Austin to Boston

To: Austin

From: Boston

I am taking part in a holiday swap, from Austin to Boston. Every Boston food blogger who signed up for the swap was paired with an Austin food blogger. The task at hand: send and receive a package of local goodies totaling ~$30. Mail it, blog it, tweet it, love it #atxbos.

My Austin match is perfect. Julie of Kitschn Calamities is a grad student at the University of Texas (where my dad went to school) and she is studying astronomy (I’m named after a comet, for crying out loud.) It’s been a delight to get to know each other through this swap!

To fill the box, I made a trip to the nearest farmer’s market before it closed for the winter. I found a nice array of local food items that are non-perishable and unique. I also found a few items at Whole Foods.

I went for pantry staples like syrup, jam, and dressing. Each item came from a farm or bakery in New England.

Plum Jam from Silverbrook Farm in Dartmouth, MA.

The crackers and spice mix came from a Sofra bakery and cafe in Cambridge, MA.

Pure Vermont maple syrup from Cook’s farm and bakery can go to a hundred different uses in the kitchen: marinade, glazes, baked goods, and of course, pancakes topping.

Fresh cranberry vinaigrette (I so did not know that word was spelled that way) from the Berry Guys in Carver, Ma.

And, something sweet: a vegan peanut butter cookie by Boston Cookies.

To make this package extra special, I threw in a few home touches: a Christmas bear, autumn leaves pasted to a set of canvases, and a set of eco-friendly pinch bowls. Plus, a Sofra recipe card for pumpkin jam and a handwritten note by yours truly!

This Christmas bear was actually stashed in my closet for the past few years, never seeing the light of day. Recalling what I learned from Toy Story, I decided to pass him onto the next family forĀ  change at a happy toy life.

I picked up these bright yellow leaves on one of my many foliage walks this past fall. I stuck them to three small canvases with two coats of Mod Podge, then tied them in a stack with an equally sunny yellow ribbon.

The prep bowls came from Whole Foods. They were so tiny and cute, I just had to buy them. So small, in fact, they almost didn’t make it into the package at all. Justin spotted them behind a box of tissues as I started taping the package shut.

I mailed it out last week, so Julie should be enjoying the contents by now. I’ll be sure to post more when my box arrives and share the details of all the Texas goodies she sends up North!

Have you ever participated in a holiday swap: Yankee, blogger, or otherwise?


  1. Too awesome. I just finished shopping for #atxbos yesterday! I’ve met Julie!

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  2. What a wonderful package! My two favorite items are the maple syrup (I’m obsessed) and the autumn leaves pasted to canvas. So thoughtful since we basically don’t get a real fall here in Austin!

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    • Julie liked the maple syrup too :) It’s funny that I have such easy access to the real stuff, but I don’t actually like it. I’m happy to ship down bottles in exchange for “real” barbecue sauce anytime!

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  3. When I came home, the box was sitting on my porch. Thanks so much! I had to tell my husband to back off the peanut butter cookie. I’m super excited about the zataar spice and the maple syrup. Those are two things that I just haven’t been able to find in Austin! And future baby Ramona will put your bear to good use! :)

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