San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

July 24th, 2009
The Weekend: Movies, music … more heat?

Whiskey Myers will play Saturday night at Cheatham Street Warehouse.

Scene Editor

The past Wednesday, July 22, was National Penuche Day. This may not mean much to you, since penuche is no longer a frequently made treat, but this brown sugar fudge used to be a staple of candy stores years ago. Penuche was an extremely popular confection in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

Some New Englanders add maple syrup to their penuche making efforts. But any way you slice it or chose to make it, penuche is a luscious treat you’ve probably never had.

There are loads of recipes online that feature penuche,  penuche-flavored cookies and frostings and the like. It is a delicious blend, when done right, of sweet, nutty flavor (generally from pecans or walnuts) and a rich, deep caramel taste with a silky, smooth texture.

While some will eschew it in favor of the popular chocolate fudge variety, penuche is an excellent, easy and fun to make fudge. A southern tradition more than a northern one, it is somewhat similar in taste to the praline. It is our opinion that good candy for everyone in the world could bring about world peace. And a cavity or two.

It might be fun, in honor of the past holiday, to try making a batch. At worst, you’ll end up with a very interesting frosting and at best, a tasty, new candy.

There are other treats to be had this weekend. Here are a few of them.

Friday, July 24

The music for the weekend starts out with the popular Zydeco Blanco playing the early show at Triple Crown (206 North Edward Gary). The band’s mix of Texas Hill Country spirit with the lively sounds of Zydeco music is a great way to let the bon ton roulet!

It is said that the game of bingo has its roots in a lotto game originally played in Italy in 1530. That game is still played every Saturday in Italy and, here in Hays County, the American version is played every Friday at the Wimberley VFW Post (Veterans Park on Jacobs Well Road) It is a far different game from the Italian version, but it is loads more fun. With our game, there is the added attraction of the concessions lovingly sold and prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary. The cage starts rolling at 6:30 p.m.

At sunset, in Kyle at Gregg-Clarke Park (1300 West Center Street), you can catch the amusing antics of King Julian, those clever penguins and the whole cast of regulars in “Madagascar 2” at Movies in the Park. The Madagascar movies feature an all-star cast of voices with Alec Baldwin, Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer and Chris Rock, just to name a few. The movie is great fun for both kids and adults.

The air may be a little on the warm side on Friday, but it is still filled with great music starting with Madam and the Teapot Atheists at Wake the Dead Coffee House (1432 RR 12) at 8 p.m. What a great place for an iced coffee and some music!

Jenn Miori, lead singer for Jenny and the Corn Ponies, will delight you with her clear, strong, pure country voice. You can hear her tonight at Riley’s  (8894 FM 1102) at 8 p.m. It’s not just Miori who ponies up with the talent. The whole band is a toe-tapping explosion. Wear your dancing shoes.

The inimitable Big John Mills & the Texas Road Dawgs will play the Cheatham Street Warehouse tonight at 9:30 p.m. Nothing that we can think of goes better with a cold beer than Big John’s amusing song of divorce, “I Got the Dog and He Got You.” It’s the cheeriest song about a break-up you will ever hear. Western Swing fans will appreciate the Road Dawgs finesse with the genre, and they also play a spicy Texas-style country blues with equal joy.

If you demand music that is experimental, hip-hoppin’ and turntable-esque then you will want to be at Triple Crown tonight for their line up of DJs, MCs and other musical acronyms. The talents of Sleet, Emcee Eats, Chief, Soul .45 and DJ notion will be popping out aural montages starting at 10 p.m. You probably don’t have to be told that this ain’t your father’s dance music.

Saturday, July 25

With the weather being what it is in the summer, it’s a good idea to rid your garage or shed of those leftover containers of paint, pesticides, brake fluid or other hazardous chemicals. When the weather is this blazing hot, these things are downright dangerous to have around. The City of San Marcos is sponsoring a drive-through household hazardous waste and out-dated pharmaceutical collection this morning from 8 a.m.-noon at City Hall (630 East Hopkins Street) to help rid your home of these volatile substances. See the city website ( for details on what can be dropped off.

You can help the San Marcos River Foundation remove invasive plants from Spring Lake today from 8:30-11 a.m. at the Aquarena Center (921 Aquarena Springs Drive) Email for details.  This is the place where archeological research indicates that human beings have been living in this area for the last 12,000 years.

Of course, Paleo-Americans didn’t have much in the way of fast food, unless you count the occasional rapidly moving saber-toothed cat, so there wasn’t a litter problem.  Now, however, the river is often marred by scatterings of cans, cups and wrappers. If you want to do a bit of good today, just walk along the river and pick up a little trash. Your river thanks you.

Wake the Dead Coffee House will have a live broadcast event at noon today with Podcast 4 Citizen Outsider Radio. Should be an enlightening event, and there’s great coffee to be had there, as well.

If the kids are facing those summer doldrums, tired of the same old games, the same old swimming pool, the same old popsicles and DVDs, it might be fun to go to the San Marcos Nature Center (450 Riverside Drive) and gaze in wonder at the many spiders, snakes and turtles there. The center is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and the admission is free.

If you haven’t been to the LBJ Museum (131 North Guadalupe Street), it might be a nice day to go check out their exhibits and find out about the upcoming ’60’s Night fundraiser. The hours are 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. and admission is free. While you’re on the square, why not check out the new businesses and a get a bite to eat? There are loads of fun places to check out.

Music tonight is a smorgasbord of choices. There is Michael “Effin” Wren (AKA Flaco) to delight the crowd at Riley’s at 8 p.m., and the contemporary country stylings of Whiskey Myers to charm the patrons at the Cheatham Street at 9:30 p.m.

Prefer hardcore thrashin’ and punk-core distractions? Triple Crown’s got you covered with Clubs, Newlywed, Bring Forth the Fallen and Tour de Force. Bring your earplugs if you don’t want to end up with a balance problem like Jeff Beck’s.

Sunday, July 26

First of all, let us come out in favor of a time-tested traditional favorite, the Sunday afternoon nap. The lack of sleep is genuinely a big problem in this country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving is responsible for more than 100,000 car accidents per year. Studies have shown that, on average, Americans sleep an hour and half less than people did at the turn of the century. And if you are trying to lose weight or keep your youthful looks, sleep is an imperative part of those goals. We’re just saying that it might be a good day to take a little nap.

Equally relaxing would be a chair massage from Bob Steine at Wake the Dead Coffee House. He will work his magic from 4-7 p.m.

The Wine Cellar is features another of its fine Reader’s Theatres today from 4-7:30 p.m. The play is Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhrey’s “Driving Miss Daisy.” You may have seen the movie, but might be surprised to find out that it was a play first, and a very funny and poignant one, at that. Call the Wine Cellar for reservations at (512) 805-9463. These wonderful theatrical events fill up fast. You don’t have to stay there for dinner, of course, but what a nice way to round out the evening.

VFW  8456 (6808 SH 123) in beautiful downtown Geronimo is having a benefit dance for their Military Assistance Programs today from 3-6:30 p.m. The $5 benefit dance will feature the ’50’s country music tunes of Klassic Country Gold. The kitchen opens at 2 p.m., so you could get a nosh and then dance off the calories. All the proceeds will go to their charitable endeavor, so it’s fun with a heart of gold.

The mics are open at Triple Crown and Riley’s tonight. America needs to hear your talent so practice, man, practice!

Tonight the classic western of all westerns, “High Noon” will be on TCM at 7 p.m. NBC, in keeping with its “Survival Sundays” theme, will air the first part of the miniseries, “The Storm.” This man vs. nature epic promises loads of jaw-dropping special effects. The second part of the series will be on at 7 p.m. on Aug. 2.

Or, you could just whomp up a batch of fudge.

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