Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Save the Livers

A dear family friend of ours fearlessly braved the full gamut of Texas Thanksgiving weather variants in order to deep fry turkeys for a crowd that grew in numbers year by year. Balmy breeze or freezing rain, it mattered not. Occasionally he raised a toast to the laid out feast. At some point prior to the fried bird being carved, he would exclaim with gusto in his best Julia Child voice, "Save the livahs!"...This fryer extraordinaire and his family moved to the Woodlands a few years ago, and our turkey days have never been quite the same. Every year about this time, when I start making vague plans around who thinks they will be here and what we will do about eating that day, I think about our transplanted friends and miss them even more.

Those families you share meals with - they are the special ones. Biologic, adopted, it matters not.But more to the point, here in Texas, we can be (politics aside) like one big happy (dysfunctional) family when it comes to being proud. Part of that pride grows out of how large a state we are and how, with that wide expanse of territory, we claim an amazing array of foods that are all "Texan", and past that, "Local".

So it is with no small amount of native puffery that I throw this blog into the ring with others to promote the first ever Go Texan Restaurant Round Up.On October 1st, the front end of Texas Wine Month, participating restaurants all around the state will be featuring special menus highlighting Texas specialties - foods and wines from the Lone Star State.More importantly, when you check the listings for your area, you will see various restaurants have one or more stars by their names, indicating that part or all of the proceeds of the dinners purchased on this date at their venue will be donated to support local food bank(s) - like Trio Restaurant at the Four Seasons here in Austin (photo: Chef Elmar Prambs)You know, in an article on steps retirees can take to try and survive the current economic crisis, I read the surest way to cut costs was to curtail eating out. However, when it comes to a triple threat like the Go Texan Restaurant Round Up, I think even the thriftiest of us might make an exception.

You can support your home (or adopted) state, have a delicious meal, and support local food banks who are all struggling to meet the increasing demands placed upon them by growing numbers of folks who cannot afford to feed themselves nutritiously without some extra assistance. Including a lot of displaced folks from Ike.

Our friends in the Woodlands are some of the lucky ones. Their extended family rode the storm out with them in relative safety. While they lost several huge trees their home is intact, and a few days ago their power came back on.

How good is that? Go Texas on Wednesday October 1st - select a participating restaurant in the Round Up and eat out. Why, it is practically your duty as a Texan. Y'all enjoy now, you hear?!

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