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Sharon Ely: From Stubb's sauce to her own Holy Posole

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com

No matter where she eats it, posole has always made Sharon Ely feel like she's home. Her recipe for the Mexican soup made with hominy and chiles has evolved over the past 30 years.

It's always a crowd favorite at parties and events, she says, but now you don't have to get an invite to enjoy the soup.

Made with green Hatch chiles and red Chimayo chile from New Mexico, Holy Posole is now available in 26-ounce jars at several area stores and by the cup at Jo's Hot Coffee and Good Food on South Congress Avenue and on Saturdays at the Sunset Valley Farmers' Market.

It is also sold by the jar at Frank's, Fresh Plus on West Lynn Street, Bubba's Country Store and Maverick in Fort Worth and online at holyposole.net.

Ely, wearing her signature pigtails and big smile, explained recently that Holy Posole isn't her first venture in bottling a signature product. In the 1980s, she and her musician husband, Joe Ely, helped their friend and fellow Lubbock native C.B. Stubblefield, aka Stubb, first bottle his now-legendary barbecue sauce.

Stubb died in 1995, but Ely recalls how happy he was to see people fall in love with his product. Now it's Ely's turn.

"I'm so excited to share my soup with the world," she says.

Charcuterie gets to the meat of the matter

Charcuterie plates, which feature processed meats such as sausage, pâté or bacon, are one of the most popular food trends to hit American restaurants in recent years, and a new local company is selling an array of products so you can assemble your own during this season of entertaining.

Larry and Lee Ann Kocurek started Kocurek Family Charcuterie earlier this year, and they are now selling pâtés, terrines, rillettes, sausages and even some ready-made dishes at the Sunset Valley, HOPE and Triangle farmers' markets. Even though they've only been at the markets for a few weeks, word of their divine duck bacon and smoked pork belly has spread quickly. Lee Ann Kocurek says that the products they offer each week vary depending on what meat and produce they can buy from local farmers and ranchers. But on any given market day, you can find a wide selection of meats, a few relishes and condiments, as well as dishes such as lamb pie or a build-your-own cassoulet. For more information, go to kocurekfamilycharcuterie.com.

Also new at local farmers' markets and through Greenling Organic Delivery and Farmhouse Delivery is freshly ground flour from Richardson Farms. The flour costs $2 per pound and is made from wheat grown on Jim Richardson's Rockdale farm.

- A.B.

Corzo tequila is offering free custom metal labels

Contemporary design has its perks, even for tequila drinkers. Corzo, a 100 percent blue agave tequila in slim, rectangular bottles, is offering free personalized metal gift labels to slide onto its bottles of silver, reposado and añejo tequilas. The labels accept up to three lines of text with 18 characters per line, enough to say, "Happy Holidays, Dad" or to carry my favorite frozen-margarita recipe: "Blender margs: 6 oz frz limeade, tripsec, tequila." Order the labels online, with four- to six-day delivery, at www.corzo.com/labels . Rush orders available at 972-422-9420. Corzo is available locally at Spec's and carries a suggested price of $48 to $57.

- Mike Sutter

Despite the drought, life is sweet this year at Messina Hof Winery and Resort

Messina Hof Winery and Resort in Bryan says that this year's hot summer temperatures coupled with little rain has made their grapes sweeter than ever, producing the greatest vintage since 1980. Messina Hof, founded by Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo in 1977, sits on 100 acres along with the Vintage House restaurant, which focuses on fresh vineyard cuisine, and the Villa Bed & Breakfast. For those who can't get away for a weekend at the resort, Messina Hof now offers three sparkling wines (about $15 each) that can get holiday parties started. The sparkling brut is a blend of chardonnay and chenin blanc, with dashes of pear and pineapple and a toasty coconut finish. The sparkling raspberry flaunts the red berry with hints of pear and green apple. The sparkling almond is a demi-sec, with an almond flavor layered with toasted vanilla. All three variations are available at stores in the Bryan area, online at messinahof.com or by calling 1-800-736-9463 ext. 223.

- Amira Jensen

Openings, closings & coming soon

• Open: Franklin Barbecue, a trailer the specializes in smoked meats at 3421 N. Interstate 35, behind Owl Tree Roasting. 653-1187, www.franklinbarbecue.com.

• Open: Con'Olio Oils & Vinegars, a store at the Arboretum featuring olive oils, vinegars and gourmet foods. 10000 Research Blvd. Suite 130. 342-2344, conolios.com.

• Open: Berry Austin, a frozen yogurt store at 5523 Balcones Drive. 748-7843, berryaustin.com.

• Open: FroYoYo, a frozen yogurt store at 3201 Bee Cave Road. 773-5272, froyoyo.com.

• Coming soon: Vivo, a second location of the Mexican restaurant on Manor Road, will open Friday. 12233 RM 620. 331-4660, vivo-austin.com.

- A.B.

Order a eurosleek Coop, no assembly required

For those who miss life on a farm or have never woken up to a rooster's crow, U.K.-based Omlet is helping bring the countryside to the city in style with Eglu chicken houses. These homes for hens, which come in four colors, are delivered and assembled by the Omlet team and are made to fit two to four Gingernut Ranger laying hens, which come as part of the order. Soon enough there will be farm-fresh eggs for breakfast in your backyard. Omlet also offers the new Eglus for rabbits and an expandable Eglu Cube, which holds up to 10 hens and features slide-out dropping trays, hose-clean surfaces and insulated twin walls. Eglus start at $495. To learn more, visit www.omlet.us.

- A.J.

Food briefs

• Thai Fresh is hosting its first supper club at Rain Lily Farm, 914 Shady Lane, from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Owner Jam Sanitchat will be serving a four-course Thai meal using local ingredients from Dewberry Hills Farm, Bastrop Cattle Company and Peach Creek Farm. Tickets cost $45 and guests can bring their own alcohol. Call 494-6436 or e-mail jam@thai-fresh.com to reserve a seat.

• The Austin chapter of Les Dames Escoffier raised $10,632 in its online auction last month, says Les Dames member Paula Biehler. The money will go toward culinary scholarships.