Sunday, July 14, 2019

Style up your barbecue



 If you think cruets are for fine wine, give your summer barbecue a new look. I attended an art opening and a sweet and sticky sauce flowed from a cruet. It paired well with plastic forks and red checkered napkins.
                             I’ve encountered another sauce spectacular. You know those chocolate fountains? The sauce pouring out of a three-layered fountain in low-lighting situation did befuddle some people who thought it was chocolate. It was actually barbecue sauce. This party was on the greater Graceland grounds, in the car museum.
                             The sauce cruet setting was this area’s own Beaumont Art League opening. It was a great chance to enjoy good company and pick up some local art.




                             Tea Time: Just because everyone at the table is obsessed with the boxes – how curtains or pajama pants or a desk set would look so exotic and like the owner was well traveled – doesn’t mean their focus should not be on the actual tea. The people at Wissotzky’s are focused on their flavorful teas with those something extras right down to the gauzy bags themselves. So who are these people?
                                  Wissotzky Tea is an international, family-owned tea company based in Israel with offices in London and the United States. It is the leading tea distributor in Israel. Founded in 1849 in Moscow, Russia, it became the largest tea firm in the Russian Empire. That came from the press release, and since I’ve never had tea in Isreal, I believe it. International foods are a bit hit and they think Americans are ready for these new flavors:                  
                   Salted Caramel Chai: a sweet and savory beverage redolent of warm cinnamon, ginger root, cloves, sea salt, and cardamom.
                  Ginger and Turmeric: the earthy flavor of turmeric (known for its health benefits) blended with ginger root, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
                  Spiced Nana Mint: robust, flat-leaf Mediterranean mint complemented by cinnamon, ginger root, cloves, cardamom, and pepper.
                  Pumpkin Spiced Chai: a toasty balance of cinnamon and ginger with pumpkin pieces, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, and chili.
            My guest was a man who induges in tea daily and he couldn’t wait to get into these samplings. Merchants describe their chia  as “a blend of aromatic herbs, spices and black tea that can be enjoyed, as Indian custom dictates, sweetened with milk or iced for a uniquely refreshing experience.”
            I go for straight up without milk to enjoy a treat without those added calories. I’m doing iced in the summer but that pumpkin may be saved for the occasional Texas cool front. Come on and up that tea game. Here’s how Wissotzky Tea says to do it.
            Like all Wissotzky products, the Artisan Spiced Tea collection is kosher and non-GMO. It is available in packs of 6 per case (MSRP $4.99 per 16-serving box).
                             Lavish Leathers – It’s just because, you’ve got to look good shopping for, assembling and serving all these goodies, that Lavish Leathers designs quality and stylish baubles. They’re tagline is “Uniquely Beautiful, Uniquely You, Uniquely Lavish. The company found me when they were promoting little strips and shapes of leather incorporated into earrings and necklaces as stocking stuffers. Half a year later, I telling you I’m telling you my royal blue leather tassel necklace is getting noticed. This leather is lavish in look and feel and even fragrance. It’s rich. There’s a squared off purplish prism attached that I can’t help peeking through to see multiple everything in a bug-eyed way. That’s all natural charm for the lavish life.

                             Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who would try barbecue sauce from just about any serving vessel. She would love to hear from readers at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Walkabout for great new finds


                            My sister was on a whirlwind visit from Alabama and requested barbecue. We wanted flavor , not work, so I grabbed packaged pulled pork calling for your own sauce. Bam, a delivery of Hickey Bottom Barbecue Company products arrived on cue. Get it? Cue. So I texted her a photo of three bottles. She chose (wisely) the hot over honey and sweet. It was authentic and the kind of like around here in Southeast Texas. Awesome, as it is inspired by Pennsylvania ways. We’ll for sure get to those other bottles.
            On cue again, enter the Walking BBQ Lady. Not literally. Her story: “Rebecca McCrea, owner and founder of Hickey Bottom Barbecue Company, is currently walking a whopping 2,473 miles from Pennsylvania to Best Friends Animal Society’s Lifesaving Center in Los Angeles with her faithful, furry companion Arnie.  Why you may ask? Rebecca’s long, cross country journey is devoted to helping furry friends in need and raising money for the Ellen DeGeneres supported charity Best Friends Animal Society, a national, non-profit animal welfare organization…” McCrea  just had knee surgery and began walking in May. She named Hickey Bottom Barbecue Company after a quiet country road in western Pennsylvania, where she says hard-working folks do their best for their families and neighbors. That philosophy, and the great flavor this will add to your meats, is a winning goal  worth “walking” toward. For recipes  - there’s grillin’ rub and hot sauce, too - visit www.hickeybottombbq.com You can follow the walkin’ journey on Facebook.

            Happy Day for keto fans. First of all, I just love that it’s called Happy Day Brands. I con’t even consider myself a good pancake maker and this low-carb, grain-free and dairy free pancake mix produced a beautiful and delicious presentation. These people are  crafting all natural, Non-GMO and organic products that Americans are craving. They’re about responsible sourcing and inspiration and you ought to just smell the fair trade/organic coffee through the bag.  
            Every Happy Day product sold provides meals to those in need through their “Buy One. Give One” campaign in partnership with local food banks, and job training for women in transition. 
            The Keto pancake and waffle mix is the tops with, get this, almond, coconut and cassava flours, with a hint of natural sweetness from Monk Fruit, allows you to choose waffles, pancakes or crepes, sweet or savory. Superfood Oatmeal? They’ve got that. When you were a kid subject to commercials for sugary cereal, you wouldn’t have thought quinoa flakes, chia, golden flax, hemp and amaranth would get mixed into your breakfast. I feel better. That’s why this company’s motto is: EAT HEALTHY. LIVE HAPPY. DO GOOD™


            Koobah time – I can’t stop opening the Koobah jar to inhale its aroma. But it’s time to rub it into some meats and serve it with pita and Greek yogurt. The passed the “sprinkle-on-eggs” test and is ready for its intended purpose. Pereg Natural Foods (www.pereg-gourmet.com) suggests a Moroccan lamb grill.
            This New Jersey company says Baharat is simply the Arabic word for “spice,” but cooks in every Middle Eastern household know it as a basic seasoning blend. Their earthy Koobah variation starts with baharat and adds warm layers of cinnamon, allspice, rose, nutmeg, and coriander ideal for dry rubs on grilled chicken as well. The fragrance is like an adventure. The company’s garam masala goes Indian for curries, paneers, and tikka masala. It’s a now-through-fall blend of cardamom, cloves, cumin, fenugreek, coriander and brown sugar. Consider it health food to flavor legumes and vegetables. Or, as makers suggest, elevate your hamburger, ribs and steak. Pereg has been at it since 1906 in Clifton, N.J. www.pereg-gourmet.com.

                             Tea Time: Just because everyone at the table is obsessed with the boxes – how curtains or pajama pants or a desk set would look so exotic and like the owner was well traveled – doesn’t mean their focus should not be on the actual tea. The people at Wissotzky’s are focused on their flavorful teas with those something extras right down to the gauzy bags themselves. So who are these people?
                                  Wissotzky Tea is an international, family-owned tea company based in Israel with offices in London and the United States. It is the leading tea distributor in Israel. Founded in 1849 in Moscow, Russia, it became the largest tea firm in the Russian Empire. That came from the press release, and since I’ve never had tea in Isreal, I believe it. International foods are a bit hit and they think Americans are ready for these new flavors:                  
                   Salted Caramel Chai: a sweet and savory beverage redolent of warm cinnamon, ginger root, cloves, sea salt, and cardamom.
                  Ginger and Turmeric: the earthy flavor of turmeric (known for its health benefits) blended with ginger root, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.
                  Spiced Nana Mint: robust, flat-leaf Mediterranean mint complemented by cinnamon, ginger root, cloves, cardamom, and pepper.
                  Pumpkin Spiced Chai: a toasty balance of cinnamon and ginger with pumpkin pieces, cloves, cardamom, black pepper, and chili.
            My guest was a man who induges in tea daily and he couldn’t wait to get into these samplings. Merchants describe their chia  as “a blend of aromatic herbs, spices and black tea that can be enjoyed, as Indian custom dictates, sweetened with milk or iced for a uniquely refreshing experience.”
            I go for straight up without milk to enjoy a treat without those added calories. I’m doing iced in the summer but that pumpkin may be saved for the occasional Texas cool front. Come on and up that tea game. Here’s how Wissotzky Tea says to do it.
            Like all Wissotzky products, the Artisan Spiced Tea collection is kosher and non-GMO. It is available in packs of 6 per case (MSRP $4.99 per 16-serving box).
                             Lavish Leathers – It’s just because, you’ve got to look good shopping for, assembling and serving all these goodies, that Lavish Leathers designs quality and stylish baubles. They’re tagline is “Uniquely Beautiful, Uniquely You, Uniquely Lavish. The company found me when they were promoting little strips and shapes of leather incorporated into earrings and necklaces as stocking stuffers. Half a year later, I telling you I’m telling you my royal blue leather tassel necklace is getting noticed. This leather is lavish in look and feel and even fragrance. It’s rich. There’s a squared off purplish prism attached that I can’t help peeking through to see multiple everything in a bug-eyed way. That’s all natural charm for the lavish life.

                             Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who would love to hear from readers at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Got to get back to Bandera

 
Bandera.
It is small.
It is charming.
It is famous.




I spent one morning in scenic little Texas town and now I’m a big fan.
Bandera means “flag” in Spanish and it’s the Cowboy Capital of the World, set in the Texas Hill Country. You probably knew that. I feel like I’m about the last person to get there. And I love Texas.
You’re not likely to miss the cowboy connection, because downtown shops all have that general store kind of look. Even the general store has that going on. These stores are stocked with souvenirs like fun T-shirts and antiques tourist will bring home to ponder while they think about ways to get back  to Bandera,  like I plan to do. 
I was tipped off that if I wanted to see St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, established by Polish colonist who came to Bandera in 1855, I better get going because there was a big funeral that morning. At the church, they welcomed me in right along with the family. It was beautiful as promised. Later I was stopped when the main street got closed out for funeral traffic. 
     I heard how spicy bites at Fickle Pickle got their name because It might be kind of difficult to single out just one of the flavors pickled right in, so it gets “fickle.”  I love that they sold the sweet-and-sour marinade in  a bottle to use for other seasonings, because that’s what my mom does when she makes fire and ice pickles. Mom suggests marinating meat and boiled eggs in that green juice, which also makes a great slaw dressing.
  Someone had told me to have a beer at The Silver Dollar. Built in 1901, it is the oldest continuously operating honky-tonk in Texas. It was way too early for that kind of festivity. But I sure like the photograph I got. The door is at street-level then you go down the stairs to get a glimpse of the pool hall and dance floor.
     Birding at Medina River was another high point. There’s a whole lot more to do in this town. I was there with my husband at Sanctus Ranch in nearby Pipe Creek.  Deer roamed freely around all of these places. I simply could not believe how they pretty nearly come right up to my car. But I’m not playing around with those big guys. And I can’t say enough about the big, generous, good cooking family that runs the range. Hill country is just another area of Texas to Love. Texans brag because it’s true.
            Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who loves a good Texas roadtrip. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Take your diabetes to the Mediterranean


Kale, okay. I'm getting used to it.
Okra, sure, but you're telling me that's a thing in "The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook?"
It is. Amy Riolo's second edition, shows beautiful, café-worthy spreads in this book with the American Diabetes Association seal.

If  you've heard for years these foods are good for you, and if you're newly diagnosed and were about to complain about "limited' food choices, get a copy and get cooking. I want Corsican Prawns with Chickpea Cream and Calamari Stuffed with Spinach. Serve some rose tea with that and tomorrow I'll have Greek-Style Rice with Spinach and Lemon. Ancient Roman Pizza is this crazy-cool deal with figs and honey.
I've picked a recipe to share with you, and I haven't even gotten to the eggs part. 
The following is from the book and it can go as chunky salsa or finely chopped salad.

Peach, Black Bean and Citrus Salsa
Serves 10, about 2/3 cup

2 cups cooked black beans
2 peaches, chopped
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then let chill in the refrigerator for several hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve. 

 Cheese notes:
Chee
                  Are you interested in a young Dutch gouda from New Jersey? It kind of sounds like a pick-up line. It worked on me because I’m savoring Parrano® from Paramus, N.J. Pair with Parrano is a summer campaign and you can try their wares with “regular” people foods not necessarily associated with the word “pairing.” Burgers and jalapenos? We’re into that in Texas. So this not-too-hard and not-too-creamy white cheese has simply been a nice highlight of recent lunches and patio visits. The company’s description can’t be beat, so I won’t try to top it. Though I’d top a burger with the actual cheese. They say it’s a “

delicious cheese that is best described as capturing the nutty flavor and buttery aroma of fine, aged Italian Parmesan and the smooth, creamy texture of a young Dutch Gouda, bringing you the best of both worlds: a cheese that is full of flavor and versatile enough to cut, shred and melt.”
 That’s kinda funny, right? But this cheese is seriously good.



                             Steeped
                             Steeped Coffee is a start-to-finish escape from some good-thinking people of Santa Cruz, California. Using Business as a Force For Good makes is more than a motto as really fine flavors including Sunrise Blend, Eventide Decaf and Driftwood Blend come in guilt-free packaging with even eco-friendly water-based ink. Direct-trade coffee that tastes rich and full is memorable, as it comes in bags that work like tea bags. Just dunk California or Odyssey blends in hot water and the flavor of that coffee bean a farmer grew a world away is helping you begin a great day here in Southeast Texas. These bags ready in your pantry promise a slow-to-savor treat for yourself. You deserve it.
                  Darragh Castillo is a Port Arthur area foodie who would love to try the Mediterranean diet in the actual Mediterranean. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

Saturday, June 8, 2019

French Toast & other Father's Day delights



                             I’m some kind of food magnet, in the sense that high-quality, delicious food is always coming into my life, for free. “Hey, do you want this?” is a welcome phrase I hear all the time and I’m trying to hold my mouth just right so that never changes.


                             My husband helped a friend move and that’s how contents from his healthy fridge came to my house. I soaked some of his tofu in the Newman’s Own sesame-ginger dressing  in inherited for a weekend lunch. He left something I’ve always wanted to try: Ezekiel 4:9, Food For Life sprouted 100 percent whole grain bread. This loaf weighs one and a half pounds. The bread in this bag went toward my husband’s new “thing” for French toast.
                             I had so many toppings to try on my toast that I cut my piece into quadrants. The first bite overflowed with raw honey from Caledonia Spirits, a craft distillery in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. Local beekeepers source the raw honey for Landcrafted spirits. It has not been heated or filtered and keeps beneficial traces of pollen, propolis and beeswax. I’m not sure if anyone from my house will read this, but I’ll tell y’all. I’m hiding this little jar and keeping it for my own self. It’s thick and rich and spreadable. And it’s mine, now.
                             Other squares of my Ezekiel bread went to Runamok Maple’s Vermont Organic collection: Jasmine Tea infused, Makrut Lime-Leaf Maple and Rum Barrel-Aged. You get it, it’s gourmet. If your “roomies” are used to over-the-counter syrup on their French toast, they might not “get it.” So I suggest you let them experiment with these fancy flavors on other foods, from crackers and cheese to fruit. Let it shine on it’s own. Or, just hide it in the pantry for yourself. Look below for a recipe:

                  So fathers who enjoy French toast breakfast in bed may  also enjoy the following indulgences:
            * Runamok Maple’s Hugs All Around

Gently pour the lager into a tall, chilled glass.  Add one or two teaspoons of Runamok Maple’s Hibiscus Maple Syrup to taste.  Top with a few drops of bitters, stir and enjoy.


            * Tom Cat Gin is from Caledonia Spirits and illustrates, to the taste buds, why we need to keep our nation’s bees healthy. A Northeast Kingdom area bee keeper and farmer in Vermont blends raw honey with juniper for this one and is keeping the spirit alive in a way as equally as exciting as the black cat story on the back of the label. Botanicals, baby. Look for the bee on the front label and again, take it slow. The provided Kettlebell recipe below is designed around elements already in the “spirit.”  


One and a half ounces Bar Hill Gin
.75 ounces Amaro Meletti
.25 ounces Luxardo Maraschino
 .75 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz. honey syrup (2:1 by weight)
2 dashes grapefruit bitters
Combine ingredients in mixing tin, add ice, shake, and double strain into coupe. Garnish with an orange twist (also a thyme prig if available).





                  * Deep Summer – Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s spiced summer seasonal, Deep Summer Ale, is a way to support a Texas business. It’s a not-your-father’s-Father’s Day treat, because granddads could probably not imagine lemon peel, hibiscus and chamomile flowers in their brewski. These flavors make one slow down to appreciate the flavors. It’s a slow cocktail thing for me, though makers suggest it for jamming at music fests, too. Just a summer or two ago I’d have thought this odd. Now it’s a lovely flavor, much more than a trend. 


                  Mount Gay Rum Black Barrel – I’d seen this brand on a shelf and can now say this smooth and complex blend from “the oldest rum house in the world” stands out in a glass. Established in 1703, this Barbados Rum stands out in a glass by itself, though makers are happy to promote various cocktails, including one with rhubarb in the title. We are not experienced with this in the south, so on to something our oil-business fathers may be more familiar with in this area of Texas, a drink called Black Gold, in a “nick and nora glass.” You may have to look that up.  Orgeat is a cool drink. The ingredient below is a French almond syrup. Pronounced or-zhat, it was originally made from barley and used as a shelf-stable substitute for milk. Sounds like a dairy-free trend from long ago. Now, for some Black Gold.

                            

            Black Gold

            2 ounces Mount Gary Rum Black Barrel
            .5oz. Orgeat (Use Small Hands)            
            .5oz. Lime Juice           
            2 dashes of Angostura           
            Add all ingredients to a tin, shake and strain into chilled nick and nora. Garnish with a lime peel.
           
            Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who knows her father would have been fine with a plate of lima beans and rice this Father’s Day. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Loving foods and food is love


                 
                  Hang on Culinary Thrill Seekers. Read up about the local business For the Love of Foods and a book called “Food is Love.” Foodies, this is our stuff:


For the Love of Foods
                If you call yourself a foodie, you have probably already supported For the Love of Foods, the celebrated, cheerfully appointed, much-praised meal provider based in both Nederland and Beaumont.
                I’m a believer, and it took me way too long to make my first visit. A gift card prompted me. It’s not quite right to say I was pleasantly surprised, because I fully anticipated it would be a lovely experience. I just had to wait until my Mom could come with me. Now she’s a believer, too.
                I made a noonish pre-visit to the cheerful Beaumont location that’s adorned with sunflowers in the window box. All the foods were packaged in black boxes with clear lids in a fashion that would thrill the most OCD neat freak from any kitche. Spiffy millennials  were actively scanning labels for content and I heard everything was basically $10.
                Armed with the lowdown, I went back with my Mom and we selected Asian meatloaf, a Cobb Salad and a salmon dish. Sides were combos of rice, green beans, etc. The whole idea is to have healthy, quick meals at the ready. We could not help mixing and matching at the table so four people actually enjoyed their fill that night.
                The menu rotates so you can check it all out on Facebook.
                I’m thrilled that my octogenarian mom is planning to head back, to stock up on healthy – and very delicious – options. For the Love of Foods should make any foodie feel like they have the energy of a bright, yellow sunflower.
            Update: Mom’s headed back for a third round of stock-up meals.






                  Food is Love.
                             There are no rules in food and love.
                             Those lines are a way to look at life, and “Food is Love” is also the title of Angelique Santana's book.
                  Food is sharing.
                  Food is receiving.
                  Food is adventure.
                  Food is inspiring.
                  Warmth, Caring, Abundant: in your own blank. I know you’ve got one.
                             While this book reflects the thoughts of many, and the some recipes reflect certain refined tastes – or adventuresome culinary thrill seeking – I think it’s good for both experienced and novice cooks.
                             Crab-less cakes and beet smoothie are short recipes requiring as much adventure as skill. So I think a book full of quickies that are full of flavor, such as garlic smash, eggplant stacks and chickpea tuna are good ones for those just starting to feel their overnight oats. This book is refreshing, and nourishing.
                             Here are a few simple offerings from the book that should make a diner grateful:

                             Lentil Gravy
                             1 cup lentils, green or brown, dry
                             3 cups water One half teaspoon sea salt
                             One fourth teaspoon black pepper
                             In a medium pot, cook 1 cup lentils in 3 cups water until tender. Add lentils to a high-speed blender along with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, adding additional water until you reach your desired consistency.

                             Cilantro Lime Slaw
                             4 cups cabbage (green or napa) thinly sliced.
                             1 bunch cilantro, chopped
                             4 tablespoons lime juice
                             One half cup vegan mayo
                             1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                             1 teaspoon sea salt
                             One fourth teaspoon black pepper
                             Shred cabbage, rinse and place in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
                             Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who knows food is love. Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Summer Lovin' these new finds


                 
Summer’s here, according to the fiscal, if not actual, calendar. As you approach party season, consider some of  these “new” things I’ve had the good fortune to encounter:

                             FONDBone Broth Tonics
                             FOND is the brand of a bone broth that is made with such love, I feel like I want to be “worthy” of the family that created it. “Broth on!” is Alysa Seeland’s message on a note called the The FOND Story. Her broths are rich, nutrient-dense liquids made with bones of an animal and cooked for a period of 16-24 hours in the case of chicken bone broth. She calls her blends tonics as they’re infused with flavor combos and called inspirational names such as Liquid Light, Inside Job and The Spur.
                             I’d heard a bit of “the talk” on bone broth and this one discusses points like gut health, soothing inflammation, amino acids for respiratory  health and improved digestion, nutrient superfoods, healthy bone formation, collagen for healthy skin and weight maintenance. Here are some outlines of mixtures:
                             Youth Tonic – It wasn’t just because of the shitake, shallot and sage that I grabbed Youth tonic first. I mean, Thanksgiving in a jar is a strong endorsement, but who wouldn’t want a tonic of youth?
                             Trolley Dodger – This one is described as a fun, tangy bone broth tonic infused with a surprising combination of lemon, garlic, radish and onions. Customers say “excellent antidote for a late night.
                             FYI, I can virtually guarantee you’ll invest some time in soaking off the labels so as to re-use the attractive Mason jar packaging. This is such a home-style product that you’ll want to re-use the jars to give other items in your pantry a homemade flair. It sealed the deal that I found Seeland’s note encouraging keeping the decorative packing box for future use, as I had already done so.  FOND cares.
                            
                 

                  Simple Mills
                             Almond flour mix goes into naturally gluten-free brownies from Simple Mills. I promise, they are as quick and easy to make as any other brownie mix and the results are superior. The texture is moist and the chocolate is gooey and yes, you’d better divide up the servings and put some away before you eat the whole pan. Make your piece the last one out, so you can scrape up any edges and crumbs that remain. Everyone who I allowed to sample Simple Mills brownie was down with it. Wait, Simple Mills also has a chocolate muffin and cake mix, but that’s still on the pantry shelf for a special occasion (like this weekend?)
                             Simple Mills is going for “clean, nutritious foods for a better life – it’s that simple.” They call it “full-body, inside-out happiness” for a well-being that starts within. The line includes several baking mixes and dietician-approved almond flour flavored crackers, including Smokey BBQ Cheddar and Fine Ground Sea Salt. I’ve been enjoying those with salads. People trying to eat better don’t have to do without. There’s usually a flavorful work-around. Simple Mills has found several.
                 
                  Pretzels to your door
                        Straight outta Boston, Eastern Standard Provisions Company is offering a new line of gourmet, handcrafted snacks. Doesn’t hand-tied pretzels sound better than what’s in that snack machine?
Top Knot, Wheelhouse, and Turnbuckle with dipping sauces Party Queso Dip and Get Lost Maui Onion Mustard are, according to these Boston fellows, crafted with the finest ingredients and ready to ship to you from www.esprovisions.com. There’s credentials and awards and 209 years of hospitality experience behind these fresh pretzels that you pop in the oven to make your whole house in Texas smell like their bakery, I suppose.
I’m boiling the rest of my thoughts into this thought, and will say now that my mother agrees with me: Tear off a chunk of fresh, hot, fragrant bread and dip it in sweet & sour Maui onion mustard, and you’ll be a believer. It’s that simple.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie who’s motto is “Try it, I’ll Like it, Most of the Time.” Reach her at darraghcastillo@icloud.com