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Written by Texas Highways

Milkshakes are as easy as putting ice cream and milk into a blender— in whatever proportions you like—then ideally serving the mixture in a frosty glass, but restaurateurs and home cooks have their secrets to making a classic milkshake even more special.  Some milkshake mixologists add malted milk to the mixture, some add fresh fruit or chocolate syrup, and others add spoonfuls of peanut butter, apricot preserves, or even dollops of Nutella. There are no rules. We recently spied a recipe in Food and Wine magazine and adapted it slightly for Texas tastes. Happy summer!

Fruit and Cream Milkshakes

(makes 4 shakes)

  • 1 pint Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 pound peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest

In a blender, puree the ice cream and milk until smooth. Pour into 4 glasses. Rinse blender, then add the peaches, lemon zest, and puree. Top each milkshake with some of the puree and serve.

(Variations: Use strawberries or blueberries instead of peaches. You can also add a bit of ginger to the peach mixture for a more exotic flavor.)

In the pantheon of Texas-born writers, Robert E. Howard ranks among the state’s most prolific and imaginative authors. Despite his prodigious body of work, “REH”—as he is known to devoted fans worldwide—remains unknown to many mainstream fiction readers. Perhaps if Howard had written the great Texas novel he intended, his name would tower among the likes of Larry McMurtry, Katherine Anne Porter, and Elmer Kelton.

Thanks TH

“Thanks to TH for being my all-time-favorite reading material!”



Enchilada Shout-out

Thanks to Robb Walsh for mentioning El Azteca Restaurant [] on East 7th Street in Austin in his story on enchiladas [TH Taste, March]. The best Tex-Mex in Austin since 1963! Though I haven’t been able to get there since moving to Garland eight years ago, the No. 1 Platter with a large lemonade comes to mind often.

STEVEN M. HANES, TH Facebook Fan


Candy Land

I loved Mary O. Parker’s story on Lammes Candies [TH Taste, February]. When I was a girl, we would go to Lammes on Austin’s Congress Avenue and buy a few pieces of divinity and a pint of Lammes gem (like sherbet in several fruit flavors) to take home. Mr. Lamme would give me a peppermint stick, too.

My favorites today are divinity and the chewy pralines.

LaVERNE HEIN, Hermantown, Minnesota


Big Times, Big Bend

You cannot imagine how much I enjoyed February’s Big Bend issue. My parents moved to Alpine when I was three years old. They were adventuresome, and we went to all the places showcased in this issue, plus many more. We hiked and camped in Big Bend before it became a national park. We were at McDonald Observatory when the first mirror was delivered—what a joy it has been to watch the site grow and add more telescopes. Although it has been a number of years since I lived in the area, it remains one of the most fascinating parts of Texas to me. Thanks for a great issue.



Coming Home

I recently renewed my subscription to TH and remembered how much I love reading the articles. Great April story on Uvalde. Spent 20 years in the area and will be going back this summer for sure!



 Rest Up!

TH Facebook fans respond to the April Postcards story on TxDOT’s “Rest-Stop Revival”: I now plan my trips with those stops in mind.



We spend a lot of time on US 287 and I-35. Love the new rest areas. 



There’s a great stop on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont. Clean and spacious, with information and playground equipment.




Pad Ped and Feta Feta

Here’s a list of my favorite restaurants: In Beaumont, Elena’s Mexican Restaurant is family run, and
the quesadillas are superb. Also there, Chaba Thai Cuisine has the best pad ped ever! And in Houston,
it’s Café Pita+: Amazing food, the freshest ingredients. Try the feta-feta appetizer.



Elena’s Mexican Restaurant is at 1865 College St. in Beaumont, 409/832-1203 (another location at 6290 Phelan Blvd.). Chaba Thai Cuisine is at 4340 E. Lucas Dr. in Beaumont, 409/899-4500 (more on Chaba Thai Bistro at Café Pita+ is at 10852 Westheimer Rd. in Houston, 713/953-7237; (another location at 5506 Richmond Ave.).

1. Expect the unexpected

Whether traveling alone or with preschool companions, that’s one rule campers and parents alike ought to abide. After all, just as there’s no accounting for the weather, it’s tough to anticipate the moods and desires of a child far from home. Be flexible, but with a quality playbook, you can limit the shocks and squabbles that can turn a dream trip into a nightmare.

Clear springs flowing from the ground in northern Real County join with a second fork to the west and become the Nueces River, which flows more than 300 miles, emptying into the Gulf of Mexico at Corpus Christi. About 40 miles north of Uvalde and three miles south of Camp Wood, a low dam creates a wide, clear swimming hole with water that stays about 71 degrees.

Also called Las Moras Springs, these fill a 300-foot-long pool, among the largest in Texas. There’s a separate pool for the kids. The springs themselves release 12 to 14 million gallons of sparkling, 68-degree water every day, year-round.

Lyle Lovett and Matthew McConaughey swam here. Robert Rodriguez filmed onsite. And countless families have created wonderful memories at this family-owned oasis 30 miles west of Austin. The site made the National Register of Historic Places thanks to its Native American middens, but folks come for the 30-plus springs on these 115 acres.

Hancock Springs in Lampasas. (Photo by Will van Overbeek)Under the light of the full August moon, tall shade trees throw shadows on the grass around Hancock pool, its shimmering surface reflect-ing the soft light of the glow sticks around swimmers’ necks. This is the annual moonlight swim and potluck supper at Hancock Springs. Constructed in 1911, the pool holds 300,000 spring-fed gallons, covers 9,537 square feet, and accommodates more than 800 swimmers. Open to the public for a little more than 100 years, it has seen only minor changes, such as changing the gravel bottom to a concrete one. The water stays around 66 degrees year-round, from the three-foot shallow end to the eight-foot deep end.

Blue Hole in Wimberley. (Photo by Will van Overbeek)This tranquil pool on Cypress Creek first opened to the public in the 1920s. For several decades, it belonged to a private group, which limited access. Now it’s publicly owned, and anyone can make the short stroll from the Wimberley town square and enjoy this jewel of a swimming hole.

This swimming hole lies just a few blocks from the quaint town square. A low dam on the South Fork of the San Gabriel River forms a wide, deep natural pool, which locals say has never gone dry.

Standing on the high dive—one of few left these days—I can see the bottom of this 25-foot-deep pool through water almost as clear as the arid desert air that surrounds Balmorhea State Park on the hem of the Davis Mountains. A quintessential oasis.

This three-acre, 1,000-foot-long swimming hole beats as the literal and metaphorical heart of Austin. Ten to 80 million gallons of water, depending on rainfall and aquifer conditions, gush every day from Parthenia Spring right under the diving board. Another spring flows into Barton Creek upstream from the pool, while a third adjacent to the pool and a fourth just downstream bubble into rock enclosures. These springs together equal Texas’ fourth-largest springs system.

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