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Lesson Tutor: Go Eat Your Homework Series

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I Remember
that!

 

 

El Paso
 

“Out in the west Texas town of
El Paso,
I fell in love with a Mexican girl.”

The song “El Paso,” made famous
by Marty
Robbins, was a ballad about a cowboy in love.  Marty told his
story
in lyrics that told of the beautiful Felina. “Nighttime would find me
in
Rosa’s Cantina; music would play and Felina would whirl…”
Well, of course Felina was
whirling! Who
wouldn’t be ecstatic when on a hot night under a big Texas sky, the
aroma
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
food, silver
trinkets, pottery, and sun-cleansed living, El Paso is the epitome of
everything
you always believed southwest Texas to be.
El Paso boasts both mountains and
dessert.
The Franklin Mountains run directly through El Paso while the
Chihuahuan
Desert adds dust and open spaces to the unique picture of a city that
is
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
claimed
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
opened
a mercantile store. He renamed the area Franklin after himself.
Although
the renaming of the city didn’t “stick,” the nearby mountains do still
bear the Franklin name.
In 1846, the United States and
Mexico fought
bitterly for the Rio Grande land. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
finally
established the Rio Grande as the official border between Mexico and
the
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,
developers,
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
focus.
Soldiers, as well as Mexican refugees, flooded into the city. Today, El
Paso is rich with the bi-cultural heritage that these years
brought.
The economy of El Paso relies on
retail
and wholesale markets as well as tourism. Manufacturing includes
apparel
and boots. Agriculture is a key element to the city’s revenue,
especially
the growing of chilies, pecans , and cotton. Many different kinds of
fruits
are grown in the Rio Grande valley. Sheepherders work on the Texas
plains,
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.

El
Paso Rosa’s El Paso Chicken and Rice
Our thanks to
Rosa’s descendants
for sharing her famous recipe.Assemble the
following ingredients:
1 lb. chicken strips

1 large onion

1 green pepper

1 large onion

1 large lemon

lemon pepper
seasoning
celery seeds

butter flavoring
powder
1 chicken bouillon
cube
2/3 cup water

Dice onion and
bell pepper.
Sauté in skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Add the
juice
from one large lemon. For an especially “tangy” taste, peel the lemon
and
cut the pulp into small sections, adding this to the skillet mixture.
Stir
and continue to sauté for 15 minutes. Add water and bouillon
cube.
Add chicken. Season with lemon pepper, celery seeds, and butter
flavoring,
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.
Serve over rice,
with guacamole,
sour cream, and diced tomato on the side for a west Texas flare.

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!

 

Tex-Mex
Cornbread

 

You will need:

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup milk

1 can creamed corn

1/2 pound cheddar
cheese
1 cup flour

2-3 peppers, diced
(you
can choose the type,

how spicy, etc. Rosa used jalapenos.)
1/2 cup oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking
powder
1 onion, chopped

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.

 

Frito
Salad

 

You will need:

1 head of lettuce

1 tomato

1 bundle of green
onions
1 can kidney beans,
drained
1 ½ cups
fritos

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

 

Combine the
following ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon curry
powder
¼ teaspoon
garlic
powder

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!

 

Trivia

 

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 Articles by this Author, Click Here
For more Lesson Plans in the Subject:
History Grade 1 Click Here
History Grade 3 Click Here
History Grade 5 Click Here

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