Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987 Page: 40
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A Wild Game Buffet
It's All in the Game
It's All in the Game: Family Secrets of
Texas Wild Game Cooking. Bebe Canales
Inkley and Cisi Canales Jary. San Antonio:
(Published by the authors), 1986.
In their accounts of life in early Texas
both Frederick Romer and Noah Smithwick
mentioned that the primary diet of
the pioneer Texas was limited to cornbread
and coffee with some occasional
pork. Traditional Texas foods are often associated
with those of the American
South: black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes,
fried chicken, pecan pie, and, of course,
cornbread. Many other cultures are influencing
the foods Texans eat. Tex-Mex is
an obvious example, but the immigration
of many Southeast Asians and the opening
of international, gourmet restaurants
have already affected what is considered
palatable where once combread and coffee
If, as the adage goes, you are what you
eat, regional cooking is an important part
of a culture's heritage. Home-style cooking-the
day-in and day-out meal, not
fancy company-cooking-is rapidly disappearing
in America. Many traditional
foods are being replaced by a national cuisine
of uniform, mass-distributed foods:
MacDonald's is the standard of a hamburger,
not the backyard grill; Campbell
makes soup, not the stock pot on
In an attempt to preserve traditional
Texas cooking, sisters Bebe Inkley and
Cisi Jary have compiled a book of their
family's favorite recipes for preparing
game. Like the state, the recipes combine
many different cultures. The family ranch
in South Texas is not too far from either
the Mexican border or the German communities
of central Texas. Many of the
seasonings are Hispanic, while German
and Southern influences are also apparent
in recipes that combine meat and pastry.
Many are prepared in a skillet, but there
are stews and baked dishes as well.
Because of its central location, size, and
varying of geology, Texas has a greater diversity
of wildlife than any other state.
An introduction of beautiful aerial photographs
by Sherwood Inkley shows the
wide variety of Texas hunting regions.
Recipes cover every region and type of
game, ranging from quail and wild turkey
to rattlesnake, javelina, and rabbit, to
bass and shrimp. In addition to the fish,
fowl, and meats, the book gives instructions
for numerous traditional side dishes
and desserts that go well with game.
The Texas Historical Foundation presents
a selection of recipes from It's All in
the Game for a buffet dinner to serve
Review by Richard Pearce-Moses.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 5, Number 1, Spring 1987, periodical, Spring 1987; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45438/m1/40/: accessed April 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.