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January 2017 Newsletter

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and that the New Year brings you much success, joy and good health. There is one amazing thing that I have observed and that is that we are already in the new year and we have not had a frost yet. My banana trees are still full of green leaves. This is a tree that is easily killed by cold weather. We usually get a freeze by late November or early December. The buffelgrass at the ranch is very green and lush. The cattle are really happy and are eating heartily. I cannot remember this ever happening. Now this is in my part of South Texas (between Corpus Christi and Laredo). Some parts of the state have been hit by cold freezing weather. How long will this good luck last? Don't know. Hopefully it will last for a while.

The prickly pear cactus is also in very good shape. Should the need arise for feeding it to cattle, we'll burn off the spines and let the cattle enjoy it. As I've mentioned before there are plenty of quail. They built their nests under the cactus pads. The cactus offers them shelter and protection from predators. Some farmers south of here have told me that they have seen many pheasants in their ranches. Apparently someone brought some of these birds and released them - - - and they have multiplied. A game warden told these farmers that they can shoot the pheasants whenever they want, that they are not protected. I encourage all of them not to shoot them. Let them increase in numbers even more.



Lentil and Cactus Soup (Mom's Recipe)

14 cups water

TIP! To enhance the flavor of your dish, use Swanson® Chicken Broth in place of water.

3 cloves garlic, cut into thirds

1 pound lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 1/2 tablespoons chicken bouillon (such as Knorr®)

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tomato, chopped

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon (such as Knorr®), or to taste

1 cup cooked diced nopales (cactus), drained

3 small potatoes, peeled and chopped

Bring the water to a boil in a soup pot with 3 cloves of garlic. Stir in the lentils and 1 1/2 tablespoons of chicken bouillon. Simmer over medium-low heat until lentils are almost soft, about 1 hour.

Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet, and cook and stir the onion and 2 chopped cloves of garlic until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and continue

to cook and stir until the tomato releases its juice, about 5 more minutes. Stir the tomato mixture into the lentil soup along with cumin and 2 more teaspoons of chicken bouillon, or to taste. Bring the soup to a simmer, stir in the nopales and potatoes, and cook over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.


Nopalito tacos

Sprinkle evenly with minced cilantro, and fold in half.


Thanks to those members who have paid up their membership dues.


The Texas Cactus Council will meet on Thursday, January 12, 2017, at El Charro Restaurant in Alice, Texas (1011 W. Front 78332) at 6:00 p.m. They have a great menu. Invite your family and friends. You may bring a door prize if you wish. I will bring some spineless cactus pads for those who want to start their cactus gardens.

See you all in Alice.

J. T. Garcia



Webmaster: Chumbe Salinas




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