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Doughboys and Cookie Dough

The ghost of outrageous former Texas governor W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel is probably grinning with satisfaction at the thought that he's mentioned in two new books that have practically nothing to do with one another: "We're the Light Crust Doughboys From Burrus Mill": An Oral History by Jean A. Boyd (UT Press), and Dining at the Governor's Mansion by Carl R. McQueary (Texas A&M University Press).

Rich with the recollections of the Doughboys' longtime banjoist, the late Marvin "Smokey" Montgomery, Jean Boyd's book tells the story of the legendary band that kickstarted the careers of Western Swing pioneers Bob Wills and Milton Brown. Conceived by Pappy O'Daniel in 1931 as a promotion gimmick for his Burrus Mill, the Light Crust Doughboys outlasted both Pappy's eventual political career and the typical American homemaker's need for a dependable daily flour. The Doughboys, after all, still perform for appreciative crowds (call 972/285-5441; www.artgreenhaw.com). For fans of Western Swing, this book performs, too. Look for it in bookstores ($18.95 paper, $40 hardcover), or, to order, call 800/252-3206; www.utexas.edu/utpress.

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are," said French politician and food critic Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. The foods we eat also reflect the trends of the time. Such is the appeal of Carl McQueary's engaging Dining at the Governor's Mansion, which paints an intriguing portrait of Texas life since 1856. The extroverted Governor "Pappy" and First Lady Merle O'Daniel, for example, who lived in the mansion 1939-41, entertained crowds of some 20,000 Texans at a time at celebratory barbecues.

And what did they eat? Among the book's hundreds of recipes are Margaret Houston's stout Republic of Texas coffee, Governor Miriam Ferguson's minestrone, Marialice Shivers' frosted grapes, Ann Richards' chocolate mint brownies, Laura Welch Bush's margaritas, Anita Perry's apple pie, and corn pones galore. Find Dining at the Governor's Mansion at bookstores ($24.95 hardcover), or, to order, call 800/826-8911; www.tamu.edu/upress.

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