Crude Oil vs. Olive Oil

Texas Olive Ranch

Texas is better known for its crude oil than for its olive oil, but a small olive industry is growing in South Texas.   Recently on the local PBS station, KEDT-TV, a documentary was aired as part of its annual fund-raiser.  It was called “Texas Olive Trails.”  Check out this website to view a trailer.

Here is a quote from the site:

Sun, stone, drought, silence and solitude: these are the five ingredients that, according to Italian folk traditions, create the ideal habitat for the Olive Tree.”

The area is also on the same geographical parallel as the Mediterranean.  A large aquifer is found beneath the area stretching for many miles.  OK…maybe it doesn’t look quite like Tuscany.

The olives will be harvested in September.  I have not tried any before, but I intend to check out the 2011 Texas Olive Ranch products when they are available in my local grocery store – perhaps the Rattlesnake Pepper & Chipotle,  Mesquite or Sweet Basil.  For now check them out on their website .  They all appear to be extra virgin – always better.

In January I bought oil from a friend who has an olive farm in Tuscany and will post something about that later.  Hint:  it was excellent!

Poem for Today

What is Success?

To laugh often and much:

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty:

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by
a healthy child, a garden
patch or a redeemd social condition;

To know even one life has breathed
easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson


Lumus Redux

Lumus Redux

After walking down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter at night with a drink in your hand, the buildings could start to look like this.  I love New Orleans – the old building are works of art themselves with a colorful mixture of French and Spanish architecture.  History beckons and whispers from every corner –  Old Absinthe House, LaFitte’s Blacksmith Shop,  St. Louis Cathedral , Preservation Hall, Louis Armstrong  and voodoo queens.  
James Michalopoulos captures much of the city’s soul with his slightly abstract works of art.  He lives in New Orleans part of the year and maintains a gallery at 617 Bienville.   Kevin Allman writes of his architecture, “They slope, soar and sway. Some of them rear back on their foundations, or lurch drunkenly over cracked sidewalks; others dip their balconies over the street curiously.   His representations seem to have a life of their own.” 
I visited his gallery and purchased this poster,  Lumus Redux, several years ago. 
I haven’t been back to New Orleans since I spent Christmas there in 2003, but I plan to go back in November.  A visit to his gallery will be essential…I need some  art.