10 things that just makes sense in a Texas home

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Momo Productions

By Joi Louviere

June 5, 2024

Life in Texas is unlike anywhere else in the country. Whether you’re a native Texan or a recent transplant, here are 10 things you’re likely to see in and around homes in the Lone Star State.

Cowboy Boots

What do you call a stereotype that’s true? Most native Texas have a pair of cowboy boots in their closet. Even city dwellers see the value in being ready for a rodeo, wedding, or just a fun night out with a good pair of boots.

Some won’t be clean and shiny-looking, but don’t doubt their value. Authentic cowboy boots are made to last. You can pay hundreds for a pair, but it’s a lifelong investment that is meant to protect the feet from long days of standing or walking, chafing while riding a horse, or just as a cover from mud, debris, cacti, and water.

Texas has a long history of farming and ranching, and cowboys boots have always been the standard footwear in agro industries. Popular brands like Justin Boots and Cavendar’s made the shoes more accessible to people across the country. The fashion industry has popularized the boots and highlighted their versatility. Whether for heritage, function, or fashion, these boots were made for Texans.

 

Rotel & Velveeta

No Texas event is complete without queso or what many call Rotel dip. The Tex-Mex recipe is a melted Velveeta cheese block with a can of Rotel tomatoes and chiles mixed in. In the average home, you’ll probably find this delectable duo on standby in case anyone happens to stop by. That’s southern hospitality at its cheesiest.

10 things that just makes sense in a Texas home

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Topo Chico

Don’t let its country of origin fool you: Texans like mineral water, but we don’t just buy any brand. Topo Chico is a local favorite as it’s headquartered in Plano and bottled in Monterrey, Mexico. We even originated a cocktail using the glass bottled-drink, Ranch Water. It combines tequila, lime juice, and Topo Chico, said to originate in an Austin restaurant in the late 1990’s.

 

Cooler

How are we storing our Topo Chicos, beer, and soda when we host a cookout or head to a tailgate? Gotta have a cooler! Many Texans won’t just have your average cooler, it’s either huge, on wheels, state-of-the-art, or all three. Texas is definitely Yeti territory, and Texans may indulge in the bright colors or backpack-designed coolers all in the name of cool hydration.

 

Generator

New Texans learn quickly that losing power is truly a rite of passage in a state with a struggling energy grid. If you’re a homeowner, investing in a generator is just as important as a good roof, maybe more. It could take days to get power restored to your home after a storm because there are so many properties to service.

Generators can be costly as you typically need between 5,000 and 8,000 watts to run a home. That can run a Texan $600-$700 for just the generator itself, but it just makes sense for storm country living.

 

Ceiling fans

With four months out of the year featuring 90-degree weather and many days over 100, electricity bills can skyrocket when you’re blasting the A/C all day. While ceiling fans will affect energy bills, they can help reduce costs and centralize airflow to the specific room you’re in. And if your central air gives out — a common occurrence in the summer months — the ceiling fans are there to save the day.

 

Smoker

Meat smokers are a big investment, but they just make sense for a region that loves slow-roasted, smoky meats. Ribs, brisket, and whole chickens shine after half a day of oak infusion and makes for an amazing party or taste of summer in the winter wind. An entry-level smoker runs around $400 and holy grail smokers like the Big Green Egg run around $1,600. In the state with the highest number of cows, the cost for good cookin’ isn’t a surprise.

10 things that just makes sense in a Texas home

Photo courtesy of Getty Images/ Stefano Carocci

Carport

Garages aren’t common for older homes in Texas, and if you see them they’re probably detached and not electrically wired to open and close. With very mild winters, avoiding the outside when entering the home isn’t a big deal in Texas, and many homeowners of 1970’s properties and older might resort to a carport. The parking cover structure protects a vehicle from hail and sun damage, typical worries for southern plains states, and keeps the car a bit cleaner than if it were fully exposed.

 

Nutcracker

The official pie of Texas is the pecan pie and, as one of the highest national producers of pecans, we enjoy the nut in tons of different ways. From Texas Sheet Cake and ice cream to Turtle and pralines candies, we like a pecan anyplace, in any way — and that includes raw.

Local farms will let you pick pecans, or some lucky residents may have a tree in their own yard. Cracking pecans is a family tradition for some and something you start doing as a small child. The kitchen nutcracker also doubles as a shellcracker for all the crab leg lovers ready to feast on the Gulf’s fare.

 

Ant Bait

Besides dogs, ants might be the most common household pet in Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife says there are more than 210 species of ants in the state —terrifying. They aren’t just intrusive, but can damage the structure of homes, and chew through drywall, insulation, and electrical wiring. For those reasons, it’s smart for Texans to keep ant bait on hand, sitting them by doorways, in closets, and under sinks. So if you see these buggy devices out in someone’s home, it may not mean there’s an ant problem yet, but rather that they’re trying to prevent one.

  • Joi Louviere

    Joi Louviere is the community editor for Courier DFW. She’s a seventh generation Texan and world traveler, passionate about college access, DIY projects and trying out all the coffee shops in Dallas.

CATEGORIES: LOCAL CULTURE

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