Austin Grocer Now there’s no need to leave the house for weeks, if we’re snowbound (not likely!). Thanks to the South Austin Farmers’ Market in the El Gallo parking lot, we have more of the very best and tastiest spinach I’ve ever tasted, and organic as a bonus. Rudolph’s Christmas tree lot next to the Taco Xpress Walgreens on Lamar is sold out; the Austin Optimists (North Lamar at San Gabriel) still had a good selection last I knew. At the Farm to Market Grocery on South Congress there are still a few little items celebrating one entire year of existence. And Chef Keem has rolled out several elegant new flavors of his chocolate bars, including Bavarian hazelnut coffee bean and spiced rum raisin, wrapped in foil and slid into a custom Farm to Market Grocery wrapper printed on elegant laid paper. Heading for the H-E-B at Oltorf and Congress after a quest at Sun Harvest that didn’t net the sought-after item but did result in finding some good seed packets, we sat for a while at the Thornton Road grade-crossing for a train so long that it had a pusher unit at the end. At H-E-B we found everything on the list, including all three El Galindo products (unsalted chips and both corn and wheat tortillas). On the way out, we encountered a living person unloading the contents of several carts and placing certain perishable items in insulated containers (partially visible at right) with chill-packs. We had seen the Austin Grocer van in this lot more than once, but had never seen more. I asked permission to take this picture and learned a lot about how this service works. If I had remembered its existence, I would have been glad to avail myself of it several times during the past year. I won’t forget again. So, we’re home in plenty of time before the broadcast of Don Carlo. My guess is that rain’s a more likely prospect, but I’m ready for anything. Let it snow!

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