If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you saw that we sent a box of Boston-themed food items to a blogger in Austin, TX as part of the Austin to Boston Food Swap in December. We received our box on Dec. 23rd, so this is our slightly late attempt to tell you what we learned about Austin from the experience.
Our box came from John Loftis at the Luvs 2 Eat blog. Having trained for my first job with four Texans, John’s box took me back to a lot of the themes I encountered with my fellow trainees. Here’s what I remembered:
We have very different animals
My training with Texans (TWT) experience included a lot of references to animals that I’ve never seen. I never understood a series of running jokes about hunting which made even the outside of my ATXBOS box funny. There was an animal on the address label that I can’t identify. And that animal was wearing a Santa hat! Any theories? Can a Texan help me here?
The art of “fixin’”
I got a lesson in fixin’ from my TWT classmates so I was tickled to find a “Fixin’ To Do” list in the box. Maybe John had a vision about my penchant for bullet points and corny jokes? It makes me smile on many levels every time I add an item to the list.
Texans are obsessed with meat
One of my most vivid memories from TWT was a steak eating contest where they all ordered 40 oz steaks and 5” high wedges of chocolate cake and gave bragging rights to the guy who ate the most without getting sick. They also cautioned me that it was unnatural to order seafood in mid-America. They were right.
The prevailing theme of the box was affection for meat. It included a bacon scented air freshener (Tara took that one as the only BFS organizer who eats it), a dry meat rub (he doesn’t know it yet but Stas from Space With a Soul will be getting this accessory for the official smoker of the BFS), a ton of meat stories/dishes in the issue of Edible Austin, and a meat-based chili kit. The kit’s instructions, incidentally, suggested that I leave out the hot pepper pack for “east coast wussies,” which I found very offensive. I’ll have you know that I plan to ADD more peppers when I make it! What makes me an “east cost wussie” is that I will likely not put meat in it. I can take the heat, just as long as the flame is pointed in the right direction. :P
I also learned some new things about Texas. They make a mean Crispix Mix called Texas White Trash (note the pretzels shaped like a cowboy boot, oil derrick, and the great state of Texas), have originated some fantastic local foods, and have a truly admirable sense of pride in their state. We got a few locally made foods like Alamo Cookies (that Susan heartily enjoyed), Kerbey Lane Buttermilk Pancake Mix, Lammes Candies Longhorns (turtle candies), and Austinnuts. The Texas centric items included Don't Mess With Texas signs, Keep Austin Weird bumper stickers, and a cookie cutter in the shape of the state!
We sincerely thank John and the folks at the Austin and Boston Food Blogger organizations for facilitating the exchange. We had so much fun assembling our box and we plan to have even more fun, at least for a little while, experiencing how the other half lives… and making baked goods in the shape of Texas!