I grew up in the Texas panhandle. Though there are parts of the state that are wooded, hilly and green, the panhandle is most like the stereotypical Texas you see in old Western movies.
There are cowboys and oil wells. It is dusty, semiarid and flat.
Tumbleweeds blow across the roads and pile up on barbed-wire fences. It is not uncommon to see dust devils, which are whirlwinds that look like little tornadoes made of dirt.
It might sound like a dreary landscape, were it not for the magnificent, Texas-sized sky. Because the landscape is flat and there are few trees, you can see from one horizon to the other.
The dust plays with the light and creates colorful sunrises and sunsets.
You can watch huge thunderstorms roll in from one horizon to the other. My mom took a video that went viral of a tube cloud rolling across the sky at sunrise.
Oregon is beautiful and I love living here. The abundance of natural resources still overwhelms me. The mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and coastline are stunning. Native Oregonians take it for granted, but the availability of fresh, local fruit, berries and vegetables (not to mention fish and shellfish) is rare in many parts of the country.
There are, however, a few things I miss from Texas. The first is of course my family. The second is the sunsets. And the third is the Mexican food, or maybe it is Tex-Mex or whatever you call the Mexican food I grew up with in Texas.
Thankfully, I have a few trusty recipes from home, including these chicken enchiladas. This is not the fast, easy way to make enchiladas, but it is not difficult, either. I’ve added a few tips to make preparation simpler.
Invite some friends over to share this meal. To give it a true Texas twist, smother servings in ranch dressing or sour cream, guacamole and salsa. Enjoy!
Destiny Molatore of Roseburg is a wife and stay-at-home mother who was born and raised in the Texas panhandle. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, gardening, writing and traveling. You can find her Douglas County Moms columns at nrtoday.com.