I promised him I’d make Texas queso for the first Packers game of the season. I realize it’s kind of oxymoronic to honor traditional Texas while celebrating the fact that we’re true-blue Wisconsinites, but I needed an occasion that:

1. happens once, so I only have to make/eat it one time; and

2. is befitting of Paula Deen-style fattening and processed fare.

Not surprisingly, the Packers-Browns game wasn’t aired here. So instead we compromised and it’s being made in the crockpot as we speak, for his fantasy football draft this afternoon.

Many of us grew up with queso dip or chili con queso. My grandma, an Iowan by birth, made her queso dip the time-intensive way. She’d settle up to the countertop grinder and run through green bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. Next she would sauté the ground veg in a bit of oil on the stove to soften slightly. Together with Velveeta in her crockpot, the mixture cooked for hours. We’d sit down to a steaming bowlful, messily scooping it into our mouths on Fritos. Those were the days? To Texans it’s merely referred to as queso. Nothing fancy, just a slab of Velveeta melted together with a can of Ro*Tel brand canned green chillies and tomatoes. Tortilla chips on the side.

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This warm, comforting dip is – against my better judgment – delicious. I knew it would be. As much as I turn my nose up on Velveeta cheese, I cannot deny a love affair with it in my childhood, or the disturbingly satisfying place it still holds in my heart [an aterial clot??].

I may not have a Texas driver’s license or be officially a citizen in the eyes of the state government, but with all the food traditions we’re exploring and adopting, I’d say that makes me dang close to certifiable!

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