Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Texas: Murderous Beans and Moldy Tamales

The pool at Aunt Paula's ranch was like a desert oasis for all sorts of wildlife.

I paid special attention to these velvet ants. They are actually wingless wasps, and they make up for the fact that they are more vulnerable on the ground by having monstrously powerful stings. We were warned not to walk around without shoes on because of the fire ants, but I added this to my personal list of reasons as well.

I searched local supermarket's webpages for things with the word "Texas" in them to make sure I didn't miss any of the local flavor.

A town about 2.5 hours away called Poteet is famous for its strawberries, so I made an effort to buy products that contained them. So local, so cool.

We did a little strolling in nearby downtown La Grange.

One interesting thing about Texas is that they have like another layer of war history that states in the midwest for example don't have, or at least pretend that they don't. All of the fight for Texan independence from Mexico stuff was a bunch of battles that are unique to the area.

Anyway there was a Black Bean incident that took place that I have seen referenced a few times in the area, and I believe bodies from the event were buried nearby. I'll let the Texas State Historical Association tell it:

"The Black Bean Episode, an aftermath of the Mier Expedition, resulted from an attempted escape of the captured Texans as they were being marched from Mier to Mexico City. After an escape at Salado, Tamaulipas, on February 11, 1843, some 176 of the men were recaptured within about a week. A decree that all who participated in the break were to be executed was modified to an order to kill every tenth man. Col. Domingo Huerta was to be in charge of the decimation. The victims were chosen by lottery, each man drawing a bean from an earthen jar containing 176 beans, seventeen black beans being the tokens signifying death."

We bought a bunch of tamales that looked super legit and delicious.

I was really excited to eat them until I noticed they were all moldy. Sad!

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