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!