Sunday, June 9, 2013

St. Mary's, Texas (Near Hallettsville) - St. Mary's Parish Picnic - Picnic Stew

St. Mary's was my second stop of the same Sunday. Turning right at the John Deere tractor store onto the road that led to St. Mary's church, I suddenly realized that I had been here 55 years ago with my grandparents. It had been my first introduction to these parish picnics and I remember polka music, bingo, cake walks and possibly my first taste of picnic stew. Which is what St. Mary's is known for. Cubes of beef are cooked in those giant cast iron kettles that I am so fond of. Seasonings include fresh garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder. It was a beautiful afternoon, with dark skies from storm clouds giving everything an interesting color. I met a farmer, up from Victoria who was going haul back some hay from his farm nearby. He told me that he just had to get away from all those mosquitoes in Victoria. "All those flat-ass rice fields just make the mosquitoes something terrible", he told me.

First, though, a photo of the beautiful courthouse in Hallettsville.

And of Novosad's  in Hallettsville, one of the top fifty Texas Monthly BBQ destinations.

On to St. Mary's, which is outside of town on a beautiful country road.










Woot! I stocked up on pickles, peach jam, pecans and cookies.





Not since Reese's put chocolate and peanut butter together! The marriage of home-made poppyseed cake and German's chocolate cake frosting!

And here is the lady who did it. I went back into the serving area after tasting this deliciousness and asked her if she knew who had made that cake. "Why do you want to know?" she asked. I told her and she smiled and said "I did it."

They were from Wied and remembered my grandfather.

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