|<--- 10,000 BC||
||-----> 1450||-------> 1527||----- ->||
“Out in the west Texas town of
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.”
The song “El Paso,” made famous
Robbins, was a ballad about a cowboy in love. Marty told his
in lyrics that told of the beautiful Felina. “Nighttime would find me
Rosa’s Cantina; music would play and Felina would whirl…”
Well, of course Felina was
wouldn't be ecstatic when on a hot night under a big Texas sky, the
of Rosa’s El Paso Chicken and Rice filled the air? If you don't believe
it, just try the recipe for yourself.
Unique with its climate, spicy
trinkets, pottery, and sun-cleansed living, El Paso is the epitome of
you always believed southwest Texas to be.
El Paso boasts both mountains and
The Franklin Mountains run directly through El Paso while the
Desert adds dust and open spaces to the unique picture of a city that
quite diverse geographically.
In 1598, Don Juan de Onate
claimed El Paso
for Spain. The name literally meant “crossing the river of the north.”
Ponce de Leon arrived over 200 years later with a land grant for this
but abandoned land north of the Rio Grande. Still, settlers were scarce
until the 1840’s when Benjamin Franklin Coons came to El Paso and
a mercantile store. He renamed the area Franklin after himself.
the renaming of the city didn't “stick,” the nearby mountains do still
bear the Franklin name.
In 1846, the United States and
bitterly for the Rio Grande land. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
established the Rio Grande as the official border between Mexico and
United States. Despite their beginnings as a New Mexico territory, the
people of El Paso voted to become a part of the State of Texas.
Railroads brought settlers,
merchants, teachers, and other pioneers to El Paso in the 1880’s. Then
the Mexican Revolution in 1911 made the city a point of international
Soldiers, as well as Mexican refugees, flooded into the city. Today, El
Paso is rich with the bi-cultural heritage that these years
The economy of El Paso relies on
and wholesale markets as well as tourism. Manufacturing includes
and boots. Agriculture is a key element to the city's revenue,
the growing of chilies, pecans , and cotton. Many different kinds of
are grown in the Rio Grande valley. Sheepherders work on the Texas
providing yet another facet of the thriving El Paso economy.
El Paso is rich in heritage; yet at the same time, it is a metropolis with a big city's future. Still, the atmosphere in the desert city is relaxed and informal at most times. A siesta when the sun is at its hottest is perfectly acceptable – especially if you are lucky enough to catch a breeze and a good daydream.
Our thanks to Rosa’s descendants for sharing her famous recipe.
Dice onion and
Sauté in skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Add the
from one large lemon. For an especially “tangy” taste, peel the lemon
cut the pulp into small sections, adding this to the skillet mixture.
and continue to sauté for 15 minutes. Add water and bouillon
Add chicken. Season with lemon pepper, celery seeds, and butter
sprinkling lightly to cover all that is in skillet. Cook 30 minutes on
medium heat. Stir intermittently. Add water if mixture begins to stick
to skillet bottom.
For a complete meal, Rosa liked to prepare mouth-watering cornbread and frito salad. Felina stepped up the music when Rosa put this cornbread in the oven!
You will need:
Mix cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder. Add milk and oil. Blend well. Add creamed corn, cheddar cheese, peppers, and onion. Bake in greased 9" square pan at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when cornbread is done. Note: If because of humidity, altitude, or other weather conditions, cornbread browns on the edges but is not getting done in the middle, cover edges with foil and continue baking.
You will need:
Tear lettuce into bite size pieces. Dice the tomato and onions. Toss in salad bowl. Just before serving, add kidney beans and fritos and toss again. Serve with dressing on the side.
Frito Salad Dressing
Makes about one cup of dressing.
Felina may have been the dancer that stole our cowboy's heart. But it wasn't Felina that most folks came to see. Rosa was packing ‘em in because people got wind of her cooking! After all, that’s why it was Rosa’s Cantina!
Twin Cities– Did you know that El Paso faces a sister city just across the border and the Rio Grande? The name of the city in Mexico is Ciudad Juarez.
Tex-Mex Cooking– Take corn, chiles, squash, cacti, tomatoes, avocados, and jalapeños, and what do you have? That’s right! The blend of the borders! And it’s some “good eating!”
For a peek at what the 1810 Texas looked like - assemble this on line puzzle map. You might find yourself toe tapping right along with Rosa!
For more Lesson Plans in the Subject:
History Grade 1 Click Here
History Grade 5 Click Here
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