Take Me to the Sandlot – Texas Monthly

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In the Texas Monthly Recommends series, Texas monthly writers, editors, photographers and producers offer their favorite recent cultural discoveries from the great state of Texas.

One of my fondest memories of growing up in small town Texas is watching Little League baseball games in the spring. Fields were among the first places I could gather and socialize with my peers without adult supervision. Children of all ages ran, played and chatted as the sun set and the stadium lights came on, attracting all the bugs in the county. When we got tired, we prepared four quarters each and exchanged them for snow cones at the Lions Club stand. Only the bravest kid would get the flavor of pickle juice.

I can’t go back, of course, but I plan to attend a few sandlot games this season to cheer on local Austin team, the Texas Playboys (with Texas monthlyby John Spong). The original sandlot-style games prioritize camaraderie over competition and are a true Texas original, the creation of an Austin architect who just wanted to play ball with his creative friends. The atmosphere is more block party than MLB, with live music, fundraisers for local nonprofits, and pop-up vendors selling vintage, vinyl, great food and, this weekend -end, Lone Star tattoos. Instead of snow cones, those who don’t need adult supervision can bring their own beer. But the gossip, the game, the social scene? These are all available in spades. It’s a grown child’s idea of ​​a good time.

The next Playboys game is April 9 in Austin. If you’re not in central Texas, Marfa, El Paso, Houston, and Galveston all have their own teams.

—Taylor Prewitt, Social Media Editor

Bite into HE-B’s Pickle Me Dilly Spicy Dill Pickles

When I was growing up, a friend of Temple’s family provided me with the best spicy dill pickles I’ve ever eaten. They were homemade with freshly harvested pickled cucumbers bought from an old Czech woman at a farm in Zabcikville. In addition to medium-sized cucumbers, the jars were filled with a clove of garlic, a hand-picked hot pepper or chili pepper, a number of black peppercorns, and a few sprigs of fresh dill. They possessed an extraordinary snap that revealed a farmhouse freshness that you simply don’t find in pickles – or many other things – so often these days.

After moving to college in the mid-1980s, these delicious pickles became less of a part of my life. And then after my mother died in 2005, they disappeared forever. Since then, I’m sad to say, I’ve mostly relied on commercial pickles, which generally lacked the freshness and perfectly restrained peppery kick that I miss.

But recently, I had the pleasure of discovering HE-B’s Pickle Me Dilley Spicy Garlic Pickles. The Pickle Me Dilley internal label offers a few varieties – Whole Dill, Sour Dill, Kosher Dill Pickle, Sweet, etc. – but spicy garlic is the one for any true lover of the pickled arts. Pickle Me Dilley Spicy Garlic is perfectly sour, not too salty (it’s made with sea salt), garlicky but not too much, has a nice subtle but not too subtle hint of dill, and has a snap and tang. Red. -a zest of pepper so remarkable it reminds me of my beloved pickles of yesteryear. They’re so good you’ll even forgive the silly name.
David Courtney, editor

Go out to Comic Coffee + Beer Garden

Spring is here, which means it’s time to start taking full advantage of the best outdoor hangouts. Nestled in South Austin is the perfect spot for any occasion: Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden, which offers, as the name suggests, coffee, beer and more. Created with the principles of permaculture, sustainability and regenerative systems in mind, Cosmic is home to ponds, a rainwater catchment and a chicken coop, in addition to food and drink.

It’s not uncommon to spot homeworkers sipping coffee at Cosmic while banging on their keyboards. But those (like me) who are too distraction-prone to work in the middle of the hustle and bustle can wait until after work and try Cosmic’s delicious new selection of spring cocktails instead. I recommend the Cosmo Collins, a fruity combination of pomegranate vodka and lemon seltzer. And with food trucks located around the perimeter of the garden serving barbecue (don’t even get me started on the melt-in-the-mouth goodness that is LeRoy and Lewis’ burger with a smoked brisket patty), chicken wings and tacos, it’s easy to spend the whole day basking in the sun in the greenery.

Maya Mojica, editorial intern

Read a pocket travel companion

Austin-based Wildsam Field Guides publishes a range of boutique travel guides written by locals. Part memoir, part journalism and part roadmap, each guide weaves past and present into its pages with stories, recommendations and hand-drawn sketches. The books aim to capture the beauty of the unexpected instead of focusing on the high adrenaline adventure of travel. The brand has grown from city handbooks to include road trips, national parks, photo almanacs and (my favorite) a guide to the ultimate travel destination: the moon.

There are over forty guidebooks out there, so there’s almost certainly a pocket travel companion for a destination on your list. If you are staying in Texas, check out the Austin, San Antonio, or Texas Road Trip guides. The Austin Edition, Wildsam’s second book after Nashville, features essays by Texas monthly staff and alumni John Spong, Joe Nick Patoski and Pamela Colloff. Prepare for your next adventure with one of these curated guides who capture the culture of a place. Then, direct your journey the Wildsam way – let the itinerary trump spontaneity.

Jacqueline Knox, editorial intern

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