Christmas on the Caprock – J. Cruse Style

Christmas on the Caprock – J. Cruse Style

Post, Texas -The other night really began to seem a lot like Christmas. It was a nice surprise and to me, that’s an important element of Christmas. In the last few years it appears that much of that has been lost. This surprise was not under the glare of big city lights, but was neatly nestled amongst the cot-ton fields, the cows, and the pump jacks. I found myself in Post, Texas. To be more specific, it was the J. Cruse Gallery – CHRISTMAS HEAVEN! A place that featured some of the most beautiful decorated trees and ornaments and hand-made Santa’s all created by J Cruse and his helpers. As Marilyn and I approached the gallery, Mitch Holly was playing some nice Christmas music. People were talking and everyone was in a good mood. No pushing, no shoving, just people enjoying each other’s company. I was meeting most of these people for the first time but it seemed like we had known each other for a lifetime. This environment, I believe, was created by Henry Etta Cruse, the mother of J Cruse Gallery owner Jackie Cruse. Once you meet her you will understand why the people of Post call her “Sweet Henry”. {{more}}After 45 minutes of informal introductions and looking at Jackie’s decorations and Santa’s, it was time for us to feast on a sumptuous meal, fine cuisine from the J Cruse kitchen which is a part of the gallery. The cooks were members of the Cruse Family. Jackie said that his family was made up of cooks. This started with his grandmother and was passed down to his mom and uncle Marion. Jackie’s cooking skills were further developed and refined while J. Cruse with Carolyn Cruse, Henry Etta Cruse, his mother, and his cousin Dale Robinson. he was a student at the prestigious New England Culinary Institute in Vermont. On this night the art of fine cooking was on display. Sweet Henry and her brother prepared the beef tenderloin served on homemade rolls with a raspberry chipotle glaze. They also prepared roasted pork tenderloin. We were also served a Mascarilla Salad. That is a pasta salad that included chucks of chicken. Sweet Henry also prepared her famous 7 layered Corn Bread Salad. J’s specialty was his Chicken Martini which is a roasted chicken served in a white wine cream sauce in a martini glass with the following condiments cheese, chives, olives, bacon Winter Flight Christmas Tree.bits and sour cream. After a delicious meal we went upstairs to the magnificent OS Museum, who co-hosted the event, for desserts. While at the museum, I saw the first Santa that Jackie presented to Neiman Marcus. It was the Milliumen St. Nicholas 2000. His work was accepted in the Neiman Marcus catalog on his first try. I asked Jackie how he developed a love for Christmas. He said “When I was a boy, my grandmother would put all the grandchildren in the station wagon and would drive us around Post to look at lights. After that, she would drive us to Lubbock and The Regal Saint Nicholas 2013 Antique decorated Sled with Jewel Ornaments. look at more Christmas lights. This was the beginning of my love for Christmas and creating. As a boy, I decorated my mother’s house and other homes in the community”. Cruse’s work is in many homes across this country and he travels quite a bit decorating for individuals and companies. I wanted to know why his upscale gallery is located in Post, Texas instead of some major city. Cruse said “I am a man of faith and I believe this is where God wants me to be at this time.” Cruse plans to keep his base of operation in Post; however he is expanding the first J Cruse Gallery outside of Post is located in Abilene, and it is owned by Kathye and Cliff Gardner. He is also looking to expand to Southlake. J. Cruse with Kathye and Cliff Gardner. The Gardners’ own the J. Cruse Abilene Christmas Gallery & Gifts store.If you are still trying to get in the Christmas spirit, it would be worth a trip to J Cruse Gallery in Post or the one located on Hickory Street in Abilene.Ladies from Sweetwater enjoying an evening of shopping and visiting. Connie Adkins, Cheryl Kelley, Debbie Truelock, Phyllis Roberson, Joann Jones and Dorothy Blueford Jackie Cruse and Mrs. Louise McCray. Mrs. McCray and her late husband were a huge inspiration to Jackie. Mrs. McCray, who owns the OS Museum The Museum, Co-Hosted the event with J.Cruse.The Posey’s from Fisher County experiencing the magic of Christmas.