Archive for April, 2010

Rhubarb Times Two

My love of rhubarb is well-documented on this blog, and I’m not the only one.  There have been several great rhubarb recipes in the blogosphere recently, like Modern Domestic”s rhubarb polenta cake and strawberry rhubarb jam, and Fessenden Farmstead’s rhubarb leather.  (In related news, the prez has been enjoying rhubarb pie).

As for me, I’ve been looking forward to making my rhubarb syrup recipe.  Well, recipe is perhaps an exaggeration.  Here it is:

Boil rhubarb with sugar and water for about 20 minutes, then strain through a fine strainer to extract the rosy pink syrup.  As a bonus, the remaining solids can be used as rhubarb preserves or a nice topping for ice cream or yogurt.

So maybe proportions aren’t my strong suit.  I’d say about a quarter cup of sugar for each stalk of rhubarb is fine.

The fun part, though, came when I realized the perfect use for the remaining rhubarb mash.  The Good Eats episode on hand pies aired again recently, and the path was clear:  rhubarb hand pies!

Alton Brown’s hand pie dough recipe is awesome; it’s biscuity and crumbly, but elastic enough to shape around the filling.  Also, I substituted cream for milk in the crust, so it was extra delicious.  (If you wanted to go a more elegant route, I’d suggest Arugula Files’ rhubarb pop tarts with orange-coriander ice cream).   I ate my pies for breakfast en route to work, and they totally made my mornings brighter.

Two rhubarb recipes for the price of one.  Sweet.


Read Full Post »

The monthly DC Food Blogger Happy Hour is a week away, on Wednesday May 5.  Appropriate for Cinco De Mayo, we’re going south of the border….  All the way to Arlington!  Yes, it’s true, we DO venture outside the district every once in a while.  Join us.

RSVP here if you plan to attend!

Read Full Post »

Bits & Pieces

Various little news items in DC’s food/gardening/sustainability universe that are noteworthy this week:

  • DC doesn’t have a compost or yard waste collection system, as far as I know, so one entrepreneur has started offering a private compost pickup service: Compost Cab!  Sounds like a good fit for people without access to compost piles who’d like to reduce their landfill contributions.
  • DC is getting a lobster roll truck!!!  I am such a huge fan of the food trucks (I’ll be reviewing Sauca soon), and this is a welcome addition to the fleet.  Now if only someone would do a roving Ethiopian food truck…
  • Speaking of food trucks, do check out Greater Greater Washington’s thoughtful post on the use of urban space & parking lots and how food trucks fit into that.
  • Two grand openings of note: the new Dolcezza at 1704 Connecticut Avenue is having a party this Sunday, April 25 from noon to 6 p.m.  According to the press release, “Guests will enjoy complimentary gelato, live bluegrass music by Olivia Mancini and complimentary smoked pork from Bev Eggleston with Eco-Friendly Foods.” Yum!  Also coming soon to 14th Street is Cork & Fork (not to be confused with Cork wine bar and Cork Market, also on 14th street – sheesh!).  It’ll open May 8th.
  • And finally, major congratulations to the Guerilla Gardeners I mentioned last weekend – their successful transformation of the T Street & Vermont Avenue intersection was picked up by the local ABC affiliate.  Click hear to see the video.  I hope I can make it to the next event.

Also, I am totally jealous.  After our unsuccessful morel hunt here in DC, my mom went back home to Washington State and found morels there.  Hmph!

Read Full Post »

I started a lot of pepper and tomato seeds indoors this year under my grow light.  A few of them have already made it out to the garden, and a few more will join them this weekend.  Another handful are already promised to friends.  But that leaves 10 or so extras that need to find good homes.

If you live in DC and would be interested in a seedling, leave a comment below or email me at graduallygreener@gmail.com and I’ll let you know what kind of inventory I have left.  I know I’ll have a few extra Romas, Dr. Carolyns, and Senorita peppers, plus maybe a Corno di Toro or two.  Some of them are getting kind of leggy under the grow light, but I’ll harden them off a bit this week and they’ll be fine for transplant.

Read Full Post »

My mom was in town this weekend, and since we both like foraging, we went searching through DC’s park systems for some elusive early morels.  Indeed, they were too elusive (from what I’m reading on mushroom hunter messageboards, dry conditions are giving this season a bad start).  But mom and I were much more successful in procuring another thing we both like: gin & tonic.

DC Bread & Brew, which I often pass on my way home from work, advertises a happy hour with Tru Organic Spirits.  Though I guess Tru’s vodkas are their primary claim to fame, it’s their Tru2 Organic Gin that I was after.  Mom and I are both gin snobs and total Tanqueray partisans, and I thought it would be fun for us to compare this new product to our old standby.  So we each ordered a gin & tonic, one with Tanqueray and one with the Tru.

We both enjoyed the organic gin quite a bit, though it probably won’t replace Tanqueray as our gin of choice.  Still, we found Tru to be a refreshing diversion.  The herbal flavors were stronger and more complex in the Tru.  I detected a delightful tarragon flavor, though tarragon isn’t actually one of the 14 aromatics used (star anise and fennel are, though, so that’s probably what I was getting).  Mom thought the Tru & Tonic was reminiscent of a good ginger ale.

I might get a bottle of Tru as sort of an auxilliary gin, for when I want a change from Tanqueray.  I can see Tru being a better fit with some foods than the piney Tanqueray, and also being a great component of a specialty martini or other cocktail.  And I do like their emphasis on organic ingredients and sustainability.  Their website claims that “For every bottle of TRU sold, we plant one tree in the rain forests of Central America,” and also “At 620 grams, our bottles use 25% less glass than the average spirits bottle.”  This gin snob approves.

Read Full Post »

A sneaky gardener alerted me to some delightfully clandestine goings-on tomorrow morning.  My mom is in town and, so I won’t be able to attend the event myself (brunch calls, alas).  But I wanted to give some publicity to DC Guerilla Gardeners‘ very first event.  I’ll definitely come to the next one.  Good luck, guerillas!  Here’s the info:

D.C. Guerilla Gardeners is getting to ready to attack, er… garden a neighborhood spot near you! Want to get involved? Your chance could literally be right around the corner.

  • What: The FIRST-EVER D.C. Guerilla Gardeners Event! Woo!
  • When: Sunday, April 18, 2010
  • Time: 10am – Completion
  • Where: T Street NW at Vermont Avenue NW
  • More Where: Location is one block from the U Street/African American Civil War Memorial Metro stop on the Green Line.
  • Bring: Bottled water (for yourself to drink), sunscreen (we like to make things green, not red), gardening gloves, your preferred garden tools (spade, trowel, shovel, etc.)*
  • RSVP: If you’re so inclined, let D.C. Guerilla Gardeners know you’re coming so that we can be sure to bring enough snacks. Did I say, “Snacks?” I SURE DID! There will be snacks, oh yes indeedio.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »