A drive along the border

South Texas clouds It was a beautiful day in South Texas today, so I told my mom to get in the truck and we took a long drive out in the country.

I drove the Military Highway which borders the Rio Grande – the river that separates the U.S. from Mexico.

In the distance you could see the Border Patrol and the security towers that mark the river’s edge.

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Don’t mess up Mexican salsa

Mexican dinner

Pico de gallo with Mexican tacos and arroz

You can’t have a Mexican meal without pico de gallo … that’s our version of ketchup.

Don’t try to make it all fancy and add lime, chipolte, organic this or that. Pico de gallo needs tomato, onion, cilantro and serrano peppers. That’s it. Nothing else.

I love cilantro so I always make sure I have equal parts tomato, onion and cilantro … it taste better and looks beautiful.

If spicy salsa isn’t for you take out the serranos. Add a touch of salt and pepper, a few tablespoons of water and a drizzle of olive oil and you’ve mastered pico de gallo.

Ready for a Mexican Easter celebration?

You can’t have a family Easter along the Texas-Mexico border without dozens of cascarones.

What are they you ask? Colorful egg shells filled with confetti that you’ll crack on everyone’s head.

In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas there’s three ways to get a hold of cascarones.

The traditional method is to start saving the egg shells months ahead of the holiday. Each time you make breakfast, you gently crack the egg shell on the pointy top and peel back a small circular section of the shell. Shake out the egg, rinse the shell and set the shell aside to dry.

When you make breakfast the next day you’ll do it all over again. Maybe you baked a cake for work or cupcakes for your children. Save those shells as well. You’ll soon realize you’ve got several dozen egg shells.

A few days before Easter get your family together and dye the eggs. You can buy prepackaged dye kits, use food coloring or just let the kids go silly with markers. Fill the eggs with confetti, put a dab of glue along the edge and seal them with a piece of colorful tissue paper.

But like all things the Easter tradition has changed for many families. If you’re watching your cholesterol and might not eat a lot of eggs. Maybe you forgot to save them or just don’t have the time. That’s when you can visit your local grocery or discount store and buy the eggs already painted and filled with confetti. For less than $2 a dozen you’ll have the same fun as if you’d dyed the eggs yourself.

Option number three is paying the people at the street corner for cascarones.

That’s right. In the Rio Grande Valley lots of folks save egg shells all year long. Others collect them from restaurants or friends and family. They color and fill the eggs and then sell them at busy intersections a few days before Easter. For about $6 you can buy a tray of 2.5 dozen ready made confetti eggs.

However you get your cascarones, trust me everyone will have fun!