Posts Tagged ‘Wheatsville Co-op’

Last-minute shopping for presents

Hours at the main Lammes Candies store today and tomorrow are from 8 am until 6:30 pm, and on Christmas Eve the doors will be open from 8 am until 5 pm. This is the home of Lammes famous proprietary specialties: Texas Chewie Pralines, Longhorns, sherbet mints, and more. The pralines are available in a new variation for the first time this year, with habanero chiles. Lammes is where to find chocolate coins wrapped in christmas colors as well as the usual gold, silver, and copper, some stamped with armadillos. Lammes is where to find fresh almond and pecan nut barks, both in milk and in dark chocolate. Lammes is where to find Boston-style intensely flavored fruit slices and its own chocolate-covered orange peels with a choice of light or dark chocolate. Confectionery is available both in bulk (pick your own) and in various prewrapped boxes and novelty containers, ready for giving.

At BookPeople, we found that all the free Chronicle anniversary calendars have been carried off. It appears that there’ll be few if any Christmas and New Year’s greeting cards available when the post-holiday sales arrive, because almost everything has been sold. My favorite tee-shirt says something like “BookPeople: zombie-free since 19xx” but I can’t be more specific since the size that we wanted is sold out right now and we didn’t come home with one. BookPeople is where to find your “Keep Austin Weird” gifts, as always. BookPeople will be open on Christmas Eve from 9 am to 9 pm, and on Christmas Day itself from noon to 6 pm so that we can use our BookPeople gift cards and divest ourselves of all the surplus cash giftery.

Pick up state maps and guidebooks free at the Capitol Visitors Center in the old General Land Office, right in the Capitol grounds at Eleventh Street. The gift shop has something for everyone, from the very inexpensive (post cards, plus magnets of everything from the Texas state seal to the Gonzales flag [“come and take it”]) to the more expensive but very reasonably priced Capitol annual souvenir ornaments, books about Texas, and much, much more. People were buying baby bibs in the form of the Texas flag and, for older children, sheriff-type toy badges with personalized names. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to take a photograph of a group of visitors from out of town or from another country entirely, so that everyone in the group may be in the picture.

Wheatsville Co-op is another fine last-minute venue for the last-minute shopper or the shopping-shy. Although it’ll be closed on Christmas Day itself, Wheatsville will be open on Christmas Eve from the usual 7:30 am right up until 7 pm. Once that fresh organic turkey is in the cart, those taking a little time to look around will see many Austin- or Wheatsville-specific presents (tee-shirts, reusable shopping bags, locally produced salsas, and way more). Wheatsville always has a fine selection of bandannas, in colors not always easy to find elsewhere.

I forgot to check about holiday hours at Tesoros on South Congress, but this is another stress-free place to find presents (milagros, ornaments for Christmas trees, calendars from Mexico, and textiles from around the world, to name just a few) for the hard-to-please people on your gift list, along with presents for yourself that you didn’t even know you were seeking.

Don’t spoil your mood; go where people are happy and friendly, staff and shoppers alike. Buy local, free of frazzle, and buy jolly.

Wheatsville renewing

Wheatsville Co-opOutdoors at Wheatsvile Co-op, not all is neat or tidy. Inside, parts are entirely renovated and parts are still being worked on.

It’s all beginning to take shape, though: a new kitchen and other food-preparation areas, new (and more) cases for frozen food, and just plain more space. The air-conditioning is now very evident.

I find it endearing that Wheatsville still stocks Ranch Style Beans, Ro-Tel, and, yes, Velveeta, right alongside all the new-age items without which Austin wouldn’t be itself, because Austin wouldn’t be itself without Ro-Tel and the rest, either. The takeaway food, especially the gazpacho, was tempting, and those crazy Blue Q totes are on sale.

Kuisine cuisine discovered anew

We used to buy samosa in fairly large quantities, ones made by Kala’s Kuisine and almost always available at MGM Indian Foods, among other places. Then this tasty item was not to be found; the word was that Kala had stopped bringing this vegetarian treat around and we couldn’t find it anywhere, but we missed it and always kept hoping to find it again.

It must have been a matter of looking in the wrong places or of giving up too soon. We’ve just found Kala’s samosa again, at the Farm to Market Grocery on South Congress. Somebody reports that Kala’s Kuisine is at Wheatsville, too. These days, there’s a samosa trio packed in a clear case along with a tamarind sauce.

This food tastes just as good as it ever did: wonderful! I’m so glad to have noticed it there in the cold case. I find the included tamarind sauce (ingredients listed as tamarind, dates, pineapple, tomato paste, ginger, salt, and spices) a bit too sweet for me and so accompany the samosa treat with mint chutney, but others like the tamarind accompaniment almost better than the samosa itself! Potatoes don’t taste any better than this.

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