GO LOCAL. GO TEXAN. TEXAS FOOD, WINE, RESTAURANTS, RECIPES, GARDENING, STYLE & MORE MARCH 2016 EDITION
It’s Wildflower Season! Page 2
From the Gridiron to the Grape Page 4
Probiotic Tea with Texas Roots Page 6
Springtime Gardening Tips Page 10
+ LOTS MORE INSIDE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE O COMMISSIONER SID MILLER
This month marks the start of a time-honored tradition in Texas. With the bright, plush and beautiful wildflower tapestries appearing all over the Lone Star State, itâ€™s the perfect time to get out and capture all of the beauty on camera. Our friends at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) have planned several activities this spring, including plant and photo hikes in Estero Llano Grande State Park and Cooper Lake State Park, and a wild photography walk through Tyler State Park.
TPWD is happy to assist with your wildflower expeditions. Ranger-led hikes will help you identify interesting native and non-native plants in the park. The information provided by the park ranger and photographers can help your wildlife or plant photos turn out like just like you envision. Here are some tips to remember when going out into the bluebonnets to capture a family portrait amongst the official state wildflower: • Ask permission. If it’s not public land, make sure you have permission to walk on the property. • Bring a stick. Snakes can hide in tall grass, even though most avoid high traffic areas. Walk ahead of your family and pets to make sure the area is free from unwelcome guests. • Walk within the same footprints of those before you, so you don’t trample the wildflowers others after you will want to photograph. Enjoy the majestic Texas bluebonnets this spring!
FROM THE GRIDIRON TO THE GRAPE A
t the Wines of Dotson-Cervantes, Alphonse and Martha Dotson produce enough merlot, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon grapes to make their 2013 Rodeo Austin Grand Champion White called Gotas de Oro (Drops of Gold), as well as their 2015 Houston Rodeo Silver Medal winning wine, Something Red, and still have plenty of grapes left to go around. The vineyard is located in Voca, Texas, in the Hill Country northwest of Austin. A labor of love, Alphonse and Martha purchased more than 80 acres in 1997. Today, 29 of those acres are home to a thriving vineyard. It was a steep learning curve, but Dotson, a former NFL defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders, and his wife, Martha, successfully mastered the playbook, and today, they tend to some of the most-prized grapes in Texas. Stop by the Wines of Dotson-Cervantes Tasting Room in Pontotoc, 20 minutes north of Llano, to try the wines for yourself, or you can buy them at most Specâ€™s stores all over Texas. Visit their website to learn more.
Kombucha, a healthy probiotic beverage made from fermenting tea with a living culture, is one of the fastest growing beverage types in the nation. The demand is driven by a growing movement away from sodas to more nutritionally functional beverages. Over the past five years, there has been an explosion of small Kombucha brewers across the country, but one of the first actually started right here in Texas 10 years ago. 6
GE BEVERA R MEMBE T H issue) TLIr G SPO ruary b e F from ou d
shops, corner groceries and yoga studios. Fast forward 10 years and now Buddha’s Brew is carried in more than 600 stores across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. They are still brewing out of the same brewery, which is situated along Williamson Creek, and they’re planning a remodel this year that will incorporate a tasting room. Here, super fans, kombucha aficionados and curious locals will be able to visit and sample this interesting and functional beverage. “Our dream from the beginning was to create a drink that Buddha’s Brew Kombucha was founded in a farmers was both delicious and healthy with a sense of place and market booth in South Austin in 2006. With little more craft,” said co-owner Gremillion. “Being able to share our than a few hundred dollars, Kimberly Lanski started kombucha with the community directly from our brewery providing her brew to Saturday morning market goers. will be very exciting. We’ve been blessed to be able to start After a year, she teamed up with her friend, Johnour business here in Austin, as the community here has really Paxton Gremillion, to build a brewery in the Oak Hill fostered and nurtured our little brewery from the beginning.” area. By building the brewery, the company could produce enough to sell their products to local juice For more information, visit their website. 7
EILENBERGER’S BAKERY: DELIVERING FRESH CAKES FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY
n 1881, F. H. Eilenberger’s parents left their home in Leipzig, Germany, and sailed to America to pursue their dream in the new land of opportunity. In May 1898, 21-year-old F. H. opened a bakery in tiny Palestine. Along with his hopes and dreams, F.H. also put into action an old family recipe for fruitcake. Using that recipe, the finest ingredients available and some old-world know-how, his fruitcake became a delicious success. As more and more people bought his cakes, the Eilenberger reputation for having the freshest, highest-quality baked goods began to grow. Despite a devastating fire, the Depression years and two World Wars, the business thrived. Throughout the years, Eilenberger’s has received numerous awards. Their two signature cakes, the Texas Pecan Cake and World Famous Fruitcake, were winners of the prestigious Monde Award. Eilenberger’s has also been voted Best Bakery several times in the Palestine Herald Press Reader’s Choice Awards.
The bakery changed ownership a number of times over the years, and even moved out of state. Palestine resident William Jones decided to purchase the business in 2013 and bring it back to its historic home. This seems only fitting, as the bakery is both an endearing part of Palestine was well as an official historical landmark. “Just as it was in F.H.’s day, we use only the finest ingredients and insist that every cake is made the old-fashioned way — lovingly mixed, baked and decorated entirely by hand,” said Carolyn Lingo, office manager at Eilenberger’s. “Sure, it’s more time-consuming, but we think our people, not machinery, are the only ones qualified to deem a product perfect.” The bakery’s unique “hands-on” approach to quality today is what has made Eilenberger’s baked goods a holiday tradition for more than 117 years. For more information or to order an item online with a satisfaction guarantee promise, visit their website.
s spring gets underway here in Texas, many of us are ready to get outdoors and into the garden. Thanks to our friends at Neil Sperry’s Texas Gardening, we have some tips to utilize this month.
Warm-season vegetables (like beans, tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumbers, melons and peppers) should be planted one to two weeks after the average date of the last killing freeze in your area. (Please see the map at left. The burnt orange area in the Panhandle has an average last freeze date between April 16 – 30; while the light green/yellow region in the South Plains and Central Texas area has an earlier last freeze, typically between April 1 – 15). This is also the same time to plant warm-season annual flowers like zinnias, marigolds, celosia, impatiens, wax begonias and coleus. If you want to create a new lawn from sod, not seed, March is a good time to plant St. Augustine or Bermuda grass. In terms of pruning your lawn, now is the time to prune or “scalp” your lawn by dropping the mower one or two notches to remove browned grass. The soil and runners are then exposed to warming sun, and many weeds will be eliminated in the process. Use the clippings as mulch or in compost. For your trees, shrubs, groundcovers and vines, apply lawn-type fertilizer to these plants as buds begin to swell. Avoid weed-and-feed products, since they can damage landscape plants. For your spring-flowering trees, wait to feed these plants until immediately after they finish blooming. Apply an all-nitrogen or high-nitrogen fertilizer to promote vigorous new growth this season. Enjoy the outdoors as you prep, prune and grow your garden. If you have any questions, visit Neil Sperry’s Texas Gardening website.
TDA QUILT COMPETITION BRINGS TOGETHER TEXAS WINE AND FLORAL Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is asking quilters across the Lone Star State to participate in the Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) 2016 Quilt Block Competition. This year’s quilt competition theme is Texas Wine and Floral ─ Two Texas Treasures. This theme was chosen to celebrate two shining industries in the Lone Star State that complement each other beautifully. “The best things in life spring from the Texas earth,” Commissioner Miller said. “The same rich Texas soil that gives birth to the wine grape brings to life a wide array of colorful Texas plants. When you pair these two Texas treasures together, you will make the ultimate Lone Star statement.” As in previous years, each contestant will use a variety of fabrics to create a quilt block to submit to TDA. A panel of judges will select the winning entries, which will be pieced together into a quilt and unveiled in September at TDA’s Food and Fiber Pavilion at the 2016 State Fair of Texas. At the conclusion of the State Fair, the quilt will become part of TDA’s popular quilt collection. This year’s contest sponsors include Hobbs Bonded Fibers of Waco, Tandy Leather Factory of Fort Worth and designs by tana of Crowley. The final quilt will be designed and constructed by Terri Vogds of Denton and quilted by Maria Hall of Flower Mound. There is a $20 fee for each participant packet, which includes the fabrics to be used in the design, tips and techniques for developing the block and additional information about the contest theme. A limited number of participant packets are available. To participate in the 2016 quilt block competition, email GOTEXAN@TexasAgriculture.gov or download a participant form by visiting the TDA Quilt Collection page on gotexan.org. The deadline for submissions is June 10, 2016. 13
RESTAURANT AUBERGINE: LOCALLY GROWN, GLOBALLY INSPIRED
Sabor a Pasion Estate & Vineyard was born out of inspiration. What started as a ranch house and 25 acres in the Piney Woods outside Palestine has evolved into the culinary vision of chef and owner Simon Webster. Since 2004, the property has grown into a culinary destination offering osteria-style dining, a bed and breakfast, cooking classes, a vineyard and a special events/wedding venue. Restaurant Aubergine has come to represent the culinary philosophy of Chef Webster and his emphasis on local products, homegrown flavor and fresh, seasonal ingredients. The menu includes recipes influenced by his travels to Europe and Asia, as well as his home countries of England and New Zealand. Chef Webster mixes these influences with ingredients that are Texas-grown or raised. Many ingredients — such as lettuce, tomatoes, eggplants, beets, peppers, herbs and more — come from the chef ’s garden, which is located just a few steps from the kitchen. Specialty products are sourced from locally-owned markets, and produce, meat and seafood are sourced from Texas ranchers, farmers and Gulf Coast fisheries. “Being a GO TEXAN member brings you into a network of producers, farmers and purveyors of quality Texas products,” said Chef Webster. “From the wine to the vegetables, Texas provides inspiration when creating menus, and access to handmade and homegrown ingredients.” The prix fixe menu at Restaurant Aubergine changes weekly and includes an assortment of market fresh starters, entrees, sides and desserts. It features garden salads, handmade pasta, Texas-grown lamb, steaks and seafood, plus specialty desserts like New Zealand pavlova. The dining room is casual and intimate, or you can dine al fresco at one of the handmade Tuscan tables with a view of the vineyard. Special event nights are held when Chef Webster is inspired to light the outdoor, wood-fired pizza oven or when parties of 8 or more request a custom menu. Restaurant Aubergine is always open for bed and breakfast guests and by reservation for other guests. For more information, visit their website or call (903) 729-9500.
RECIPE: CRAB CAKES WITH BEET AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD This recipe comes from Chef Simon Webster of Sabor a Pasion and Restaurant Aubergine. It features Texas Gulf Coast blue crab, beets from the chef ’s garden and handmade goat cheese from fellow GO TEXAN member, Haute Goat Creamery in Longview.
For the crab cakes: 1 1 tbsp. 2 tsp. ½ tsp. ½ tsp. 1 tbsp. 1 tbsp. 1 lb. ½ cup ½ cup 2 tbsp.
Egg Mayonnaise Dijon mustard Salt Black pepper Lemon juice, fresh squeezed Fresh parsley Lump Texas Gulf blue crab meat Fresh corn kernels Bread crumbs Texas olive oil
1. In a bowl, combine the egg, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. 2. Carefully fold in the crab meat, corn and breadcrumbs. 3. Form mixture into loose cakes. 4. Heat a skillet over medium heat with two tablespoons of oil. 5. Add the cakes and brown on each side. 6. Cook for about five minutes on each side, and be careful when turning.
For the salad: 1 cup 1 cup ¼ cup 1 tbsp. ¼ cup 8 leaves To taste
Tomato, cut into small cubes Cooked beets, cut into small cubes Fresh basil leaves, chopped Sliced almonds Fresh Haute Goat Creamery cheese Romaine lettuce Vinaigrette dressing
1. In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients and toss together. 2. Place two romaine leaves on each plate and top with the other ingredients. 3. Top with a vinaigrette dressing and serve with crab cakes.
SPOT THE GO TEXAN MARK CHALLENGE Want a fun way to share the best of Texas with the world? Itâ€™s easy! GO TEXAN uses social media tools like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to post GO TEXAN events, share member news and increase awareness of the wide-variety of products grown and made right here in the Lone Star State.
Challenge: If you spot the GO TEXAN mark, let us know. Send us a picture of the mark on a product, sign or printed materials, and tell us where you saw it. Be sure to use the GO TEXAN hashtag (#GOTEXAN) when you post, so we can easily share your message, or send us an email.
UPCOMING TEXAS EVENTS March 16: Wine and Chocolate Pairing, Grapevine March 21: Antique Tractor Pull, Seguin March 26: Easter at the Farm, Stonewall April 2: Texas VegFest, Austin April 9: Street & Art Fair, Bryan May 20-21: Piney Woods Wine Festival, Lindale View more Texas events here.
TAKE OUR SURVEY & ENTER TO WIN A GO TEXAN T-SHIRT
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About GO TEXAN Launched in 1999 by the Texas Department of Agriculture, GO TEXAN, with its signature mark in the shape of Texas, celebrates, promotes and supports the business savvy and plainspoken grit Texas agriculture is known for throughout the world. Whether itâ€™s grown, sewn or served up on a plate, nearly 27 million Texans shop, travel and dine out in support of Texas businesses, agriculture and communities, looking for the GO TEXAN mark to light the way. To learn more about the GO TEXAN program, call (877) 99-GOTEX or visit the GO TEXAN website. Tell others about GO TEXAN! One great and easy way is to forward them this electronic publication. All your friends have to do to subscribe is click here to subscribe, and theyâ€™ll start receiving the Go Local. GO TEXAN. free monthly e-zine. 20