The Cibolo Nature Center lends a lush, earthy venue for singers and storytellers to ply their pied trade in the annual all-ages Songs and Stories concert series. Families arriving before sunset can enjoy meandering boardwalks and peregrinating pathways through the Center's vibrant habitats. Later, musicians bend strings and crush chords on the outdoor stage while attendees feed each other grapes atop regal folding chairs and giggling courtesans lounge on picnic blankets. This year's lineup proffers a plentitude of musical modes, including performances by rock, gospel, country, and Texas swing artists. When toe-tapping spreads throughout the limbs, make haste for the venue's movement-friendly dance floor.
Located about 30 miles northwest of San Antonio, Kendall County is tucked into the lush Texas Hill Country and comes tinged with eclectic German heritage. After signing a treaty with local Native American tribes, German immigrants settled in the area during the 1840s and founded the town of Boerne in 1852, which thrives today as a quaint village with an artistic bent. Central European influences linger at local eateries, which dish up traditional cuisine.Hill Country's sprawling prairies and rolling hills are rife with opportunities for outdoor recreation, including boating, fishing, and horseback riding. Nearby, Guadalupe River State Park is bisected by the eponymous river, whose banks are lined with giant bald cypress trees. Adventurers can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle down the scenic waterway, or hire a local teenager to mold fake Bigfoot prints on the nature trails that wend past limestone cliffs.Urban adventures abound in nearby San Antonio, which brims with shopping and dining along its famed River Walk. Self-guided audio tours expound on the history of the King William Historic District, a collection of 19th-century mansions built by German merchants.
Michelle and Mouhssine, the chefs behind Sweet Thyme : A Personal Chef Service, both picked up culinary skills at a young age. Michelle remembers making butter cream with her father at the age of 4, and later worked as a sous chef for her mother’s pastry business. Mouhssine counts pulling carrots from the family garden and helping his grandfather to butcher lambs among his childhood chores in Tiflet, Morocco. Both eventually came to San Antonio to hone their skills at the Culinary Institute of America.
The two chefs distill their long immersion in the culinary arts into cooking sessions when they travel to clients’ homes. There, they fashion locally acquired ingredients into menus tailored to preferences and needs. They can prepare American dishes such as short ribs braised in Brooklyn brown ale and served with root vegetables, or craft international dishes such as Moroccan-style tagine lamb shanks with black-currant couscous. Meat-free entrees such as pumpkin enchiladas in mole sauce offer vegetarians an alternative to plastic fruit. Mouhssine is also a wine steward, and shares his knowledge through wine classes and presentations.