From handcrafted boots to an indispensable indigenous cookbook, here are giftable gems for that special Texan in your life.
This holiday season, celebrate what it means to be a Texan with gifts expressing local pride and unsung heroes, from grackles to native grasses.
Prairie Starter Mix from Native American Seed, Junction, TX
A lawn? How 1950s. With Texas’s disappearing to non-existent prairies, the cooler thing to do is to reintroduce native, drought-tolerant, deep-rooted grasses. Help the Joneses keep up with you by gifting your friends and neighbors some native seed packs from Native American Seed. Their Prairie Starter Mix contains buffalo grass, sideoats grama, and other native grass seeds, but you can also find wildflower mixes, pollinator and butterfly mixes, and fine-tuned natives for your specific area on their website and in their catalogue. 800-728-4043.
Roaster’s Choice Espresso Subscription from Merit Coffee, San Antonio
Say goodbye, Seattle, and hello, San Antonio! The coffee aficionados in your circle will not be disappointed with a gift subscription of fresh espresso beans from San Antonio-born coffee roaster Merit Coffee. The beans are sourced directly from growers, roasted to perfection, then delivered to your doorstep. For the best cup, check out their home brewing guide videos. Order online, or get an immaculately brewed cup at one of their locations in San Antonio, Dallas, or Austin.
Grackle Got No Boss T-shirt from Parts & Labour, Austin
Sleeker than a pigeon, stealthier than a seagull, and weirder than a crow, the great-tailed grackle, also not-so-affectionately known as the taco raptor, is Texas’s own urban pest bird. With their radio-static call and dead stare, the grackle, as this shirt suggests, “got no boss.” A fitting symbol of the gritty side of Texas, this grackle t-shirt is designed and printed by Bearded Lady Press in Austin, and is available from Parts & Labour while supplies last, along with other prints and garments devoted to expressing local pride. 1704 South Congress Avenue, Austin. 512-326-1648.
Don’t Count the Tortillas: The Art of Texas Mexican Cooking by Adán Medrano, Houston
From nopalitos to tomatillos, this cookbook sweeps aside the Anglo cuisine of “Tex-Mex” and presents more than 100 recipes of Texas Mexican homestyle cooking, or comida casera. A follow-up to his first book (also a film), Truly Texas Mexican, Houston-based writer, filmmaker, and chef Adán Medrano provides fascinating histories alongside the recipes, exploring the indigenous ingredients and cooking techniques of the region. Available from Texas Tech University Press.
The Horizon Boot from Cobra Rock, Marfa
In Texas, it’s important to own a pair of well-made boots. But do they have to be cowboy? Handcrafted in Marfa, Cobra Rock boots are for folks who want boots that are in it for the long haul, with timeless style and impeccable craftsmanship. You can only preorder these lovelies for delivery in the spring, or get a gift card for that special, elegant someone in your life. 211 South Dean Street, Marfa.
West Texas Poster Print by Layla Luna, Fort Worth
Fort Worth-based painter Layla Luna is known for enchanting desert landscapes, enveloped in arches and warm West Texas colors. Pick up an art print adapted from Luna’s 2018 series Fast and Forward but Still in her online shop, signed and numbered in editions of fifty. Choose from views of Caprock or Palo Duro, yucca or prickly pear, or all of the above! Peruse from the artist’s online shop, or visit Artspace 111, 111 Hampton Street, Fort Worth.
Marfa Brand Soap Box from Marfa Brands
Texas cedar wood. Yucca root and earthy sage. Campfire. Maybe what made “Dick” so irresistibly attractive was the rustic yet fresh scent of Marfa Brand Soap. This super giftable soap box comes with a trio of soaps and a wood soap dish. Giddyup. 213 South Dean Street, Marfa.