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      This time around we find ourselves among the cooks of West Texas. If you've never been to the region you are missing one of the great slices of this country. It is a land of great beauty, but not a land all that interested in making life too easy. For those called to this place, for those who make a life of it here, the challenge is a big part of the charm—and in many ways what fuels its great humanity and great recipes as well.

      I love what happens when a story gets told through the experience of cooks. People who cook are amazing people. We all understand how the food they cook nourishes our bodies, but what we've maybe been less aware of is how the spirit of people who cook nourishes our souls. To be around cooks, the kind of people who do for others, to become someone who does for others, sets all sorts of good things in motion. Through their food and their spirit, cooks really do heal the world.

      Every summer we try to take a big family road trip to see as much of the country as we can pack into the time we have. It's a family tradition. Last summer we got the chance to drive along one of my favorite stretches of road, US Route 287 from Wichita Falls to Amarillo, Texas. This route is a good opportunity to get off the big interstates and slow down as you pass through the small towns where the history of the area still lives. 287 gives you time to think, and what I found myself thinking about was the movie No Country For Old Men.

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        You may have seen No Country. It won a big chunk of the Oscars in 2007 and was a big draw at the box office as well. By all the standard measures it is a great film. Much of its power comes from the spot-on way it captures the visual image of West Texas. It's set a little farther south in Marfa and the Big Bend region and we stayed there as well. No Country For Old Men so perfectly captured the image of this place, but when it came to the soul of the area it ran 180 degrees in the completely opposite direction. For the West Texas region, this film created a wound that is still in need of some healing.

      Knowing the humanity behind those doors we were driving past I got to thinking this might have all the makings of a good issue for our catalog. Wherever we dehumanize, it's on us to find a way towards healing. Cooking does not simply humanize, it super-humanizes. For anyone still feeling the impact of No Country we hope this catalog is a small step in the right direction. And for everybody else— here is a generous serving of West Texas hospitality. This place truly is an American treasure. Drive through it if you can, but make sure to stop along the way.

      And Fajita Seasoning, too. It is a wonderful blend that instantly bridges the distance from wherever you are to the treasure that is West Texas. And in our hectic world, the speed at which Fajita Seasoning can turn little pieces of meat and/or vegetables into a tasty meal is in its own way a treasure. Get some; you will like it.



Bill