"Come and listen to my story about a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed, and then one day he was shootin' at some food, and up through the ground come a bubbling crude. Oil, that is. Black gold. Texas tea." I'll bet many of you know exactly which classic TV show that came from, don't you? But it's another kind of Texas tea that's on my mind today, as you'll see!
• "Texas Tea" is also the name of a January piece in the Austin Chronicle online (screen grab shown above) that explored the efforts of three local tea purveyors to source quality teas. The line that most intrigued me was this: "For those interested in a sustainably grown, energy-boosting beverage – and who aren't too hung up on vernacular – the most local 'tea' available to Texans comes from the native yaupon holly tree." Click here to read the article for yourself.
• As my Texas-born brother-in-law is fond of reminding me, everything is bigger and better in Texas. Perhaps that explains why, to my knowledge, Texas is the only state that has ever had a whole magazine devoted to the topic of tea! I can't remember when I first learned about this magazine, but I have collected several issues over the years and think somebody ought to franchise the concept and see that there's a similar product in every state. My tea friend Janet Pool in Texas has written for this magazine for years, and it's now available in an online version here.
• Want a fun twist on tea bread? Try the Banana Apricot Nut Bread from a Texas tearoom! In 2013, I assigned myself the challenge of trying a different tearoom recipe every week, and one of my favorites for the year was this delicious variation on a classic tea bread that I found in "The Peach Tree Tea Room Cookbook" by the late Cynthia Collins Pedregon of Fredericksburg, Texas. Copies are easy to find online, and by the time I got a copy, it was a 2005 edition and the book was in its ninth printing, with some 59,500 copies in print already. (Even the tearoom cookbook runs are bigger in Texas, apparently.) Click here for the recipe.
P.S. Click here if you want to hear that old TV theme song that mentions "Texas tea."