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Grilling Weekend: Chicken and Ribs

Veggie Market

The hot weather continues here in central Texas; which isn’t much news if you’re familiar with the region. Nothing swirling in the Gulf to cool us off either. Which means It’s Grilling Time again!

Wifey got home from playing with the new baby, her sister’s, for what seemed like a month. It wasn’t quite that long, of course. That’s only because PJ has a lot of stuff to get done before the summer’s over, though, otherwise she’d still be there (I think).

Once it was clear she would actually be at the Ranch for the weekend, we loaded up and headed to our favorite grocery to get some more charring comestibles. Chicken and ribs looked good, as did a few veggies. We didn’t get many of the herbaceous rations, though; we were planning to visit the local Farmers’ Markets on Saturday morning for those. Road Trip!

Speaking of which, the New Braunfels market was very nice. And busy! They’re located next door to the Friesenhaus Restaurant & Bakery on Castell Avenue, just a couple blocks off the old square downtown. There’s plenty of free parking in the area as well, which is always a nice draw.

The list of vendors is quite large, running to nearly 70 companies and groups. Not all of them are present every time, and on this day I’d say there was about 45 or so. Offerings included fresh-baked breads, granola, arts and crafts, flowers and German food in addition to the expected veggies. Bison steaks, handmade fountain pens, fresh tamales, herbs of all sorts, Mediterranean dishes, and live music. What’s not to like? One fine feature of this market is that everything must be made locally/regionally, by those who sell their wares there. No “contract sellers,” no importing and retailing some wholesale stuff from states away.

Scallop squash

We traveled around the circle looking and tasting, then went back around again after conferring on what we wanted to buy. The Texas Olive Ranch had some phenomenal oils and vinegars for sale. (I got the mesquite-smoked oil for steaks and salads.) We snagged a container of Kelly Jo’s signature avocado salsa. The sales fella for Kelly Jo said he had been making the salsas just that morning, before making the trip down from south Austin. PJ locked in on the squash, both zucchini and “cow patty.” I gathered in some chiles, of course: JalapeƱo and a set called green salsa. They’re long and thin, much narrower than an Anaheim but nearly as long. Supposedly they have a different flavor than the usual zesty chiles, and work especially well in salsa cruda.

Once we had our loot in the boot, we headed home to sort out the goodies and get the grill fired up. The highlight of the weekend was the ribs; once again,we made ribs that were better than you-know-who’s. Even her mom had to agree. (Well, what she agreed to was that Jess and I needed to settle it on the field of battle. Bobby Flay, you better run for cover! Iron Chef America, look out!) So I guess that settles it.

The week ahead may see thunderstorms. Time to get out the lightning attractor golf umbrella so I can continue the Summer of Grilling in style…

Enjoy the (Market and Grill) Heat!

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