I’m an awful procrastinator when it comes to holiday shopping. I’m lucky if I get it all done by February. This year, however, I’ve resolved to be on time. As I’ve been wending my way across the Internet looking for fun things to send my friends and family, I’ve discovered some wonderful gifts perfect for that homesick Texan on your list. I thought that I’d share them with you.
Unless you smoke it yourself, it’s pretty darn difficult hard to find Texas-style barbecue outside the state. So why not order some from the source? Houston’s Goode Company, which has long shipped its decadent pecan pies, is also now shipping smoked meat, such as brisket and turkeys. There is also Snow’s in Lexington has been judged to be the best barbecue in Texas by Texas Monthly. Unfortunately, it’s only open for a few hours on Saturdays, but they will their award-winning brisket if you can’t make the trip. And if you live in New York, why not consider a Hill Country gift certificate for your favorite Tex-Pat? No meat-eating Texan in New York would refuse the chance to eat their moist brisket and Kreuz hot links.
Texas teething ring:
I have a new nephew named Austin Jack. He may live in Oregon but he’s half Texan by way of his daddy. Even though he’s growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I aim to keep him connected with his heritage. I think that this Texas-shaped teething ring will be a good start.
Jellies and jams:
There are a plethora of Texans selling jellies and jams, but some of my favorites come from Austin-based Confituras. With creative flavors such as cranberry jalapeño, salted caramel pear butter and pear jam with sage and honey, I think that you’ll agree.
When I wrote about making sorghum pecan cobbler, many of you asked where to find this old-fashioned sweetener. A little research led me to Fain’s Honey (no relation), based in Llano. They also offer cane syrup and a variety of honeys such as jalapeño.
Texas-shaped cake pan:
My grandma sent me my first Texas-shaped pan when I lived in Iowa and it’s a treasure. This pan is a must for any homesick Texan.
Earlier this year, I wanted to make a recipe with asadero, that wonderful tangy Mexican melting cheese. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find in New York City. Enter Lincon Dairy, a family-owned cheese maker based outside of El Paso that produces wonderful cheeses and ships all over the United States. My favorite is the queso jalapeño, a decadent cheese that’s creamy and spicy—perfect for queso flameado!
I know, I know, fruit cake gets a bad rap. But have you ever had the fruit cake from Corsicana’s Collin Street Bakery? When I was growing up, on trips from Houston to Dallas we always used to make a stop. It’s a Texan classic!
When I visited Texas A&M this summer for Foodways Texas’ inaugural meeting, the first thing I was offered was a couple of slabs of smoky, peppery beef jerky made right on campus. As I gnawed on it, I thought to myself that you just don’t anywhere else beef jerky like its made in Texas. Texas A&M Beef Jerky is a welcome gift, especially for your favorite Aggie. Of course, if you’re inclined to root for another team, fine beef jerky can be found also at Praseks, and Opa’s.
Every day, I’m thankful for how fortunate I am and helping others is the best gift that I can give. I always have plenty to eat but there are many who do not. Because of this, I like to make a donation in someone’s name to two of my favorite charities, Share Our Strength and Feeding America, both of which work hard to fight hunger
What Texan gifts do you like to give?