In the order that it happened: Running excitement, part 1: During Friday night's run there was a monstrous thunderstorm and it just happened to get bad after we ran past the waterfront and up under the Whitehurst. Where Owen Wilson & Reese Witherspoon were filming a movie. Sweet. We watched them walk back & forth in manufactured rain for a while and some people from LA saw their first hail.
Kitchen excitement: When we got home half of our power was off. We made some Indian food, and I turned on the oven to heat up some frozen Naan. Oh shit. I opened the oven and there were FLAMES shooting out of the bottom of it. I think we have a gas leak. Yikes. And I need to bake a super big birthday cake for next weekend. (For my birthday party!)
Running excitement, part 2: I went for a nice long run (like 6.75 according to Map My Run) last night and did the around the White House loop. When I got there they had just tackled and were arresting a guy on the north side of the White House. Drama. I went around past the treasury and a police car sped out of the secure area and down 15th St. As I got down 15th St there was a crowd of people and two runners looked and me and said "They're going to make you stop." Turns out there was a motorcade (pres or vp) coming through, press pool and all. Once I was allowed to run across the south side I had to stop and wait again because important people were getting out of the motorcade and walking inside.
And my butt/hip didn't hurt when I got home! (And didn't hurt this morning.) I'm still taking it "easy" so running every other day and getting elliptical & stretches or some yoga in on the off days.
I did both! Sweet. See my butt/hip/it band have been bugging me lately and I have been taking it easy on the running. This sucks because I just got new sneakers and really would like to run in them (they are pink! ok, that's not the real reason) and we are doing the Baltimore Marathon Relay in October. I would like to kick some butt. As I was walking home today I was totally flip flopping - go run because I wasn't hurting, take a rest day because I wasn't hurting and didn't want to make anything unhappy, just go to work early and elliptical tomorrow. Hard decisions. Ultimately I decided that I would test it out and do some laps around the memorial. It's about 6-7 minutes when I'm feeling ok, so I figured I would be close to home in case I was feeling pain. I started with a walk, turned it into a slow jog, and felt kind of ok. So I progressed into a slow run down the hill and determined I should run towards Memorial Bridge, which I did... Got there, turned around, came back and did about a lap and a half around the memorial. All in all, not bad.
To the baking! First - today is my brother's birthday. My mom made him a brownie ice cream cake, with peppermint ice cream. So you see where I get it. Second - SB needs cookies for a lunch tomorrow, so I said I'd make them. For the first batch I just used a packaged chocolate chip cookie mix (I know, packaged! but they turn out just fine, because it's not like I break & bake.) and added toffee chips to it. I should have added walnuts, but didn't think of it until I was almost done scooping cookies. And they turned out super yummy. The addition of toffee chips makes them a little more homemade. Plus - warm chocolate chip cookies? Who's going to complain? The second batch was brownie cookies. I used my regular chewy brownie recipe from King Arthur Flour, the ones that JV said were delicious, and she could kick my ass in a baking contest. I baked them in muffin tins though, using my melon baller/cookie scoop I put a big lump of brownie batter in and baked them for about 15 minutes. Came out awesome too, even though I realized that I forgot vanilla. (You'd have to have pretty discerning taste buds to get that.)
Anyway, since I got that run in, I might put some ice cream on a brownie for dessert. Here are some photos:
There are some days when you curse yourself for not having a camera with you. Yesterday afternoon was one of them. I saw the strangest thing as I was leaving the Wachovia and walking to Foggy Bottom.
I was about to cross M St. at 29th and was in kind of a funk so was just sort of gazing across the street waiting for the light to change and I heard a guy (on a bike) shouting. So I looked over, and striding down the street was the craziest guy I've ever seen in the city.
He looked like Poseidon:
(But he was black.) But legitimately this guy looked like he had walked out of the Potomac with trident in hand. He was barefoot, shirtless, and wearing what I would best describe as a denim skirt, but likely was a torn pair of jorts - which also happened to be ripped straight up the side, so you could see his bare thigh (he's neither boxers nor briefs). Not only that - he had bleached blond dreads and beard, and was carrying a wooden stick.
I STARED. (So did I'm sure everyone else who walked past him.) Then I thought, wtf do you do when a half naked, barefoot, homeless god of the sea strolls out of the Potomac and down M St. Do you call the cops? 311? Assume that if he walks into Cusp someone else will do it? Clearly I did nothing, my camera phone wouldn't have done him justice, but hopefully someone else out there caught sight of the Potomac Poseidon.
I made another pie. This week's was strawberry-rhubarb, made with a pound and a half of rhubarb and nearly a quart of strawberries - both from the farmer's market*. When I came home from work on Monday, I started with the pie crust:
When my mom first bought me that kitchen tool I didn't know how often I'd use it - but pie crusts, scones.... It turned that flour and butter into this: This might sound like the last post, but I made the crust, stuck it in the fridge, then SB & I went for our Burn After Reading run... When we got back, and after dinner and a shower, I got to baking. This is why we are watching Body of Lies again.
Then I cut up about 4 cups of rhubarb and 2 cups of strawberries: And mixed that with some orange rind, white and light brown sugar, a bit of cornstarch and some cinnamon. You can see in this photo what I use to roll pie doughs on - my pizza stone (in the lower left)! I cover it in parchment though (which also makes it super easy to get the crust into the pan).
Then I did this: Fuck yeah that's lattice!
I know, it's beautiful.... You should see this: (make sure you're not drooling.) And this:
So I covered the cookie sheet in aluminum foil and put the pie on that - maybe this is why the bottom crust wasn't as crispy as it could have been? However, we didn't get smoked out of the kitchen by rhubarb juice on the floor of the oven, like what happened after my brother and I turned on the oven after mom made her two tart and delicious rhubarb pies.
Now that you've seen the pictures I'm sure you'd like to know how it tasted? As I mentioned, the bottom crust just wasn't as crispy (flaky?) as it could have been, but the lattice tasted great. I love pie crust though and it provides a good salty contrast, so I think in the future - as cool as the lattice looks - I might just roll out a regular old top crust. (And cut hearts out of it?) The combo of rhubarb and strawberry was awesome - the fresh sweetness of the strawberries really cut down on the tartness of the rhubarb, not that I don't love straight up rhubarb pies (and I have some rhubarb leftover!) - but it also makes it a little more marketable to people who aren't so fond of the tart pie. And always always add the orange rind!
*On the subject of farmer's markets, I was trying to figure out which vendor was getting dissed in this post from DC Foodies on the Foggy Bottom market and realized it's probably my favorite people there. Also, they've always been plenty nice and talkative - but usually are busy because they have so much stuff, which would be why they stand behind the table. Also - no mention on the French bakery? So good. So is Atwater's and I am plenty happy that I can buy bread from them twice a week.