Texas week, y’all: ATX-BOS holiday blogger swap

Although I’m a transplant to the Boston area, this place is definitely my home now. I have a dog named after a Red Sox announcer, I gave birth to our son at Beth Israel Deaconess, and I know what people mean when they ask for a carriage at the grocery store. When Boston Food Bloggers called for members interested in a holiday gift swap with our Austin, TX brethren, I jumped in but not only because I’m proud of my adopted home. As it turns out, I also have ties to the Lonestar State’s official home of Keeping It Weird, through my parents who moved to Austin over a decade ago.

I may have sounded a little excited explaining all this to Eli of Grubbus (omgmyparentsliveinAustinandit’ssohotinsummerheyyouhavefamilyinMichiganmetoo!). But that didn’t seem to deter my swap partner, so I got to work finding some local items and wrapping them up in Boston-appropriate decorations.

Want to see what I enclosed in maps of North Reading (where we live), the Boston marathon course, Paul Revere’s historical run, and the MBTA subway system? Follow past the jump.

After a few weeks of swappers block, it dawned on me: Zachary’s ball. The author/illustrator, Matt Tavares, is a long-time friend of my husband (they both grew up in Winchester, a Boston suburb). The story is very Boston, centered around a boy’s love of baseball and the Red Sox. So I got a signed copy & stuck it in the swap box.

Next, another Boston fixture: Dunkin Donuts. I read that Eli is a coffee fan, but Dunkin’s coffee is… well, I don’t think it’s for specialists or connoisseurs. So I figured he can brew his own but still rock some East Coast cred with this mug.

Eli told me he and his wife have two kids, so I thought I’d ruin their attempts at establishing healthy eating practices and get them some candy (some nascent RD I am, huh?). The tasty little mice from Burdick Chocolate – a New England company with a store in Cambridge’s Harvard Square – were just the thing.

To top it all off, I wanted to send something from the Eating The Week kitchen (besides my dirty dishes). From the nut butter post, I whipped up a batch of natural almond butter and crossed my fingers hoping that no one in the Castro house has a nut allergy.

I hope Eli enjoys the fruits of Beantown. Now I’m looking forward to a little taste of Austin, and glad for the chance to learn about another great community of food bloggers!


  1. Jodi says:

    Mmmm homemade nut butter?! Eli – if anyone in your family is allergic, I’ll take it!!

    • eatingtheweek says:

      With a decently powered food processor, it’s super easy to make your own! A few cups of nuts, a pinch of salt, and a few minutes in the processor.

      Er, I mean… I spent hours working all those complex ingredients into homemade nut butter for the gift swap.

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