Hot ‘Cue, Hot Rods, Haute Whiskey

Photo credit: Treaty Oak Distilling

Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and for all you folks out there jonesing to get out and do something, have I got news for you! Treaty Oak Distilling and Smoke + Mash are throwing a shindig that combines three of my very favorite things: smoked meats, delicious libations, and hot rods.

On May 29th Treaty Oak Distilling Ranch is hosting an all-day BBQ expo featuring delicious offerings from ranch resident Alice’s Restaurant, six-time World Barbecue Champion pitmaster Tuffy “The Professor” Stone, third-generation North Carolina pitmaster Sam Jones , and award winning pitmaster Moe Cason. Each vendor is offering a tasting plate of excellent ‘cue that showcases their particular style and flavor profile.

Guests may purchase $5 tickets (one ticket per tasting plate of barbecue), and enjoy drinks from the bar in Alice’s Restaurant while listening to live music by the Hot Texas Swing Band, Night Cap, and Deezie Brown. The event benefits Southern Smoke, a nonprofit that provides emergency relief for people in the food and beverage community, and Tate Farms in Rockwall, Texas. Southern Smoke distributed more than $6 million dollars to 2,744 service industry people during the March 2020 – March 2021 portion of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the nonprofit has supported people and industry organizations with upwards of $8 million in donations. Tate Farms is a fourth-generation ranch whose event barn was destroyed in an April fire. Tate Farms has been raising Hereford cattle for over 50 years, selling their grass-fed and finished beef to the public.

During this event, Treaty Oak Distilling launches their new, limited-edition Red, White & Blue Single Barrel Whiskey. Whiskey connoisseurs, the Red, White & Blue will be available all day for purchase, and through July 4th or until all 210 bottles have sold. Don’t sleep on this one, or you’ll miss out. The whiskey is a three-year old Texas bourbon that was barrelled in March 2018. Bottled at 123.5 proof, Red, White & Blue Single Barrel is made with heirloom Bloody Butcher corn, white corn and Hopi blue corn, delighting the palate with roasted caramel, cinnamon and raisin flavor on the nose, smoothing out to a spicy earthiness. For each bottle sold, Treaty Oak will donate $5 to USA Cares, a national non-profit providing post-9/11 veterans and their families with emergency financial assistance.

Photo credit: Treaty Oak Distilling

Austin Speed Shop’s hot rod car show starts at 2pm. Anyone familiar with Austin Speed Shop knows they produce the most stylish customized cars around. This show will have a mix of cars, both completely customized, as well as ones preserved true to their time period. Expect plenty of circling around a car to take in every meticulous detail, and selfie opps, of course.

Photo credit: Treaty Oak Distilling

The weather should be beautiful, after our mid-month rains, and this is the perfect occasion to enjoy stellar smoked meats and liquor crafted from heirloom grains. Come eat, sip, enjoy, relax and appreciate, knowing that your good time will positively affect change in the lives of others.

  • Location: Treaty Oak Distilling Ranch, 16604 Fitzhugh Road, Dripping Springs, TX 78620.
  • Time: Treaty Oak Smoke + Mash runs noon – close, with the car show beginning at 2pm.
  • Tickets: Free entry to Treaty Oak Ranch, $5 per BBQ sample plate, tickets available for purchase onsite. Cash bar for drinks.
Categories: Barbecue, Benefit, Food Event, Liquor, Meat, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Sickness” and Thanksgiving

In my house we cope with life’s downturns with joking and laughter. Our gallows humor got us through my father’s dying, from the time of his terminal cancer diagnosis to the first day he accepted that death would not be put off, to the seconds after his actual passing. It’s our family’s way. That said, my son has put his foot down and refused to take part in referring to all normal activity pre-COVID as things that happened “before the sickness.” I deliver this line in total scary movie voice, of course. Unfortunately, my kid has drawn the line, and I can’t seem to talk other family members into joining me. We were all in agreement, however, on keeping to our traditional holiday meal for Thanksgiving. (Except my husband, the turkey-hater, who would rather eat anything else, but he was overruled.)

Does anyone else feel weird about Thanksgiving now that we’ve grown as a nation and admitted that our European ancestors basically dropped anchor, unloaded the Uhaul and stole land from the Indigenous People? Half of my family makeup were Indigenous Mexican American, so they were here already, but the other half immigrated from England, Northwestern Europe and Scotland. Most of them came here for cheap land, although some might’ve been on the run from the law. We’ve always been big on a “fresh start.” I think for my family, we celebrate Thanksgiving as a time to express gratitude for what we enjoy in life, in all the various ways we experience comfort, happiness and joy.

This year we’ll smoke our turkey in our Orion Cooker, and have our cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows, broccoli, cheese and rice casserole from my old Cotton Country Collection cookbook, both dinner rolls and King’s Hawaiian rolls (my son’s request), and of course, pies. My mother makes pecan pie and pumpkin pie, and I might make a chocolate pecan pie for my sweet husband. He’s been extra supportive in this rough year, and deserves a treat. We’ll end up with too much food for 3 adults and one middle schooler, but I’ll be happy for leftovers. There’s nothing tastier than a warm turkey and dressing sandwich, with a smear of cold cranberry sauce, right?

How are you celebrating the holiday in this season of “the sickness?” What traditions are you forgoing, for the sake of social distancing?

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Alamo Drafthouse Reopens

Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

Alamo Drafthouse is reopening two of its Austin theaters this week. Movie goers may choose between seeing films at Lakeline or at Slaughter Lane. The movie selection, like the food & beverage menu, is radically slimmed down, but that’s to be expected in this ongoing pandemic.

Here’s how Alamo is handling showing films in the midst of COVID-19:

  • Limited seat availability to ensure a minimum of 2 empty seats on either size of your party. These “buffer seats” offer at least six feet of distance between you and other movie goers.
  • Guests, who must maintain 6′ of distance between themselves and people not in their party, may not arrive earlier than 30 minutes prior to showtime. A staff member will perform a temperature check, and guests will proceed directly to their seats.
  • All food and drinks are ordered prior to arrival online when purchasing your tickets. You may not order anything when you’re in the theater, although refills of soda and popcorn are allowed.
  • Restrooms will have social distancing markings on floor.
  • Masks for everyone, all the time. This means employees as well as guests. You may take off your mask to eat and drink, but cover up once you’re finished your meal or popcorn. If you only order a drink, you’ll be expected to wear that mask between sips, unless you’re chugging it. Actually, the last one is not spelled out in their policy, but what I’m hoping will happen. If you forget your mask (or “forget” wink wink nudge nudge for you anti-maskers), you will be given one. No mask, no movie.
  • The limited menu will still offer vegan and gluten-free options, and is heavily focused on pizza. Fans of the chicken tenders, fish & chips and that tasty Buffalo Cauliflower will be relieved to find these entrees made the list. The beverage menu is reduced to closed containers such as “cans, bottles, paper cups with lids or other sealed vessels.”
  • When the movie is over, guests will exit by row, presumably from those closest to the screen first. This allows proper social distancing, and eliminates overcrowding in the exit hallway.
  • Team members will wear gloves in addition to masks, and will wash their hands and don new gloves every thirty minutes.
  • The theater will have hand sanitizer widely available, and sanitizing wipes at your table.
  • All auditoriums will be disinfected between screenings with professional grade cleaners.
  • The kitchen, bathroom and other high traffic areas will have routine, scheduled deep cleaning. Additionally, foodstuffs delivered to the kitchen will also be sanitized.

I’ve been scrupulously avoiding people not in my “quarantine bubble,” but have had to venture out to grocery stores from time to time. I’ve experienced grocery shoppers invade my personal space each time, but luckily have not ended up with the virus. Alamo Drafthouse has adopted pandemic policies and procedures that are much stricter than grocery stores, making it very attractive to take the plunge and venture out for a night of entertainment.

If you’re like me (high risk, cautious), you have to put a toe in the water to check the temp before jumping in. Because many people are still in the “not yet” frame of mind, I feel like a movie during the early part of Alamo’s opening will be my safest bet. All team members will be fanatic about sanitizing efforts, and no one has been in these auditoriums for months. My tween son has been suffering from lack of socialization, so this seems like a perfect opportunity to add some outside-the-home entertainment. I do worry that as time goes by, the staff will grow complacent, lax about the frequent hand washing, glove changes, and sanitizing efforts. It’s up to theater leadership to ensure they stay compliant with their strong and clear policies and procedures. What do you think, Austin? Are we ready to be back in movie theaters, with precautions?

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