On Sunday, a bunch of Shaw residents got together for good food and good conversation in the form of a neighborhood brunch. Because our neighbors Carmen and Aster have a lovely roof top deck, they volunteered to host it at their home. Unfortunately mother nature didn’t care about ruining our plans, so the cold and damp weather moved the party inside. However, that didn’t stop us from having a fabulous time!
Monthly Archives: April 2008
My obsession with food began at an early age. When I was about four, I ran away from home…to a neighbor’s house…because my friend’s mother was letting her have ravioli for breakfast. Some of my best memories (and most of the reasons I date) revolve around food. So when I saw the latest Cookthink: Root Source Challenge ingredient was bourbon, I immediately thought about my food filled childhood and my friend Samantha’s crazy ass grandmother Nola…
Spring has definitely arrived in DC and no where is that more evident than the many farmer’s markets throughout the metro area. As I have mentioned previously, I belong to the Star Hollow Farm CSA (sorry, but it’s currently closed to new members), which has a pick up site at the Adams Morgan Farmer’s Market. Now that the Farmer’s Market is open, Star Hollow has both the CSA box distribution and the farm stand to attend to on Saturdays. To help manage both projects, CSA members volunteer to distribute the boxes to other members. It not only allows Star Hollow Farm to manage the workload, it gives the members a chance to interact with each other (and share recipes!). This past Saturday, I volunteered for the afternoon shift and had a ball!
Before starting my “shift”, I walked around the market to get a feel for the different vendors. Due to a miscommunication, it was advertised in the local media that the Adams Morgan Farmer’s Market opened in May. Because of this, there are not a lot of farm stands currently set up. However, the ones that are there have already brought out the bounty of Spring. Lovely rhubarb and strawberries were on sale, along with red peppers (still a little too under ripe for my taste), green onions and spinach.
While I got ramps in my CSA box (more on what I did with them later), there were none for sale in the market itself. Quite honestly, I had never heard of ramps until a few weeks ago when I saw recipes using them on various food blogs in the blogosphere. Randy Treichler, the farmer behind Star Hollow, told me ramps are not planted. Instead, if the conditions are right, they grow wild and are then harvested. Randy (we call him Farmer Randy) then told me ramp season doesn’t last very long, so they are a prized food commodity.
I always learn something about the food I eat when I talk to Randy, which I find to be invaluable. There is something comforting about knowing how my food is being grown and who is growing it. In addition, I have always been a proponent of sustainable agriculture and supporting local farmers and local vendors. Not only does my CSA membership help support a local farm, it provides me with amazingly fresh (and high quality) produce. And that, in my humble opinion, is the secret to my fabulous creations!
My friends often ask me if I always cook big elaborate meals or are there just days where I eat cereal from the box. If there was any doubt, just look at my dinner for tonight.
I have been out of my office for almost two weeks, so it was no surprise to find my desk looking as if a paper factory exploded. After fighting my way through the blizzard of white, I was tired…and in no mood to talk to anyone (or deal with the ghetto-tastic grocery store near my house). So instead of trying my hand at a savory strudel tonight, I threw in Bridget Jones’ Diary, poured a nice glass of Pinot Grigio and enjoyed a plate of cheese and crackers (well bagel crisps actually). This goes to show we food bloggers don’t always have fancy meals for dinner…even if the cheese is from Cow Girl Creamery (mmmmmm….cheese). Don’t worry though, I will be back in the kitchen this weekend! Now if only I can get the Diva to clean the dishes in my sink….
While out at dinner one night in New Orleans, I was doing my usual routine of taking shots of the beautiful food presented at my trough…I mean, table. One of the women seated at the next table saw what I was doing and laughed. I thought she was laughing at me for doing something as ridiculous as photographing food, but she was laughing because she was doing the exact same thing. Turns out, she writes for the King Arthur Flour’s blog, Baker’s Banter. The three of them were in town for the annual conference for the International Association of Culinary Professionals. I love, love, love King Arthur Flour, but had no clue they had their own blog! We started talking blog shop for a bit and web addresses were exchanged (along with dining experiences thus far in New Orleans). As soon as I got back to my hotel, I checked out their blog and I swear I heard angels sing as I stumbled upon a recipe for (wait for it) Hot Cheese Bread!
I have lived in DC for almost a year now and am ashamed to admit it took me this long to finally make it to the venerable Eastern Market. But despite the torrential rains on Sunday, I headed out with a local Eastern Market tour guide (henceforth known as Pepe…don’t ask, just go with it).
The days seemed to whiz on by in New Orleans, leaving me with less and less time to hit all the “must eat” places recommended to me. But one stop I knew I had to make was Cafe du Monde. And considering I’m from the South (where we deep fry everything) who was I to argue with fried dough topped with powdered sugar?
In my life, I have had my share of wonderful meals, but there are some that really stick out in my mind: Escada in New York City (I licked the fork after eating an amazing roast chicken…and the hazelnut torte) and now Irene’s Cuisine in New Orleans. I had heard it was hard to get into Irene’s without a reservation, so the plan was to be there as soon as it opened. And considering neither Daphne nor I had managed to eat lunch that day, we were more than eager to start chowing down. So it was very convenient that Irene’s was only a few blocks from the Kitchen Witch…and that we’d spent so long in said Kitchen Witch that it was now dinner time…WARNING: this entry contains lots of pictures…most of which will make you drool.
I was fairly tired after finally making it home (thanks to a 3 hour delay courtesy of my favorite airline), but there was also this strong craving for strawberries. So after making sure the Diva was happy (she pretends to miss me, but I’m pretty sure it’s all about the food for her) and unpacking a few things, I set my mind towards coming up with a good way to get my strawberry fix… Continue reading