It would be fair to say that our entire weekend revolved around food....Vietnamese at Huong-Viet Friday night (where the super polite waitress asked, "have you tried that before?" after each order, needlessly concerned for our Western palates), to Burmese food at home Saturday night, and Ethiopian food out at Laco Melza Sunday. We made a quick trip to the new and improved Union Market Saturday morning where we indulged in egg creams, knish and smoked salmon, and I had my knife sharpened while I waited at D.C. Mobile Sharpening. I had forgotten just how sharp that knife could be--it's just under a year old and even with proper care and storage it had lost its edge. I knew I had a lot of shallots to slice, and now I was up to the task.
I will admit to buying a jar of pre-fried shallots--we didn't have to break into them for this meal, but I am hoping they will be delicious. We had some friends over to try a bunch of food that I had never made before, and thank goodness, "Burma" delivered. We easy grilled chicken (rubbed with turmeric/garlic/ginger), Chinese kale with pork cracklings, Kachin pounded beef with herbs and semolina cake. All tremendously good and aside from the upper body workout I got pounding beef, pretty simple cooking. The Star Anise Ice Cream with candied fennel seeds was not Burmese, but paired well with the cake, and even with all that licorice flavor, a crowd-pleaser.
I do feel badly about missing the Inaugural festivities today, but the thought of standing around for 5-8 hours in the cold seemed insufferable. We showed solidarity with the Obamas by volunteering this weekend.
Despite a nasty winter cold, Sophie toughed it out at a local grocery store soliciting donations for a food bank. It was amazing to me that the "haves"--I am talking to you, trio of ladies with fresh pedicures, rushed past without a second glance at the donation flyer while other folks who seemed more likely to be on the receiving end of the food bank gave and gave generously. Also, smokers seem to be universally piggish folks who feel like they can throw their butts on the ground without a care in the world, and most kids are crying at some point during a trip to the grocery store. Three hours standing around without a book or a hand-held device allows plenty of time to observe human nature.
This week marks the beginning of Sophie's final semester of middle school. She is excited to start her new class: "Food and Nutrition." On our way to H-mart today she was leafing through the "Burma" cookbook and learning that turmeric is both antibacterial and antiflatulent. She decided on a fried rice dish for dinner tonight, and convinced me to buy an unreasonable amount of Asian snacks to share with her friends. We are trying another Asian dessert recipe with tapioca and coconut tonight. With temps dropping into the teens tonight, it's not only the Southeast Asian food I am longing for.