There was a period of time in my life where the phrase, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!!” was a sad truth.
I had developed a habit of complaining about the state God put me in…and it was Texas!! My husband had just retired from the Air Force, and we had left the Dayton area, and my beloved church family. While I went willingly on the outside, my insides were kicking and screaming.
As a girl thinketh in her so heart, so is she, says Proverbs 23:7!! Little by little, I began to interject small complaints into my conversations with others. I noticed that Texans really do think Texas is the biggest and best. There were even bumper stickers with the phrase, “I wasn’t born in Texas…but I got here as fast as I could!!” That just made me want to seriously roll my eyes, yall!!
My pastor, a native Texan, got fed up with my snarky comments about his beloved home and said to me, “You know Sue, Paul said, “Whatsoever STATE you are in, therewith be content.”
I shot back, “Well, Paul never lived in Texas!!” Now I SAID it in a joking manner, but I was seriously not about to accept that I was OK with living there.
The apostle Paul suffered being beaten with whips more than once, he was stoned, he was shipwrecked 3 times, put in prison, and bitten by snakes, (I hate snakes!) and survived it ALL by the grace of God and even praised Him for these circumstances….and I had the gall to compare MY comfortable life in Texas with the trials of this amazing man of God.
The outcome of my story is that at times I had a big ole pity party and 18 months into this bad attitude, I finally submitted to God’s will in my life for me to be there. I asked His forgiveness for this bitterness I had allowed & nurtured.
I’m sharing a wonderful Texas Tortilla Soup I developed during my time there.
TEXAS TORTILLA SOUP
2 T. margarine
1 lb. boned, diced chicken (partially frozen dices easier)
1 tsp. each: ground cumin, chili powder, & lemon pepper
non stick cooking spray
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, finely chopped
6 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
5 c. rich chicken broth
1/2 c. flour
8 corn tortillas
oil for frying
sour cream, optional
cheddar cheese, optional
Prepare all vegetables in advance. Dice chicken last to prevent cross contamination from meat. In a large soup pot, melt margarine and add chicken. Spray liberally with nonstick spray. Cook, stirring often until chicken is no longer pink.
Add onion, celery, carrots, and garlic. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add a little broth if needed to keep from sticking. Stir in cumin, chili powder, and lemon pepper. Add tomatoes and 4 cups of the broth.
Mix remaining broth and flour together, then stir into the rest of the ingredients. Simmer 20-30 minutes until soup has thickened and vegetables are tender.
Using a pizza wheel, cut tortillas into thin strips. Fry in oil until lightly browned. Serve with cheese & a dollop of sour cream. Top with crispy tortillas. Makes 2 quarts.
Corn chips are a quick substitute for the fried tortillas. I also like to add canned pinto beans & corn to bulk up the soup.
Note: After trying this soup in a restaurant, I requested and was refused the recipe. My understanding waiter (I left a big tip) gave me the ingredients. After a little bit of tinkering, I came up with this soup, which I think is even better than the one I remember.