Monday, July 24, 2017

At the Farmer's Market, dogs are cool

It's not true that I'm addicted to our local Farmer's Market, in spite of what my friends say.  Yes Denny and I go EVERY Saturday and the vendors ask about my health if we miss because of travel. But what I have with the Farmer's Market is more of a love affair than an addiction.

And who doesn't love fresh local produce, eggs, chocolate and so much more. I like knowing the folks who grow our food and make things that satisfy our wants and needs. And we're happy our purchases support hard-working families in our region.
But my secret reason for going is that it's fun. We sample exotic flavors and home-made jam. Live music plays under a high awning--one memorable Saturday a full steel drum band played; I want to do that when I grow up. Every weekend I see or hear or taste or learn something new.  

Everyone is welcome at the New Braunfels Farmer's Market. Including dogs. People want to share the fun with their furry best friends; the Farmer's Market makes them welcome. 

Perry, an eight-week-old Husky, will be a service dog when he grows up. He's already learning how to get along and likes being petted.

Winston, an English bulldog, was named after Churchill. Can you see a resemblance?

My friend Glenna brought her dog Gozer. He stands waist-high to an adult but the biggest danger he poses is stepping on your foot or licking you in the face. The little Farmer's Market patron in the picture took an instant shine to him and by the smiles on their faces, both were having a good time.

This cutie was introduced to Denny and me as Rigby, a Blenheim King Charles Spaniel Cavalier. I didn't know there was a breed that had as many names as the Prince of Wales. He's frisky, especially for a guy in a fur coat on a hot Texas day.

Juliette, whose name is the same as the Shakespeare heroine but whose life has been considerably longer at 60 in dog years, wasn't interested in having her picture taken by the paparazzi. 

If you meet any of my four-legged friends on a happy Farmer's Market Saturday, give them my regards.
New Braunfels Farmers Market
186 S. Castell Ave.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Saturdays from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Sundays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 

P.S. The introduction of the Sunday market is recent. Currently the Saturday market has more food-related vendors along with locally-made products, the Sunday market leans toward a local craft market. To have two market days in one modest town is wealth.

Copyright 2009-2017 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Lum's Bar-B-Que--the best BBQ brisket

A few weeks ago, Denny and I found ourselves in a situation--driving toward the Texas Hill Country town of Junction shortly before noon on Sunday...hungry. 

Anybody who knows Texas knows that timing is everything to eat out without a wait for Sunday lunch--you gotta beat the church crowd to the door. 

More so if you're salivating for the king of meats, slow-smoked brisket. Especially if it's not just brisket, but the best brisket, tender and meaty with honest red smoke lines deeper than you've ever seen. The kind of brisket that slows time on your tongue so you taste the hours it bathed in the pure smoke of Texas oak.

So you can understand our concern about exiting the interstate to find Main Street and Lum's Bar-B-Que. We'd never been there before and weren't sure we'd spot it right away. Some great BBQ spots are more like smoke shacks, not easy to pick out.

We needn't have worried. Between the stars and flags and oil derricks on the building, it stands out. 

We got the last spot in the parking lot.

Inside, there were football flags and posters. The place matches the down-home quality of the food, reflective of people who believe in doing things right.  

You stand in line at a counter to order; sandwiches and plates (one, two or three meats and two sides). You watch the folks who look like they've done it all their lives cut your meat and dish your food onto a styrofoam plate. 

The serving line ends at the cash register but the lady behind the counter tells you to come back and pay after you've eaten. She does not give you a ticket or check. Later, when you're sated and happy, you go to the register and recite what you ordered so they can charge you. 

Your first bite makes you happy. The second and third and last do too, although the last comes too fast. The sweet smoke and tender meat, and the sauce that's the closest you've tasted to your mother's best-in-the-world BBQ sauce. Your only regret is you didn't try all the meats...why didn't you get the ribs? Which is when you begin to think about the next time you can find your way to Lum's Bar-B-Que in Junction. 

Lum's Bar-B-Que
2031 Main St, Junction, TX 76849
(325) 446-3541
Sunday - Thursday,10 a.m. - 9 p.m. 
Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. 

Copyright 2009-2017 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Small town Texas parades are the most fun

You never know what you'll see at a Texas Hill Country parade, beyond the obligatory fire engine, horses and boy scouts. But you know it will be fun.

Kids line the streets early.

Everyone loves the Boy Scouts.

Republican and Democratic women march.  

While the New Braunfels Wurst Girls roll.

Golf carts and motorcycles become home-cooked floats, such as a seagull-eagle.

And patriotic dalmatian--you gotta be dedicated to wear a full-length fuzzy costume in Texas summer heat.

My favorite might have been this rescue horse outfitted for 'Merica in the stars and stripes, trotting with a full belly beside kind people.

Hope your July 4th holiday was happy and you were able to celebrate the freedom to be whoever you are.

Copyright 2009-2017 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Best Way to Kill Crabgrass

Life in the Texas Hill Country is just more fun.  Take my neighbor's approach to killing crabgrass--fun, organic and good for his game.

He was nervous about being filmed, don't let his partial-pull put you off. Click the link for 24 seconds of how a Texan does it. 


Gives weed-whacking a whole new dimension, doesn't it?

Copyright 2009-2017 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Red White and Blue Birds

This time of year, everyone's favorite colors are red, white and blue.  Even birds get into the act.
Male Summer Tanager, September 16, 2011

Summer Tanagers fly in to the Texas Hill Country in summer to nest and rear young, just one clutch. Females are yellow, the youngsters a greeny-yellow and males a glorious solid red, the only solid red bird in North America. 

When we lived in the country, a male often graced our porch, attracted by bees around the hummingbird feeders. After rubbing the stingers off the bees, he'd eat or take them back as food for the nestlings they were rearing in the forest around our home.
Bees visited our gardens for the native flowers, but who can resist a feeder full of sugar water when the mercury rises above 100? And if you're a Summer Tanager, that's the equivalent of a drive-through window at a burger place.

Great Egret at Lady Bird Lake in Austin, September 3, 2015
We sometimes think of Great Egrets as common birds, because we see them often, fishing along the waterfront. Bold figures stalking and striking in a flash of neck before the fish or frog or snake knows the danger.

Woodhouse's Scrub-jay, formerly Western Scrub-jay, February 13, 2010

Look at that face. Gotta love the sass. For the longest time, this one was called the Western Scrub-Jay, ranging from Texas into California. Last year ornithologists split the population into California Scrub-Jay and Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay. The Westerns who didn't live in California became Woodhouse's. He looks like a guy named Woodhouse, doesn't he? 

My hubby Denny prefers watching birds to fireworks but however you celebrate, we hope you have a good one.

 Copyright 2009-2017 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.