Christopher A. Chapman

Chris Chapman of Birmingham, AL

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

New pictures are now posted and available from my blog (http://www.logan.com/chris). Please check out the latest album from the Family Pictures link. The Dallas, TX photos chronicle a great time in "Big D." For some reason, I'm currently unable to add a picture to this post...

I'm typing this message from my hotel room in Tyler, TX. I worked here today, but I'll be returning to Birmingham tomorrow afternoon. It will be a long day.

Happy New Year everyone. After Christmas, I received quite a gift. I was able to travel to Dallas and see my first NFL game in-person on New Year's day. The Cowboys v Rams was a meaningless affair, but thoroughly enjoyable.

On Monday, January 2nd, I cheered Alabama to victory over the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Guns up! is the Raiders slogan. When they score a touchdown, the fans throw tortillas. Fortunately, only one touchdown and one field goal was forced on the best defense in college football. Bama prevailed, 13-10.

Tino and Penny Zepeda and their wonderful family were gracious hosts. I enjoyed the exemplary food and great company that they shared with Wesley McDowell and myself. As part of the experience, I tried a bowl of Menudo with my homemade tamales. This was quite a good stimulant after driving one way 640+ miles.

Menudo is a wonderfully aromatic soup made of tripe [Tripe is the name given to the stomachs of various animals, but most recipes that call for it intend for you to use beef tripe. We had honeycomb beef tripe in our soup], hominy and chili, and is stewed for hours with garlic and other spices. The broth is rich, red, papery, and glistens with fat. It stimulates the senses, arms the insides, and clears the head.

Menudo is served in big open bowls brought to the table steaming and fiery. It is usually eaten in the wee hours after a night out on the town and widely proclaimed to be an antidote for hangovers.

Mexicans brag about menudo's goodness, about how the hot broth with its medicinal condiments, particularly the chili, replenishes vitamins A and C, soothes the stomach, and stimulates the gastric juices to overcome any loss of appetite.

What a great time! As you can see from the description above, the food and excellent Texas hospitality were an integral part to the overall experience. Plus, the good food never stopped. After the victorious Cotton Bowl on Monday afternoon, Tino grilled flank steak and chicken for fresh fajitas. It really was incredible trip.

I'd like for everyone to know about the great time I had and the fun hosts that made it possible. Wes and I loved the pickup basketball game with Tino's sons, Dominque (age 12) and Jordan (age 10) prior to Wes' Monday night flight. Pictured with me: (from left: Wesley McDowell, Tino Zepeda, and Tino's son - Dominique Garza).
posted by Chris, 9:48 PM

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