZDUGHGWKHͤUVWSUL]HWURSK\IRUWKH0RVW2XWVWDQGLQJ Preserve by the International Fancy Food Show in New York. Great San Saba River Pecan Company products can be found in boutiques around the country and all Williams-Sonoma stores. Amp up the outdoor adventure at Colorado Bend State Park. Located about 30 minutes southeast of San Saba, visitors are welcome to camp, bike, or hike the over 30 16 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

miles of trails. But the shining star of this park is Gorman Falls. Mineral rich water gently courses down 65 feet of moss-covered travertine drapes — mineral deposits that look like living room curtains — collecting in a dark pool at the bottom. The Gorman Falls Trail consists of a challenging mile and half trail shouldered with shrubby mesquite, scrub oaks, and various kinds of prickly cacti. Spend a day driving winding country roads rippling with ZLOGͼRZHUV2QHRIWKHPRVWSRSXODUGULYHVIRUYLHZLQJ +LOO &RXQWU\ ZLOGͼRZHUV EHJLQV LQ 6DQ 6DED 7DNH Highway 16 from San Saba southwest through Cherokee, Llano, Fredericksburg, and Kerrville. This drive brings you FORVHWRWKH:LOORZ&LW\/RRSDQRWKHULFRQLFZLOGͼRZHU route. Highway 281 is popular as well

Story and Photos by Jessica Pickett

Mark S. Holly and easily accessed from San Saba. Take a 20-minute drive east on Highway 190 and 183 to Lampasas to begin the scenic drive south on US 281 to Burnet. Before leaving San Saba, be sure to visit the 400-yearROG:HGGLQJ2DNGHHPHGRQHRI1DWLRQDO*HRJUDSKLFĚľV “10 Remarkable Trees.â€? A little more than a mile north of town, this majestic tree towered over countless Native American weddings and the tradition was FDUULHG RQ E\ WKH ͤUVW VHWWOHUV RI 6DQ 6DED 2Q 'HFHPEHU   WKH :HGGLQJ 2DN ZLWQHVVHG three couples exchange vows under its branches.

WHERE TO STAY Turn-of-the-century buildings of earthen colored bricks and stones line the main street, many of which have been restored and now house thriving local businesses. 7KH 'Rͧ HP\HU +RWHO EXLOW LQ  ZDV RQFH WKH 6DQ Saba National Bank but now hosts the town’s only boutique hotel. The six-room luxury inn showcases both the town’s frontier history and uniquely contemporary present. Sepia-toned portraits of homecoming queens, stout Hereford bulls, and stern-faced settlers hang side / 17

by side with cows painted in bright oils and vivid desert ͥRZHUV(GLVRQEXOEVLQLQGXVWULDOPHWDOFDJHVLOOXPLQDWH reading nooks stuffed with teal blue couches and cowhide hammock chairs. Buttery soft linens and worn antique throw rugs soften the gray punch tin ceiling and contemporary black and white bathroom tiles.

sagely tends his BBQ pits with the help of his manager and ULJKWKDQGPDQ'DULR*DOLQGDKDVEHHQͤULQJXSKLVSLWV and creating Hill Country style BBQ magic for more than 30 years. Cooking over live coals and regularly basting gives his BBQ just a hint of smoke but allows the juicy meat’s QDWXUDOO\GHOLFLRXVͥDYRUWRWDNHFHQWHUVWDJH



7KH 'RͧHP\HU DOVR VKDUHV LWV ͤUVW ͥRRU ZLWK 2OLYHU DQG Co., where the decadent scent of espresso and savory aroma of fresh grilled paninis greet guests as they enter. 7KH VPDOO ORFDO FDIH VHUYHV XS JRXUPHW SHFDQ ZDͧHV homemade ice cream, and hearty soups. The black iron vault that was once the bank’s safe now safeguards the cafe’s food stores.

If drinking wine outside on a patio is about as outdoorsy as you want to get, no worries because San Saba’s thriving wine scene is more than happy to accommodate. Mere VWHSVIURPWKH'RͧHP\HUDUHWKHDZDUGZLQQLQJZLQHULHV :HGGLQJ2DN:LQHU\DQG2OG0DQ6FDU\&HOODUV6LSDJODVV RI :HGGLQJ 2DN̵V DZDUGZLQQLQJ  %ULGDO 9HLO DQ RII dry blend of vermentino and trebbiano with tropical notes of mango and pineapple. Browse the cheerful artwork of &RQQLH +LVHO ZKLOH VDYRULQJ D JODVV RI 2OG 0DQ 6FDU\̵V HDV\GULQNLQJ9LRJQLHU

Head to the Bar D Brewhouse for a laid back atmosphere and some of Jerilyn’s homemade comfort food. Try Pearl’s spicy chicken -- crispy fresh chicken strips drizzled with the VLJQDWXUHKRXVHTXHVRDQG3LFRGHJDOOR2UWDNHDGYDQWDJH RI WKH DOO\RXFDQHDW IULHG FDWͤVK RQ )ULGD\V VHUYHG with crunchy hushpuppies and fries, creamy homemade coleslaw, and slow cooked beans. Complete the meal by pairing it with one of Larry’s 11 craft brews such as Pecan Bottom Ale or his rich Double Down Brown. 2Q WKH ZHHNHQGV %REE\ *DOLQGD RI 'RXEOH * 3LW 6WRS 18 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

The bright colors of Fiesta Winery pair perfectly with the spring blooms found during the 20-minute ride to Bend. Enjoy a class of their Back Porch Sittin’ Cabernet on their spacious covered patio overlooking the vineyard. Compare the different wines of Lampasas wine makers and twin brothers Bill and Gill Bledsoe. Bill recommends his Texas Legato’s bold Malbec while Gill suggests his incredibly smooth estate Pillar Bluff Petit Syrah.

An hour north of San Saba in the town RI &RPDQFKH %UHQQDQ 9LQH\DUGV invites guests to sample a glass of their Winemaker’s Choice red blend while exploring the immaculately restored McCrary house, now their tasting room. The heart of Texas is crisscrossed with winding country roads leading to towns as colorful as the surrounding Hill Country. Whether WKH\ OHDG WR DURPDWLF ZLOGÍĽRZHUV RU award-winning wine, to rugged trails or manicured golf courses, be sure to follow them to San Saba. Like the town slogan says, “It’s more than you imagined.â€? The Great San Saba River Pecan Company 234 West Hwy 190 San Saba, Texas 76877 1-800-621-8121 Colorado Bend State Park Bend, Texas colorado-bend

'R̍HP\HU+RWHO 108 South High Street San Saba, Texas 325-372-5614 ZZZGRͧHP\HUKRWHOFRP Oliver and Co. 320 East Wallace Street San Saba, Texas (325) 372-3333 Bar D Brewhouse 213 North High Street San Saba, Texas (325) 372 - 6100 Double G Pit Stop 1108 West Wallace Street San Saba, Texas 76877 Wedding Oak Winery 316 East Wallace Street San Saba, Texas (325) 372-4050

Old Man Scary Cellars 302 East Wallace Street San Saba, Texas Fiesta Winery 18727 West FM 580 Lometa, Texas 325-628-3433 ZZZͤHVWDZLQHU\FRP Texas Legato 2935 FM 1478 Lampasas, Texas P (512) 556-9600 Pillar Bluff Winery 300 County Road 111 Lampasas, Texas (512) 556-4078 Brennan Vineyards 802 South Austin Street Comanche, Texas 1-325-356-9100 / 19

20 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017 / 21

Get Wild with by Shannon Salas


pring in the Texas Hill Country brings with it warmer temperatures, but that isn’t always what draws visitors each and every year. While the rolling hills and tranquil rivers and lakes offer plenty of sightVHHLQJ RSSRUWXQLWLHV WKH ͤHOGV and roadsides are overtaken by oodles of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and poppies to name a few. Splashes of color bring a certain excitement to the area, but before you zip by on I-35 faster than you can say, “Look! There are bluebonnets!�, consider planning a “wild� trip around these beautiful blooms.

22 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

Take a Drive Perhaps the most frequently asked question this time of year is “Where is the best place to see bluebonnets?� If you’re looking to spend some time driving the Texas Hill Country to revel in blooms that spring brings with it, try scoping out these tried and true spots. Hop in the car, take your time, take a day or take a week, regardless, you are sure to ͤQGZKDW\RXDUHORRNLQJIRU Willow City Loop: 2QH RI the more popular spots to see bluebonnets galore, the Willow City Loop, will leave you awestruck. Located on Highway

16 between Fredericksburg and Llano, Texas, this beautiful GULYHLVGHͤQLWHO\DVLJKWIRUVRUH eyes. Keep in mind, though, the property on either side of the road is private property. Please be respectful of the landowners and stay on the road. Kingsland: Still considered IDLUO\QHZWRWKHZLOGͼRZHUVFHQH Kingsland is home to some old railroad tracks that run through town and grace its residents with brilliant bluebonnet blooms. Take a left turn down County Road 321 and head back to the railroad tracks, then park the car. Take a half mile hike west down WKH WUDFNV DQG \RX ZLOO ͤQG DQ ROG KLVWRULF EULGJH <RX ZLOO ͤQG

yourself in bluebonnet heaven. Surely, you will be hungry after all this exploring. Drive back to town DQG ͤOO \RXU EHOO\ ZLWK VRPH good eats from Grand Central Café located at 1010 King Ct. in Kingsland.

Legacy Dr. in Fredericksburg, )O\LQJ / +LOO &RXQWU\ 5HVRUW Texas, and get your hands on A little less rugged and a little \RXU RZQ ZLOGÍ¥RZHU VHHGV WR more luxurious, the Flying take home. L Hill Country Resort offers comfortable lodging, a topBurnet: <RX ZLOO ͤQG ORDGV RI notch 18-hole championship places to stop and capture golf course, and the Lone Star ZLOGÍ¥RZHU SLFWXUHV LQ Lagoon featuring a wave pool, Burnet. But what drives a lazy river, and waterslides. tens of thousands of When you arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t relaxing visitors to Burnet each in your room or at the is the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual lagoon, consider Bluebonnet Festival. booking a two-hour This year the festival horseback ride takes place April 7-9, on over 5,500 2017 and wows its acres of horse guests with a carnival, trails at the Hill DELUGLQJDQGZLOGÍ¥RZHU Country State show, and live music Natural Area from Texas musicians. ZKHUHZLOGÍ¥RZHUV are sure to be in bloom. To make your UHVHUYDWLRQYLVLWÍ¥\LQJO com.

Cowboy Up

Saddle up and take a KRUVHEDFN ULGH WKURXJK ͤHOGV RI ZLOGͥRZHUV %DQGHUD 7H[DV is home to several ranches and resorts that open their gates for guests to stay and experience Fredericksburg: 2Q +LJKZD\ the cowboy, or cowgirl, way of 290 in Fredericksburg, you life. Consider hunkering down ZLOO ͤQG ͤHOGV RI EOXHERQQHWV at one of these top-notch places complimented by red poppies. to stay and play, and view some :KLOH PRVW RI WKH ͤHOGV DUH ZLOGͥRZHUVZKLOH\RX̵UHWKHUH inaccessible, there is a large expanse that is open to the public Dixie Dude Ranch: Book your for photo opportunities and the guest package, and you will like. While you are there, pay a receive lodging, three meals visit to Wildseed Farms at 100 (except on Sundays), and two horseback rides daily. Dixie Dude Ranch is a real working ranch complete with Longhorn cattle and real cowboys. Located on 725 acres, you are bound to see D ZLOGͥRZHU RU WZR GXULQJ \RXU stay this spring. Book your stay at

Become a Photo Pro Want to capture the essence DQG EHDXW\ RI WKH Í¥RZHUV WKDW decorate Texasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; roadsides DQG ͤHOGV HDFK VSULQJ EXW ͤQG that your photography skills are rusty at best? Sign up for a photography workshop that will have you traipsing through WKHͤHOGVDQGVQDSSLQJHQGOHVV pictures of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes. Here are a couple of workshops that will have you taking pictures that will rival those taken by the pros: Texas Bluebonnets Photography Workshop: Led by professional photographer Jason Weingart, this workshop is the only bluebonnet photography workshop / 23

in Texas. Learn how to shoot the perfect bluebonnet picture and delve into the art of landscape photography, astrophotography, long exposure photography, HDR photography, and time lapse photography. Shoot locations vary, and seats are OLPLWHGVRGRQ̵WZDLWWRUHVHUYH\RXUVSRW9LVLWZZZ for more information. 3KRWRJUDSK\LQWKH7H[DV+LOO&RXQWU\Join award-winning photographers Brian and 6KLUOH\ /RͥLQ RQ D IRXUGD\ QDWXUH DQG ZLOGͥRZHUSKRWRJUDSK\ZRUNVKRSDW0R Ranch near Hunt, Texas. Spend some time in and outside of the classroom as you explore the 500-acre terrain with your camera capturing incredible SKRWRV RI DOO WKH ZLOGͥRZHUV WKDW dot the landscape. Not only will you learn about the tools and equipment used to capture the perfect picture, but you will also learn about perfecting color, managing light, and getting up close and personal with your subject matter. 9LVLW ZZZPRUDQFKRUJ attend-a-conference/adultconferences/photographytexas-hill-country to for more information and to register.

Educate Yourself Whether you are interested in learning about how to improve your garden or what life was like way back when, there are a variety of programs available in the Texas Hill Country to quench your eager mind.

MArk S. Holly 24 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

/DG\%LUG-RKQVRQ:LOGÌ©RZHU Center: Founded by Lady Bird Johnson and Helen Hayes, the


26 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

Robin Barth Carter Busy Bee / 27

(830) 460-3262 2605 Junction Hwy, Kerrville, TX 78028


Yogi Bear’s Jellystone ParkTM

TWO BEAUTIFUL PARKS IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY YOGI BEAR and all related characters and elements © & ™ Hanna-Barbera. (s17)

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Camp-Resort Hill Country offers a breathtaking camping experience that the whole family will enjoy. Our Camp-Resort is located a half mile from the Guadalupe River and two miles from Canyon Lake. When our campers aren’t busy swimming and splashing around in our outdoor pool and splash pad, or warming up in our indoor heated pool, they 28 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

can enjoy our gem mining experience, pedal carts, arcade, jumping pillow, lazer tag in the woods, outdoor sports, and playground.

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forward to welcoming you to Jellystone Park™ Guadalupe River this year! We are set on 65 lush acres along the banks of the beautiful Guadalupe River in the heart of Texas Hill Country. Enjoy a relaxed family atmosphere, where you can take a leisurely walk along the river, fish from its banks, swim, or just take in the scenery from one of the many shady tree swings. If you are looking for a vacation with a little faster pace, we have planned activities and first

class amenities for kids and adults alike to enjoy. Come experience everything our park has to offer and start making camping memories that will last a lifetime.

Camping memories that will last a lifetime!


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Tiffanyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s texas Food Travels


by Spring Sault Photos by Melanie Wright Photography

iffany Harelik is a native Texan, fourth generation Austinite, and a cookbook writer. She has been writing cookbooks since 2009 and has made a career out of scouting out regional recipes during road trips. Culinary travel writing is one of her fortĂŠs, and she has lectured on food culture in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. +HU ̧UVW SURMHFW EHJDQ ZLWK the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trailer Food Diariesâ&#x20AC;? -- a fullFRORU̧OOHGWRRYHŲRZLQJUHFLSH road trip series through the trailer food scene from Austin to Dallas/Fort Worth, to Houston, and even Portland, Oregon. Then in 2014 she released the â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Big Bend Cookbookâ&#x20AC;? and late in 2016 she launched â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Terlingua Chili Cookbookâ&#x20AC;? to coincide with the 50th Annual Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook-Off held in the notorious West Texas ghost town. Harelik draws 36 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

inspiration from her cookbook road trips, the cast of colorful characters she meets along the way, and their heirloom recipes, infusing their stories with her trademark anecdotal style.

a home town sense, and Southern charm. Before beginning a career in writing and publishing, she earned a Masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Degree in Health Psychology and spent more than sixteen years in event production for corporate clients ,I +DUHOLN VDW GRZQ WR GḨQH such as Google, Lollapalooza, what fuels her interest in food, Torchyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, Viva Big Bend, Trailer and in particular, her experiences Food Tuesdays and more. She in bringing that trademark advocates for dog rescue, and epicurean Texas style into the the conservation of wild places, limelight, she would explain, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I and she likes to bring people love recipes that have a story. together through food and I like to bring people together music, connecting with and through food, and publishing is inspiring them along the way. my favorite avenue to do this because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m able to combine Ëť0\ ̧UVW IRUD\ LQWR ZULWLQJ history, recipes, travel, and began in 2007 to preserve family creativity with a great team all histories and heirloom recipes,â&#x20AC;? while connecting with inspiring she explains. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The idea was to people along the way.â&#x20AC;? feature the food culture of an area and pass down their special Born in Austin and raised in recipes while making the reader Buffalo Gap, Harelik, a former feel like they are on a road trip.â&#x20AC;? rattlesnake roundup queen, is Twelve cookbooks later, she Texas to the bone. She eats, continues taking trips, meeting breathes, and writes all things new people in and throughout tasty and good about her home Texas, and bringing their recipes, state, mixed with a bit of realism, love for family and friends, and

Of the twelve cookbooks under her belt, her titles include the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Trailer Food Diariesâ&#x20AC;? series, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Big Bend Cookbookâ&#x20AC;?, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The The popular foodie website Terlingua Chili Cookbookâ&#x20AC;? and has featured articles the â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Big Country Cookbookâ&#x20AC;? written by Harelik, and likewise, (scheduled to release in April). The Austin Chronicle and The She recently launched her own Houston Chronicle, among publishing company, Spellbound others. Harelik is the main food Publishers and is currently article contributor for Ranch Spellbound Radio â&#x20AC;&#x153;Each new book is my favorite building & Reserve Magazine and has spoken at the Texas Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book. I love learning new ways while breathing new life into her Conference, the Country Living of cooking family recipes and blog. Her love of good food and Magazine Expo, and various civic learning the lore from each area passion for sharing has given her clubs throughout the Lone Star I visit. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great career that has WKHRSSRUWXQLW\WRJXHVWMXGJHDW State. She has also advocated for taught me a lot and connected several food and wine festivals the art of cooking and eating well me to many great people. People including South by Southwest on radio programs across the are always surprised to learn that and The Texas Food Truck country and has appeared on the ZKLOH,HQMR\FRRNLQJLW˸VQRWP\ Showdown. television shows â&#x20AC;&#x153;Diners, Drive passion. My passion is learning A particular moment of the backstory behind ingredients Ins & Divesâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Eat Street.â&#x20AC;? and understanding what makes pride came this past year when Harelik has developed a a certain dish really special for a recipe contributor to â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Chili Cookbook,â&#x20AC;? niche market in regional, travel- someone. Yes, my books are Terlingua oriented cookbooks that focuses about food, but really, they are Deanna Castillo, actually took home the grand prize at the 2016 on recipes from food trucks, about people and culture.â&#x20AC;? love for food to the forefront of her publishing.

restaurants, and families, which blend together to feature the food culture of a particular area while passing down its special recipes. The combination of recipes and family folklore, cooking tips, and general good-time discussion takes her readers along with her on her travels. / 37

any other spot on the globe. Her contributors were excited to share their stories and recipes with her, and she in turn, has When she’s not lecturing, generously shared a few with us. writing, or trying out recipes And what’s the recipe that started herself, she’s road-tripping it all, you ask? That would be her through the Texas Hill Country grandmother’s chocolate cake. ZKHUH VKH LQYDULDEO\ ̧QGV PRUH ,WZDVWKHYHU\̧UVWUHFLSHVWRU\ fodder for longtime fans and new VKHZURWHRQKHUMRXUQH\7XUQWR foodies alike. Her adventures SDJH  WR HQMR\ VRPH UHJLRQDO have taken her throughout the recipes (including Harelik’s Hill Country and she’s found grandmother’s cake) from the that food brings communities adventurous spirits around the together and that nobody would Texas Hill Country! trade their slice of Texas for Original Terlingua International Championship Chili Cook-off and her husband won second place…

38 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

To purchase Harelik’s cookbooks, go to: www. or via Amazon ( com/Tiffany-Harelik/e/ B005Z4HSUG). If you should be interested in writing your own cookbook, Harelik has provided the readers of Heart of Texas Magazine a 50% off code for her e-book on KRZWRGRMXVWWKDW7XUQWRSDJH  WR HQMR\ 0LPL˸V FKRFRODWH cake recipe and a recipe for chicken fried steak that is sure to become a family favorite.

Mario Andrade Willow City Loop / 39





icture an oasis of peace and fun nestled in groves of pecan trees overlooking a bubbling spring-fed creek in the heart of nature just at the edge of the beautiful Texas Hill Country. 6ZLP DQG ͤVK LQ WKH *HURQLPR Creek like you were a kid again. Throw some horseshoes and drink a cold one or chill out in a lawn chair soaking up the warm Texas sunshine. Envision your cozy cabin with comfortable furniture, fully-equipped kitchen, private bathroom, and sleeping loft overlooking a gorgeous view. Eat, chat, and relax with friends and family on the spacious deck shaded by pecan branches. Unwind in massaging shower and curl up in the high-quality

40 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

bed linens listening to nothing but the crickets and the creek. Escape from the real world for a while at Geronimo Creek Retreat. Choose to overnight in one of the ten rental units comprised of four treehouse FDELQV ͤYH DLUFRQGLWLRQHG DQG fully furnished tipis, and the original three bedroom, two bath Homestead Haus. Located on the northern outskirts of Seguin, Texas, Geronimo Creek Retreat is only a stoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s throw from all of Seguinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conveniences. And although you will feel like you have entered the proverbial â&#x20AC;&#x153;Middle of Nowhere,â&#x20AC;? day trips are easy. New Braunfels is 14 miles away, and the

2XWOHW 0DOOV RI 6DQ 0DUFRV DUH just a 20-minute drive. Great restaurants and the nightlife of Gruene are only 15 minutes away, and San Antonio and Austin are 40 and 50 miles away, UHVSHFWLYHO\ 5HVHUYDWLRQV ͤOO up quickly. So donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t delay, make yours today! www. / 41

by Spring Sault Photos courtesy of Dale Fortenberry


eart of Texas Wine Tours based in Marble Falls has the tips and tricks that will elevate your Texas Hill Country wine experience with comfort and style. All over the Hill Country, more wineries than ever are open and enthusiastic for you to stop and visit. Many of them plan special events through the spring and summer heavily promoting their winery and the wine trails theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a part of. Heart of Texas Wine Tours offers wine tasting trips that wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t entail coordinating a designated driver, or having a membership to the Rand McNally Wine Tour 0DS ZH˸UHMRNLQJWKDWGRHVQ˸WUHDOO\H[LVW RUUHVHDUFKLQJORFDOZLQHULHVOLNHDPDVWHU˸V GHJUHHFDQGLGDWHZRXOGIRUWKHLU̧QDOWKHVLV

42 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

Dale Fortenberry, owner and operator of Heart of Texas Wine Tours, and his staff know many of the local Hill Country vineyard owners and winemakers personally and will guide you or your group to HVWDEOLVKPHQWV ZKHUH \RX˸OO ̧QG LQWHUHVWLQJ charming, and helpful people to assist you in your sampling soirĂŠe. Fortenberry can attest to the fact that oftentimes the winemaker may not necessarily be the individual to speak to, and the vineyard owner might not always be available to meet guests at their property, but Heart of Texas can get you to the tasting room representatives, servers, and vineyard hospitality staff that can assist you with helpful hints and advice about the vintages they pour as well as general wine knowledge. And this can make all the difference EHWZHHQZKDWVHHPVOLNHDZLQHWDVWLQJVSULQWRUDWKRURXJKO\HQMR\DEOHFUXLVHWKURXJKWKHFRXQWU\VLGH All of the Heart of Texas Wine Tours are custom designed. The tour coordinator will ask about general ZLQHLQWHUHVWVDQGWDLORUDWRXUWRVSHFĻFWDVWHV7KH\˸OODOVRSURYLGHWKHLUFXVWRPHUVZLWKWLSVWRPDNH for a better experience, some suggestions for winery etiquette, and of course, the fun (because after all, nobody goes on a wine tour to be stuffy). Heart of Texas Wine Tours features Mercedes Sprinter vans coupled with safe and responsible drivers who also have local knowledge about the Texas Hill Country and the many vineyards that thrive there. Chances are good youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll taste more wine than you originally expected â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and all of those little tastes do add up! The tour company will ensure that even if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not a seasoned wine tasting veteran, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll arrive safely to each of your destinations in a timely fashion that suits your schedule as well as your taste buds. What often seems most appealing about a winery visit is chatting with those behind the tasting bars who are often the owners or winemakers, especially at smaller, boutique wineries. Heart of Texas Wine Tours likes to focus on the smaller wineries to give their customers a more personal experience. In addition to the personal experience, customers are likely to glean more wine knowledge from the experts (if thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re interested in) and may even sip a glass with the wine owner. The tour operator will attend the tastings with you and your group and may ask the questions you might have forgotten, make introductions to members of your party, and perhaps get you in with the â&#x20AC;&#x153;whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-whoâ&#x20AC;? at a VSHFĻFZLQHU\ The Texas Hill Country boutique wineries that Heart of Texas Wine Tours frequents are not intimidating, but comforting. The passion for the wine and the process of winemaking is palpable, and the tour operators choose the places where your group can spend quality time with the people that know this art. Manners are always key, so the tour operator as well as the wineries they visit simply request that everyone is mutually respectful and polite. Yes, this / 43

may seem obvious, but after visiting a list of tasting rooms, some members of your party may or may not experience a loss of inhibitions, in which case many different things can happen. Good manners and good humor should be the rule of the day and Heart of Texas Wine Tours has plenty of both. When all is said and done, your experience on a wine tour through the Texas Hill Country should allow you to try new, unfamiliar wines, made from grapes that are grown locally and some excellent regional specialties. Before setting out, try to answer the question, â&#x20AC;&#x153;What kind of wine do you like?â&#x20AC;? This question, a standard icebreaker at many Texas Hill Country tasting rooms, can help you to try wines that might normally be out of your taste bud circle. Sweet, dry, reds, or whites, you should try a nice mix. Be sure to ask what the server would recommend on that particular day. $QG ̧QDOO\ UHPHPEHU WKDW LI \RX OLNH D SDUWLFXODU ZLQH DQG ZDQW PRUH WKDQ MXVW D WDVWH \RX FDQ always purchase a bottle. The boutique winery tasting rooms are designed with sampling in mind and they may offer nice food pairings or recommendations that go well with their options. Staff are prepared and eager to answer any questions you might have, regardless of how silly you may think they seem. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in good hands with the Heart of Texas Wine Tours. <RXFDQ̧QGWKHPRQOLQHDWKHDUWRIWH[DVZLQHWRXUVFRP on Facebook at or by phone at (512) 755-0937. Happy Texas Hill Country wine tasting and cheers!

44 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

EleazarNorthwest Paredes San Antonio / 45

Sarah Pierce T Singer, Songwriter, and So Much More

he late afternoon sun shines around the branches of a 300-year-old live oak and in through the window. 6LQJHUDQGVRQJZULWHU6DUDK3LHUFHVLWVLQKHUKXVEDQGĚľVVHFRQGÍĽRRUUHFRUGLQJVWXGLRDWWKHLUKRPH in Liberty Hill, Texas. Perched in a chair, she wears faded jeans, a pair of well-loved cowboy boots, and a navy scrub top she has not had time to change from since arriving home from work. Her long, blond hair tumbles around her shoulders, her eyes warm. Pierce doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t grant many interviews. She doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like talking about herself. She would rather spend time talking to people about themselves, yet, she is approachable and open. She exudes honesty and evokes welcome. Her sincerity, desire to connect, and down-to-earthiness drive her music. Her voice is Texas red dirt overlaid with black velvet. She writes songs about herself and her life, so as to reach out to other people. For Pierce, WKDWĚľVWKHXOWLPDWHJRDOLQKHUPXVLFĚ°IRUKHUIDQVWRͤQGVRPHWKLQJWRLGHQWLI\ZLWKLQKHUVRQJV$QH[SHULHQFH a childhood memory, something that touches them, something they can feel.

46 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

By Marcy Stellfox

Pierceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last release was almost two years ago. The inspiration behind her ninth CD, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Barbed Wire,â&#x20AC;? came from an old barbed wire fence found on her property. She GLVFRYHUHGWKDWLWZDVPDGHE\KDQGLQ6KHLGHQWLͤHGZLWKWKDWROGEDUEHG ZLUH6KHWKRXJKWLWUHÍĽHFWHGKRZOLIHFDQOHDYHXVĚ°UXVW\WZLVWHGDQGZHDWKHUHG The CD illustrates Pierceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life and the experiences that have made her the woman she is today. She sings about small-town life, strong, resilient women, her grandparents. She sings about her husband. She sings about her life. Pierce says the collection of songs tosses â&#x20AC;&#x153;all cards on the table. That is what I love most about itâ&#x20AC;Śhaving the courage not to chase anything, just write my songs, tell the truth, and let the chips fall where they may.â&#x20AC;?

Photos Courtesy of Sarah Pierce

Perhaps, the honesty of the songs has made â&#x20AC;&#x153;Barbed Wireâ&#x20AC;? the most relatable and popular of her CDs to date, both commercially and, more importantly to Pierce, to her diehard fans. Pierce says that she writes her songs and tells her stories for the fans â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the ones whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to go through something. She wants them to know that they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t alone. That she, too, has traveled down a painful path. It has left its scars, but she has come out on the other side. Pierce was born in Rockford, Illinois but grew up on a ranch in West Texas. She wanted to be a singer for as long as she can remember. Pierce says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;No one in my family had a musical background. But I remember sitting at the piano playing and singing Charlie Pride songs.â&#x20AC;? Her singing career almost never got off the ground WKDQNVWRKHUͤIWKJUDGHWHDFKHU0UV&XQQLQJKDPNLFNHGKHURXWRIWKHVFKRRO choir because her voice was too low, too much like a boyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice. Pierce was devastated. Afterward, she only sang to herself or in the barn doing chores. She rode horseback and sang to the cows. But her stepfather heard something in that low, VXSSOH YRLFH HYHQ DW WKH WHQGHU DJH RI WZHOYH 2Q WKH ZHHNHQGV DW ORFDO EDUV she began singing with her stepfatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s band in which he SOD\HGWKHEDVV̸7KHͤUVWVRQJ, ever sang was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Help Me Make It Through the Night,â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Pierce says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It got to where Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d sing like two songs, and then Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d go sit in the

truck and wait.â&#x20AC;? When Pierce was a teenager, her mother got sick. Pierceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s singing came to a halt. She was sent to a college prep school while her mother battled cancer, and though she was an â&#x20AC;&#x153;Aâ&#x20AC;? student in the rural town where she was living, she found out quickly that she was extremely behind when thrust into the more advanced curriculum at the prep school. She dropped her music to focus on her studies. When she graduated from high school, Pierce thought she might be able to pick up her music. Her parents thought otherwise. With words like, â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you do music, you will die,â&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;You starve if you are a musician,â&#x20AC;? echoing in her head, Pierce made the decision to put music in the backseat to go to physicianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s assistant school. 6KHPRYHGWR'HQYHUDIWHUFROOHJHDQGJRWKHUͤUVWMRE6KH / 47

immediately got back into music but realized she still had a lot to learn. Her mother had taken a few courses in music years ago, and Pierce wanted to reconnect with her motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instructor, Merel Bregante. She got his number and called the instructor who quickly became her mentor though he lived in Phoenix. He guided her over the phone encouraging, imparting knowledge, giving her the tools to succeed. Something happened along the way over the telephone wires; they fell in love. So Pierce packed up and moved to Phoenix; she and Bregante married and started a band. That was 27 years ago.

on making Pierce the U.S. version of Shania Twain. She remembers one exec sitting next to her, leaning forward, and looking her up and down. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think I could do something with this.â&#x20AC;? Pierce and Bregante, a talented, storied musician in his own right, went back to the hotel after dinner and canceled the deal. Pierce didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to be dolled up to be someone else. She wanted to be her true self. As much as she wanted to realize her dream to help troubled women, VKHUHIXVHGWRVDFULͤFHKHUDXWKHQWLFLW\WRGRLW

For now, Pierce feels happy performing just as she is. She has traveled to Europe and all over the United She came to Austin by way of Jon Inmon. A talented States. She has played concerts, festivals, and fairs. guitar player who has played with the likes of Jerry While she has done many of her own shows, she has Jeff Walker, Joe Ely, and even Willie Nelson, Inmon also performed as the opening act for others countless encouraged Pierce to learn to play guitar and move to times, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s okay with that. Pierce enjoys preparing Austin. So she did, and she also began writing songs. the crowd for the band headlining the show. In fact, VKHĚľVHYHQZRUNLQJRQDERRNFDOOHG̸,$PWKH2SHQLQJ 3LHUFHVWLOOZRUNVIXOOWLPHLQWKHPHGLFDOͤHOG6KHĚľV Act,â&#x20AC;? stories of her experiences as the opening band. been working at the same family practice for nearly 30 years doing what she loves â&#x20AC;&#x201C; making connections with Pierce hopes to release a new song this summer, too. people and taking care of them. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the same with her She has no concrete plans for a new album, just singles music. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about me,â&#x20AC;? Pierce says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You do songs IRUDZKLOH,QWKHPHDQWLPHVKHĚľOOEHIXOͤOOLQJKHUOLIHĚľV for others.â&#x20AC;? philosophy: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Try your best to make the world a better place.â&#x20AC;? And Pierce is doing just that -- reaching out and Was Pierce ever interested in the big time? Yes, but touching people, making the world a better place, one only because she wanted to have the money to help true story, one song at a time. people. She hoped to develop housing for women in trouble. She wanted to build a place in a safe environment away from crime, and she wanted to offer free child care for the women so they could look for jobs.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not about me, you do songs for others.â&#x20AC;?

Fame did knock on Pierceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s door. She recalls sitting at a restaurant in Los Angeles with several head honchos from a major record company. They had set their sights

48 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017 / 49


he Texas Hill Country offers the motorcycle enthusiast some of the most pristine and relaxing rides in the state. Riders not only from Texas but neighboring states as well come to ride and to visit the beautiful bluebonnet meadows blooming in the spring. Many motorcycle clubs schedule annual rallies and frequent gatherings for rides stopping along the way for great BBQ or hamburgers at area restaurants. Almost every road, paved or unpaved, offers a variety of sharp â&#x20AC;&#x153;twistiesâ&#x20AC;? (a term motorcyclists use to refer to curvy roads) and sweeping S-shaped bends making for enjoyable riding for beginners or the more advanced. 2QH URXWH NQRZQ DV WKH 7ZLVWHG 6LVWHUV QDPHG DIWHU WKUHH interconnecting highways (RR337, RR336, and RR335), is a favorite among riders. Rolling through hills and valleys, Twisted Sisters runs approximately 180 miles, not including the 36 miles on Highway 16 between Kerrville and Medina.

Photo by Miguel Fasensio

Many riders choose to begin the Twisted Sisters journey from Kerrville. When leaving from Kerrville, go south on Highway 16 to Medina. This route is considered one of the best in the state. With everything IURPEHDXWLIXOEOXHERQQHWͤHOGVWRWZLVWLHVDQGVWHHSLQFOLQHVSDFNHGLQWRPLOHVULGHUVJHWDWDVWHRI what to expect from the rest of the ride. Numerous places exist to pull over and enjoy some of the best VFHQHU\WKH/RQH6WDU6WDWHKDVWRRIIHU2QWKLVURXWH\RXZLOOSDVVWKH0HGLQD+LJK3RLQW5HVRUWQH[W to the home of the Kerrville Folk Festival, and several area motorcycle rallies. 2QZHHNHQGVDSKRWRJUDSK\FUHZLVRIWHQVWDWLRQHGURDGVLGHVQDSSLQJSLFWXUHVRISHRSOHDVWKH\UROO past. A poster with a time posted on it lets the rider know how to look up the photo on a website later (, and if they choose, they can purchase the photo. :KLOHLQ0HGLQDVWRSDW/RYH&UHHN2UFKDUGVZKHUHWKHRUFKDUG̾V Patio CafÊ claims to have the best hamburgers and apple ice cream in the state. The Apple Store offers a unique selection of apple memorabilia and gifts for apple lovers.

50 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

7KHDFWXDO7ZLVWHG6LVWHUVURXWHVWDUWVLQ0HGLQDDQGFRQWLQXHVZHVWRQ55WKURXJK9DQGHUSRRO WRWKHWRZQRI/HDNH\7DNHDVLGHH[FXUVLRQRIIWKHURXWHLQWR9DQGHUSRROQRUWKRQ+LJKZD\IRUD few miles. Lone Star Motorcycle Museum is worth the trip as they have a super collection of motorcycles dating back to 1910. At Leakey, take US 83 north for a mile and then turn left and proceed north on RR336. Continue north on RR336 to Texas Highway 41 and then turn left to head west. Ride west for about 15 miles and then take a left onto RR335. Proceed south on RR335 to Camp :RRG DQG WKHQ JR OHIW RQ WR 55 ͤQLVKLQJ WKH ORRS ZKHUH \RX started. Wash the road dust off by plunging into the aquamarine waters of the Blue Hole on the Frio River right there in Leakey. The Twisted Sisters ride exposes you to clear rivers, winds through serpentine mountainous curves, and drives by working Texas ranches. Pull over with a camera and enjoy taking photos of the sweeping vistas. The tradeoff for the routeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural beauty is a lack of roadside amenities. Gas up often as there are not many gas stations along this ride. Also, if you need work on your bike, swing by the Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop in Leakey. They serve cold beer and food, too. Though the roads along the routes arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have caused many motorcyclists to go but always watch for loose gravel, deer, and your path. With beautiful scenery, meadows of with some of the friendliest people around, best that Texas has to offer. And that

heavily traveled, the hairpin sharp turns down. The road is in excellent condition other creatures that might wander into

ZLOGÍ¥RZHUVDQGFOHDUZDWHUVWRJHWKHU you will know that you are riding the makes for a great ride. / 51

52 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017 / 53


ueroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story begins when it was founded in 1873, an unruly place until the arrival of Indianola residents following the devastating hurricanes of 1875 and 1886. Many Indianola homes and businesses were disassembled and moved inland to Cuero. Cuero was a bustling city E\ WKH WXUQ RI WKH FHQWXU\ 0XFK RI WKH EHDXWLIXO DUFKLWHFWXUH IURP WKDW HUD VWLOO UHPDLQV 2YHU  buildings and homes, most notably the DeWitt County Courthouse, are registered on the state and national registers of historic places. Driving tours of historic structures and unique murals sprinkled throughout local businesses are available at the &KDPEHURI&RPPHUFH9LVLWRUĚľV&HQWHU 9LVLWRUVFDQOHDUQDERXWWKHKLVWRU\RIRXUUHJLRQ by visiting our four museums. The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum, the Cuero Heritage Museum, the DeWitt County Historical Museum, and the 3KDUPDF\ DQG 0HGLFDO 0XVHXP RI 7H[DV 2XU DeWitt County Courthouse is another historical treasurer that you will want to visit. Cuero is a community full of annual events. Beginning in the spring, Cuero and DeWitt County celebrate WKHQDWXUDOEHDXW\RI7H[DVZLOGÍĽRZHUV2YHUGLIIHUHQWÍĽRUDVSHFLHVKDYHEHHQFDWDORJXHGLQ WKHFRXQW\(DFK$SULOFRORUFRGHGURXWHPDSVWKDWKHOSYLVLWRUVͤQGWKHEHVWYLHZVRIZLOGÍĽRZHUV DUHDYDLODEOHDWWKH:LOGÍĽRZHU+HDGTXDUWHUVORFDWHGDWWKH&XHUR&KDPEHURI&RPPHUFH$JULFXOWXUH 9LVLWRUĚľV&HQWHUORFDWHGDW(0DLQ6WUHHW,Q-XO\WKH$QQXDO)RXUWKRI-XO\&HOHEUDWLRQKHOG at the Cuero Park Pavilion and sponsored by Grace Episcopal Church, is a wholesome communityZLGHHYHQWͤOOHGZLWKROGIDVKLRQHGERRWKVDQGDFWLYLWLHVVXFKDVDGXQNLQJERRWKZDWHUPHORQVHHG spitting contest and hula hoop contests to keep everyone - no matter what their age-busy and entertained. End your evening with the highlight of the day, a EHDXWLIXOͤUHZRUNVGLVSOD\KHOGDW dusk at the City Park. Cueroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s major festival is the Turkeyfest Celebration. Held the VHFRQG IXOO ZHHNHQG RI 2FWREHU it celebrates Cueroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s designation as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Turkey Capital of the Worldâ&#x20AC;? when many of the farmers SURGXFHGWXUNH\VRYHUͤIW\\HDUV ago. Diverse entertainment includes a giant parade, arts and crafts booths, food booths, carnival, street dances, and fun for the whole family. 54 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

During the holidays bring your family and friends and experience Cueroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Christmas in the Parkâ&#x20AC;? lighted driving tour. The mile-long tour includes over 150 hand-painted and lighted Christmas displays, a WZLQNOLQJ WUDLO RI VQRZÍĽDNHV JLQJHUEUHDG KRXVHV and animated silhouette scenes all sponsored by local businesses, schools, community organizations and individuals of Cuero. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Christmas in the Parkâ&#x20AC;? begins the fourth Monday of November and continues throughout the holiday season with Thursday nights designated as free hot chocolate nights. The Park is located on Highway 87 South in Cueroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Municipal Park. 7KH*XDGDOXSH5LYHUSURYLGHVDFWLYLWLHVIRUWKHDYLGULYHUͤVKHUPDQRUWKHH[SHULHQFHGULYHUSDGGOHU An annual 45-mile canoe race is held in Cuero. This race is the preliminary race of the Texas Water Safari, a 260-mile canoe race is held in June and runs from San Marcos to Seadrift, Texas. As a birding bonus, Cuero is site #28 on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail; maps are available at the Chamber RI&RPPHUFHRÍŚ FH While you are in Cuero you will want to make a stop at our many specialty boutiques and restaurants. Many are located in our Main Street district and nearby locations surrounding Main Street. Come visit DeWitt County with its rolling hills and prairies. Its natural beauty makes it one of the gems of South Texas anytime of the year. Come to enjoy Cuero, but stay to enjoy the stories. For more information call 361-275-2112 or visit / 55

Kayaks, Canoes, an A River Adventure Story and Photos by Robert C. Deming


lear, cool river water pours over the

of slow-moving water; in other places, the water

dam at Center Point as we unload

moves fast with challenging s-turns. We will travel

kayaks and canoes. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Saturday


morning in July with the promise of

we will see the backyards of both simple cabins and

sunshine and warmth. We drop the boats beside the

grand houses, businesses, farms, and lots of grass

river below the dam and park the cars in Lionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Park.

and trees. The Guadalupe is one of the most popular

Some of the people on this trip are novices, and a

rivers in Texas for tubing and kayaking. Downriver

little nervousness shows in their voices as we carry


the boats to the riverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge. We don sunscreen,

river, but between Center Point and Comfort we are

hats, and sunglasses and push the boats off into

on the river by ourselves.


The trip will take us two to three hours to navigate plus a break for lunch. As noon nears, we come to a


two-foot high waterfall stretching across the entire

River, tall bald cypress trees shade long deep pools

river. The river level drops to a point too shallow

56 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

nd the Guadalupe:

for us to go over the waterfall, so we get out of the

disappears around a sharp bend. Now we pay close

boats and push them ahead of us, then gather them

attention to what the river is telling us. Fast water


and tight turns snake ahead; a right followed by a

come food â&#x20AC;&#x201C; tuna sandwiches, apples and cherries,

hard turn left. The kayak takes the turns with ease,

and homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. The hot sun burns directly overhead, so some of us get into the river to cool off, others

but the canoe requires more maneuvering and the QRYLFHVDUHLQWKHFDQRH2QWKHWXUQEDFNOHIW the canoe gets sideways and with a splash

sit on the bank letting the gentle breeze wash over

turns over. I am on the bank taking

wet clothes. We linger after the leftover food

photos of the chaos of water and

and then stow trash safely in waterproof

food bags and paddles, the canoe

bags; the beauty and peacefulness of the

under water, and the confusion of the novice

place encourage us to dawdle.


Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m trying to sound encouraging, but

Soon after we get back in the boats we can

instead, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m laughing. There is nothing scary about

hear roaring ahead, and the river drops and then

this, as here the river runs just over two feet deep, / 57

and the paddlers recover the canoe by the bank. A kayak barrels through the rapid next, which also turns sideways and dumps its occupant into the water. , JUDE D FHOO SKRQH DV LW ͥRDWV E\ PH XQGHUZDWHU LQ D plastic sandwich bag; surprisingly the bag keeps the phone dry. Two experienced kayakers roll through next and let out a whoop as they get splashed by a standing wave. The canoers are soon back in their boat, laughing and teasing each other, and the relaxed, slow pace of the river resumes. Springs trickle water musically into the river through a fern-covered bank. A curiously designed treehouse slides by high on the bank on the right. A rope swing hangs idly on the left bank ready to deliver children into a deep pool. White cumulus clouds drift slowly overhead propelled by a gentle southern breeze. We pass a dock with an old chair and an even older man ZKRZDYHVDQGVPLOHV$NLQJͤVKHUGDUWVDKHDGRIXV The sudden appearance of a concrete highway bridge


jostles us out of a languid reverie. We’ve arrived at our take-out point, and we hoist the boats up to the road. We are all wet. Two of the party leave to retrieve our cars at the park. The rest of us lay back on soft grass in warm sunshine, resting quietly, lost in the dreamland of the Guadalupe.

58 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

495 4 Space Center Dr. San Antonio, TX 78218 210. 804 .0390 | w w / 59

From The

Hill Country

Chicken Fried Steak

Courtesy of J.R. Rodriguez, Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa as featured in “The Big Bend Cookbook.” Serves 4 Steak: • 1 1/2 cups whole milk • 2 large eggs • 2 cups all-purpose flour • 2 teaspoons seasoned salt • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper • 3/4 teaspoon paprika • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper • 3 pounds cube steak (tenderized; if you don’t have a mallet, a rolling pin or empty glass bottle will do) • kosher salt • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil • 1 tablespoon butter

Gravy: • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour • 3 – 4 cups whole milk • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt • freshly ground black pepper

For the steak: Begin with setting up an assembly line of dishes. Mix the milk with the eggs in one; the flour mixed with the seasoned salt, black pepper, paprika and cayenne in another; and the meat in a third. Then have one clean plate at the end to receive the breaded meat. Work with one piece of meat at a time. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and black pepper, then place it in the flour mixture. Turn to coat. Place the meat into the milk/egg mixture, turning to coat. Finally, place it back in the flour and turn to coat (dry mixture/wet mixture/dry mixture). Place the breaded meat on the clean plate, then repeat with the remaining meat.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter. Drop in a few sprinkles of flour to make sure it’s sufficiently hot. When the butter sizzles immediately, you know it’s ready. (It should not brown right away; if it does, the fire is too hot.) Cook the meat, 3 pieces at a time, until the edges start to look golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the meat to a paper towel–lined plate and keep it warm by covering lightly with another plate or a sheet of foil. Repeat until all the meat is cooked. After all the meat is fried, pour off the grease into a heatproof bowl. Without cleaning the skillet, return it to the stove over medium-low heat. Add 1/4 cup of the grease back to the skillet and allow it to heat up. For the gravy: When the grease is hot, sprinkle the flour evenly over the grease. Using a whisk, mix the flour with the grease, creating a golden-brown paste. Add more flour if it looks overly greasy; add a little more grease if it becomes too pasty/clumpy. Keep cooking until the roux reaches a deep golden brown color. Pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the seasoned salt and black pepper to taste and cook, whisking, until the gravy is smooth and thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Be prepared to add more milk if it becomes overly thick. Be sure to taste to make sure gravy is sufficiently seasoned. 60 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017


Photos Courtesy Tiffany Harelik

Mimiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chocolate Cake &RXUWHV\RI7XUD+REEV$XVWLQ7; Cake Mixture: â&#x20AC;˘ 1 stick margarine â&#x20AC;˘ 1 cup water â&#x20AC;˘ 1/2 cup Crisco â&#x20AC;˘ 2 cups sugar â&#x20AC;˘ 2 cups flour â&#x20AC;˘ 4 tablespoons cocoa â&#x20AC;˘ 1/2 cup buttermilk â&#x20AC;˘ 2 eggs, beaten â&#x20AC;˘ 1 teaspoon soda â&#x20AC;˘ 1 teaspoon vanilla â&#x20AC;˘ 1 teaspoon cinnamon â&#x20AC;˘ 1 pinch salt

Icing: For the cake: â&#x20AC;˘ 1 stick margarine Mix margarine, Crisco, and water in pan: boil. Stir cocoa, â&#x20AC;˘ 4 tablespoons cocoa sugar, flour: mix in bowl. Pour hot liquid over dry mixture â&#x20AC;˘ 6 tablespoons milk â&#x20AC;&#x201C; beat until smooth. Add soda to buttermilk and mix. â&#x20AC;˘ 1 box powdered sugar (1 lb.) Combine eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and add â&#x20AC;˘ 1 teaspoon vanilla to the buttermilk combination. Pour into cake pan(s) â&#x20AC;˘ 1 cup chopped pecans sprayed with cooking spray, and bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F. For the icing: Melt margarine and cocoa in a saucepan with milk, stirring regularly, but do not bring to a boil. Stir in sugar, vanilla, and nuts. While the icing is hot, pour over cake while itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still in the pan, right out of the oven after cooked. / 61

62 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017 / 63

64 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017 / 65

66 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017 / 67

68 / Heart of Texas Magazine Spring 2017

Profile for Digital Publisher

Texas Hill Country  

Spring 2017

Texas Hill Country  

Spring 2017