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Texas Monthly November Subscriber QuizYou’ve had all month to read the latest issue of Texas Monthly. How much can you remember?

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boys of the dipper ranch sterry butcherSterry Butcher had no intention of becoming Texas’s foremost chronicler of twenty-first-century rural life. Raised in Fort Worth, she liked riding horses but never expected to end up writing about them. She attended Reed College, in Oregon, and graduated with a degree in English and a vague ambition to become a novelist.Then, in 1992, she visited Marfa while spending Thanksgiving with her family in far West Texas. “Marfa then consisted of two little Mexican cafes, two old-man bars, a feed store, a courthouse, a public library, a city hall, a combination gas station–butcher shop, a grocery store, a single blinking red light, and an art museum,” Butcher says. “I thought, ‘Wow, everything you need is right here in one place.’ ” Six months later, the 25-year-old Butcher…

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Texas-Monthly-Gift-guide-illustration-presentes-featIt’s our favorite time of year, when we get to look across the state and beyond to cull gift ideas sure to please all the Texans, Texpats, and Tex-stans in your life. Some of these items are made in the state, while others were designed or inspired by standout Lone Stars. Others we’ll just call Texas-adjacent. These 24 suggestions are ordered in terms of price, from the sensible to the splurge. Happy holidays, y’all.The Hunter’s Bar from Wild Boar Man Soap, in Kerrville.Courtesy of Wild Boar Man SoapHunter’s Bar, Wild Boar Man Soap, $10.99While working for Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram, near Kerrville, John Michon found himself with a surplus of lard. Remembering how his farming great-grandmother would take the lard left over from the…

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Devotion film reviewThere’s a moment in Devotion, the Korean War period piece that will be released on November 23, when we get a glimpse of a totally different kind of movie. The film largely keeps an ultraserious tone as it tells the story of Jesse Brown (played by Jonathan Majors), the first Black Naval aviator in U.S. history, and his friendship with white pilot Tom Hudner (Glen Powell) over the course of several months around the start of the war in 1950. But for a brief stretch in the middle of the movie, we get a different sort of dynamic. On shore leave in Cannes, Brown—whom Majors plays as a family man deeply devoted to his wife—decides to play wingman to his single buddy. The two sit at…

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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

Participation trophies are a good way to elicit eye rolls: Let’s not salute someone for merely showing up.But no one has yet created an award that could properly honor what three cross-country runners from tiny Valentine School accomplished by completing the class 1A state meet held earlier this month at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.Junior Eduardo Cardenas-Ramirez finished 36th; his older brother, senior Erick Ramirez, placed 85th; and sophomore Robert Alvarado came in 102nd in a field of 146 top qualifiers from around the state. Why would that be worth recognizing? Because the three runners make up 60 percent of their school’s entire male enrollment, and the town of Valentine, located about 35 miles northwest of Marfa and 25 miles east of the Mexico…

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Get in-depth coverage of news, reviews and conversations about Texas barbecue. It's basically Christmas every day for barbecue-lovers.

Participation trophies are a good way to elicit eye rolls: Let’s not salute someone for merely showing up.But no one has yet created an award that could properly honor what three cross-country runners from tiny Valentine School accomplished by completing the class 1A state meet held earlier this month at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.Junior Eduardo Cardenas-Ramirez finished 36th; his older brother, senior Erick Ramirez, placed 85th; and sophomore Robert Alvarado came in 102nd in a field of 146 top qualifiers from around the state. Why would that be worth recognizing? Because the three runners make up 60 percent of their school’s entire male enrollment, and the town of Valentine, located about 35 miles northwest of Marfa and 25 miles east of the Mexico…

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The Year We Banned BooksTexas K-12 public schools typically come out fair to middling in state-by-state rankings of student performance, so it’s an occasion worth noting any time we come first in something. This year, we led the nation in book bans, and the contest wasn’t even close. Our school libraries were, in sportscasters’ terms, absolutely on fire. Between July 2021 and June 2022, according to PEN America, Texas school districts banned 801 books in 22 school districts, often focusing on titles that deal with racial history and sexual identity.Our achievement may yet turn out to be ephemeral. Hard-line book-banning candidates lost seats in some school board elections this month, including in Round Rock, while winning in other locations, such as Granbury. We’ll learn soon enough whether such mixed…

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Texas Rubs, Sauces, and Glazes to tryThere’s a wide world of barbecue rubs and sauces on the market: I get plenty of them sent to me, and I love to scan the grocery-store aisles for new flavors. These are a handful of the Texas products I’ve really enjoyed using at home and make sure to stay stocked up on. There’s a good chance you can get your favorite barbecue joint’s seasonings and sauces in-restaurant, but these smoked meat helpers are created for folks who specialize in packing flavor into every bite.Verde Chimichurri Grilling Sauce, AXEL ProvisionsAxel Brave is a Houstonian with Argentinian roots. In 2018 he launched a line of grilling sauces and seasonings, which includes three types of chimichurri, the national condiment of Argentina. Each of these herb-heavy sauces can…

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Brockhampton's final albumIn January, one of hip-hop’s most daring and visionary collectives, Brockhampton, announced that it was calling it quits. After more than a decade of making music, the band’s dissolution felt like a bittersweet yet inevitable denouement. Bittersweet because the self-proclaimed “all-American boy band” from San Marcos recently appeared to have reached a creative apex—its sixth studio album, 2021’s Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine, stood out as its most mature, focused record to date. But for a group as large and convoluted as Brockhampton, fragmentation is unavoidable—its more than a dozen members are black and white, queer and straight, singers and rappers, producers and audio engineers, graphic designers and webmasters. Look at the collective’s two most obvious predecessors, Wu-Tang Clan and Odd Future, both of which…

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Asp CaterpillarTexas is full of sharp things: cacti, mesquite, porcupines. Even our grass has evolved to poke. Ours is not a land over which to freely run barefoot, and here you must treat every nook, cranny, and woodpile with the assumption that there is a rattlesnake nest inside it (this also applies to pool noodles and toilets). To grow up in Texas is to learn early on that you can’t just go touching things all willy-nilly. If a wild animal lives here, there’s a good chance it can hurt you, even—perhaps especially—if it’s cute. Which is to say that ’round these parts, the cutest caterpillars are sometimes the last caterpillars you want to come in contact with your skin. Perhaps the fuzziest of them all is the…

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