There are certain months of the year here in Texas that become packed with the best social events of the year, and we have come upon 2 of them. The food community, especially, enjoys event after event this month and the next, and again in Spring. There are 5 events on the calendar this week, alone, and we all do our best to make every single one of them. In fact, as I write this very post, I am missing a book signing I intended to visit. Alas, we will not always make it, and we will regret those we miss.
I'm awfully grateful I did not miss the Coterie Market's media party launch of their new Coterie Sampler! There's an embarrassment of food-lover riches in Austin every day of the year, however this particular day blogger and media representatives were gifted with a full box of locally-sourced artisan products-- the same Sampler box that consumers can now subscribe to receive monthly, with new surprises in every box.
The celebration was held in the Keith Kreeger Studios, located at the rear of Big Medium, the art gallery responsible for the wildly popular East and West Austin Studio tours. Kreeger, whose iconic dinnerware can be seen gracing some of the finest tables both public and private, graciously demonstrated his process at the event, and Kellie's Baking Co.delighted each willing party-goer with their likeness printed on sugar paper and mounted on a cookie. Sips and bites were provided by Barbecue Wife Bloody Mary Mix, and Contigo Restaurant catering.
This morning, with a cup of steaming coffee, I got down to the business of play. Like a kid on Christmas morning, I giddily unpacked my box of treasures. I shot a few photos for Instagram (Hey! Follow me on Instagram! I'd LOVE that!), and reacted to each surprise in real time, sharing my thoughts in the captions, below.
I'm having so much fun digging into the very generous local products sampler box from Coterie Market they so graciously gifted us all at their Sampler box media launch this week. I've loved Lavande Farm since I first discovered and photographed their lavender-laced products for the Texas Farmers' Market. I'm thrilled to receive a bottle of their natural Lavender Mosquito Repellent. These big 'ol Texas skeeters eat me alive and I HATE the scent and loads of chemicals in standard insect repellents. This comes not a moment too soon!
I would love to show you the thick, luscious, siren-song of a cookie--Rosemary 'Gin & Juice' Shortbread Tea Biscuits from Skull and Cakebones, that was included in my generous Coterie Market sampler box, but I ate them all. Every one. All by myself. Don't judge me! And don't try to get my biscuit, either!
Squeeeee! So excited to get my hands on these Lenoir Finishing Salts found in the Coterie Market monthly sampler box. The mix includes large flake sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, house-made Herbes de Tejas (dried herbs with chiles, lavendar, and fenugreek), and dhana dal (roasted coriander seed). I'ma sprinkle it on ALL of the things!
Have you tried Austin-made Sway water? A healthy alternative to sugar-laden drinks, Sway infuses purified water with organic fruits and vegetables like this refreshing Cucumber-Lime-Mint included in the Coterie Market monthly sampler.
Couldn't be more delighted to have had TWO opportunities to enjoy Confituras jams and jellies yesterday! 1) This full-sized producer's favorite seasonal preserve was included in the generous monthly box gifted by Coterie Market, and 2) Confituras "kicked off" a Kickstarter campaign at happy hour located at Salt and Time, PACKED with well-wishers, yesterday. All cocktails and nibbles, both savory and sweet, were "jam-forward" and nothing short of the mouth-party we've all come to expect from Confituras. Funds raised will go towards building a commercial kitchen and a jam & biscuit shop.
It's not hyperbole to profess Sarah's Kale Chips the best I've ever had. Included in the generous Coterie Sampler box I was lucky to score yesterday, Sour Cream & Onion tastes natural and has a nice, solid texture that doesn't crumble to powder in your fingers. Count me a new fan!
"The Coterie Sampler is the brainchild of Coterie Market's founder Chelsea Staires Sun who founded the local e-purveyor in 2012. Since then, Coterie Market has earned the reputation of being the go-to resource for all things local, artisanal, and made with the utmost integrity in Austin. Wanting to offer these local Austin luxuries to people far and wide, Chelsea dreamed up The Coterie Sampler, a box of small-batch, choice, handmade products delivered to your doorstep every month. The Coterie Market team researches, tests, and hand-selects each of the items inside the box, and thoughtfully prepares a balanced assortment of food and craft items for customers to enjoy. The Coterie Market Team personally knows and associates with each of the local Austin Makers featured in the box and are on a mission to educate and delight customers with hand-selected, small-batch products so in turn the local Austin community continues to flourish. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and on their website". (Source: Coterie Market Press Release, August 2015)
Thank you to the Coterie Market, Big Medium, Keith Kreeger Studios, Contigo, Barbecue Wife, Skull and Crossbones bakery, Sway water, Lavande Farms, Confituras, Lenoir, Sarah's Kale Chips, Kellie's Baking Co, and Emily Kealy of Conversation Piece Marketing & PR.
Disclosure: As mentioned above, each product in the Coterie sampler was provided to media representatives free of charge, at a party where we were treated to food, fun, drink, and more. Opinions are my own.