Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Another spur of the moment short adventure close to home yesterday in Lockhart.

I finally managed to get everyone in the car early enough on a Saturday morning to get to the farmer’s market at Barton Creek Mall.  This is quite a hike from our house, nearly 30 minutes at 60mph.  Not exactly the closest market and probably the most retail of any I’ve visited.  The only thing we bought were two homemade fruit popsicles at 2.50$ a pop.  There’s not enough sunblock in the world to save me and Little Sister from the summer sun, especially Texas summer sun.  We had to pack up and skeedaddle as soon as the mango popsicles melted and consumed.  I was covered in bits of mango from Little Sister’s hands and face, I’m her napkin.  I wish I had bought some peaches, but there should be plenty in my regular grocery store as many local orchards sell to them.

Hubby mentioned Lockhart after we saw a piece about the best BBQ coming from Lockhart and all the German settlers of that area.  I was all for it.  BBQ here we come!

There were two predominant BBQ joints we saw: Black’s and Kreuz Market. Lines were long because we arrived just in time for the lunch rush, if there’s such thing as rushing in this heat, in this sleepy Podunk town.

(Above: Black’s BBQ       Below: Kreuz Market)

The queue was out the door at Black’s so we doubled back to Kreuz Market.  The motorcycle weekend festival is happening in Austin and it attracts thousands of hogs and their riders every year.  Many bikers venture to surrounding areas, including our suburbia and Lockhart.  A few bikers arrived as we did so I snapped a photo or two.

The Biker Co-patrons

Bikes @ Kreuz Market

Pepper was part of the clan today and she was happy to meet someone smaller than her.  A friendly dog owner was waiting outside the market for her family, attending to the two black and white Chihuahuas she had with her.  Little Sister loves all dogs, and Chihuahuas resemble puppies even as they age.  The lady was once a resident of Lockhart and missed the small town BBQ, we asked what she recommended at Kreuz… beef ribs (which are not common), prime rib and beef shoulder.  We tried the shoulder along with some ham and sausage.  All of it was delicious.

To our most pleasant surprise, a classic car show was happening within some sort of summer festival down town.  I jumped out of the car to quickly take some pictures of the neat old cars.  I thought my dad would appreciate some of these, as he loves antique cars and still has at least one from his collection.  His car looks very similar to this one:

Every little town in Texas has at least one antique shop, Lockhart was no exception.  The last stop of our introductory tour was the Antique store. They had three old carriages in the back storage area.  Those snapshots are included in the slide show below…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read Full Post »

This post was featured on Freshly Pressed in Jan 2011!

If you have ever travelled near the Texas-Mexico border and stopped at a repurposed snow-cone shack for a cup of shrimp cocktail and wondered what the heck was in it, keep reading.  Even if your travels have never brought you this way, read on.

Apparently, there is a difference between what Canadians consider to be a shrimp cocktail, and what my southern family thinks this should be.  An argument that could start a year-long debate was averted by accepting that a rose by any name would still smell as sweet,  and a shrimp would taste as scrumptious. 

The Canadian version, as I will refer to it, consists of big cooked shrimp and a tomato-based horseradish sauce.

To my family here in the south, shrimp cocktail looks more like ceviche.

Either way you want to prepare a spicy and fresh shrimp appetizer suits me just fine, what matters is enjoying the time spent with those sharing the food.

Here’s how to prepare the two variations of shrimp cocktail seen above.

The Canadian Version

You will need big shell-on shrimp (10-15 per pound size, ask your fish guy), depending on how much your crowd loves them, buy 3-5 per person or what you can afford.

Simply clean the shrimp by removing the shell, keeping the tails on so you have a handle for dipping.  I find the easiest way is to gently fold at the seam of the tail section, the connective shell structure will pop so that the body portion can be removed without ripping the tail apart.  I always remove the digestion tract (I won’t eat shrimp with it left in – ew).  Toss them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper and transfer to a baking sheet in a 400ºF oven for 10 minutes.  You can flip them over after about 7 minutes but they will cook just fine on their own.

The dipping sauce for this cocktail consists of the following:

  • horseradish (from a jar, creamed is fine)
  • chili sauce (also jarred, I found it next to the Dijon mustards at my local grocery)
  • Ketchup
  • fresh lemon juice
  • Worcestershire sauce

Mix equal parts of the chili sauce and ketchup in a small bowl.  Add about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, or a light squeeze of half a lemon.  Add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and stir to incorporate.  If you like a fiery shrimp dip add a good amount of the horseradish, if you are not partial to the heat you can leave it out entirely and still enjoy yourself.  I added 3 teaspoons of horseradish and everyone loved it, however we tend to like heaps of wasabi on our sushi as well.   

The Mexican Version

Under the direction of mom, I was tasked with the appetizer to our family gathering.  She called it shrimp cocktail and then went on listing the ingredients I would need to prepare the dish.  My hubby and I looked at her quizzically – do you mean ceviche?  No, it’s shrimp cocktail.  It was like trying to explain that a crepe and a pancake are in fact two different things, however they do share some of the same ingredients and look pretty similar.  Just let it go, I thought.  All I wanted to do was eat, and helping in prep means we eat all that much sooner.

This version has a few more ingredients than the road-side original.  In no particular order, you will need:

  • 4 cups of cooked baby shrimp, the frozen ones work great
  • 6 – 8 Roma tomatoes, finely diced
  • 2 large avocado, cubed
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 – 2 roasted Poblano peppers, diced
  • 6 Serrano or jalapeño peppers, diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro (about 1/2 cup when chopped)
  • 1/2 Orange pop bottle
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • big pinch of salt

Toss everything in a large bowl.  You can make this ahead of the party but leave out the cilantro and avocado until serving time. 

Spoon into glasses and provide tortilla chips and crackers for munching.

Read Full Post »