Archive for the 'Picnics' Category

Government Canyon: The Nearby Wilderness

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
Government Canyon

One of the many wild spaces at Government Canyon State Natural Area.

This is Passport to Texas

Comprised of more than 12-thousand acres of mostly undeveloped land, Government Canyon State Natural Area, outside of San Antonio, is not a state park.

Although we’re part of the Texas State Park system—we’re actually a natural area. So, our focus is primarily natural and cultural resource management. However, we do provide recreational opportunities here. We have about 40 miles of hiking and biking trails.

Superintendent Chris Holm says guests experience something entirely unique when they visit the site.

It is a unique experience, as we’re so close to the city of San Antonio. But yet, when you get out here and start hiking or biking into what we call the backcountry area, you think you’re out in the great wilderness of the North or something.

Open for visitation Friday through Monday only, Government Canyon frequently reaches maximum site occupancy on weekends.

Almost every weekend we’ll have a capacity closure because we get too many people coming out. We want people to experience Government Canyon. We want them to develop a love of the place. Stewardship. But at the same time we don’t want it to be destroyed [from overuse]. And, so, there’s a balancing act.

Tuesdays through Thursdays, site staff focus on resource management. There’s more info on Government Canyon at

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV: Spice on Fish

Monday, August 10th, 2015
Cooking Crappie at Camp

Cooking Crappie at Camp

This is Passport to Texas (Aug 10)

Next week, Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Tim Spice takes viewers from pole to platter, when he cooks up crappie filets outdoors on the Texas Parks and Wildlife PBS TV series.

After cleaning, deboning, skinning and drying the fish…

11- We’re going to lightly prep it with a little bit of salt and a little bit of fresh pepper [grinding pepper]. Just a little bit of pepper, though, because crappies are really nice delicate fish, and you don’t want to overpower it.

Next, he dredges the fish in plain cornmeal.

05- I was raised with simple cornmeal; and you’ll get a great fish flavor just this way.

Buttermilk added to the cornmeal makes a thick batter, but if you want to taste the fish, Spice says: less is more. A camp stove supports a cast iron skillet with hot oil.

15- Alright. We’ve got that temperature right where we like it– about 275. Now, we’re just going to take our fish and put ’em right in the oil. Watch your fingers so you don’t splatter that hot grease. We want to cook the crappie for about two minutes on each side. Nice light brown; that keeps it nice, moist, and tender on the inside.

The filets are done and ready to serve in no time.

08– You want to know how your fish are done? Here’s a simple test: take a fork, and if you can break apart the flakes–that means your fish is done.

For an even lighter dish, Tim Spice demonstrates a pan seared, herb rubbed fish recipe the week of Aug. 17 on the TPW PBS TV series. Check your local listings.

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

May is a Great Month to Picnic at State Parks

Thursday, May 7th, 2015


Picnics in state parks do not have to be complicated.

Picnics in state parks do not have to be complicated.

This is Passport to Texas

May is the start of picnicking season in Texas. Angela Shelf Medearis, an author and cook, whose moniker is The Kitchen Diva, offers tips for a stress-free picnic.

62— Well, let me give you Diva Picnic 101. For one – make foods that you could do in advance. If I was doing a picnic, I would have something like a really good roast chicken; just cut the pieces up and pack those in there. I do a Carolina Cole Slaw; you toss it up, throw it in the refrigerator – it gets better day-by-day. So, if you want to do that ahead you could. You don’t have to worry about having to do everything that day. That takes all the fun out of the picnic to me if you’re trying to do all the food prep, and pack everything, and get everybody to the park. So, start your picnic a few days ahead. Use a lot of fresh fruits for dessert. The thing about a picnic that I love is you can totally unplug and really focus on the people you should be paying the most attention to. You can get out in nature; we have some beautiful parks. Some beautiful places to go in Texas. And, it gives you a chance to really focus on the most important things: your family, nature, the beauty of life… So, do a little planning ahead, and pick dishes that will be fine hot or cold, and you can’t go wrong for a great picnic.

Remember: always pack out what you pack in, and leave your picnic site in better condition than you found it.

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.