sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

October 21, 2020


someone made supper
posted by soe 1:02 am

Stuffed Honeynut Squash

I may have mentioned before that Rudi is generally the cook around here. It’s not that I can’t cook; it’s just that I don’t particularly like to. And that when I do, inevitably supper happens at midnight. We eat dinner pretty late around here on a normal basis, but my cooking took us to such new levels after Rudi’s first convalescence years ago that he resumed cooking duties within a week of returning home. After his second surgery, he took over the next night.

However, needs do as needs must, and after ten days of sort of suffering through the easy options in my pantry, tonight I pulled up my big girl pants and made stuffed honeynut squash for supper.

I had ingredients on hand because I keep shopping as if someone in the Burrow is going to cook real food. Corey has shown no inclination, so it really did fall to me.

Anyway, they were stuffed with a combination of millet barley, spinach, garlic, shallots, and cranberries and topped with feta. The cranberries made it a tart filling, which contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the squash.

And I was smart and cooked all the honeynuts I had, so I should have two more meals that just need to be reheated.

Thank the heavens.

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October 20, 2020


coffeeneuring 2020: ride #3
posted by soe 1:01 am

Shaw Love

The Roasted Boon
1018 Rhode Island Ave., N.W.
Sunday, Oct. 18, late afternoon
Conditions: Pleasant

I was on my way to an entirely different coffeeneuring destination when I reached the intersection of Q, Rhode Island, and 11th and realized this was where the new Eritrean coffee house in Shaw had opened. So I changed course and locked up the bike to place an order.

The Roasted Boon Co.

I can’t think of what had last been in that corner storefront, so it’s likely the building had stood empty for a while. It’s across from the skate park and where the nursery used to be and where a middle school is being built and just a couple blocks from the Shaw Library. And Shaw has several Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurants, so there’s a historical presence of the community in the area.

The Roasted Boon Co.

Inside, The Roasted Boon is a typical roaster set-up, with a nice mural and East African decorations on the walls. Outside, the tables were full. It was great to see the neighborhood had embraced the shop since they opened earlier this summer.

“Boon,” if you’re wondering about the name, is the Eritrean word for coffee and its related coffee-making ceremonies.

The Roasted Boon Co.

I ordered shahee, which is Eritrean tea. Their tea is black, with a pleasant combination of spices that makes it not unlike the base of a chai. The bakery case held both pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin croissants, and my server recommended the former, saying it was his favorite. I appreciate enthusiasm for desserts.

Boon

There’s a pocket park a block and a half away dedicated to Carter Woodson, the renowned historian who came up with the concept of celebrating Black history in February back in 1926, who taught at Howard and who lived just around the corner. (His house is a museum I really need to visit once we do those kind of things again.) So I wheeled my bike over. It happened to be empty, so that was a good place to enjoy my snack and read my book in the sun.

Coffeeneuring Stop #3

This was my favorite stop yet, and I really look forward to returning. Both beverage and snack were delicious. They’re open until 8, which would have been great in the before-times, but which is unheard of in a coffee place now. And their patio is placed so as to offer sunny seating until dusk. I expect to make this a regular destination.

Total mileage: 3 miles

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October 19, 2020


shenandoah
posted by soe 1:22 am

I wanted to share just a few of the photos I took at Shenandoah National Park on Friday afternoon as I traversed Skyline Drive.

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

Skyline Drive

Old Rag

That’s Old Rag in the distance, the most popular hiking destination in Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah National Park

I started walking down to a waterfall before deciding I really didn’t have time to get there and back before I ran out of light. Making that choice allowed me the opportunity to catch Big Meadow bathed in rose light:

Big Meadow at Sunset

And the sunset over Skyline Drive:

Sunset over Skyline Drive

Fading Light at Shenandoah National Park

Even though I didn’t get to go with Rudi, I’m glad I went anyway.

Yet more photos are here.

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October 18, 2020


coffeeneuring 2020: ride #2
posted by soe 1:34 am

Coffeeneuring Stop #2

Olivia Macaron
3270 M St., N.W.
Saturday, Oct. 17, evening
Conditions: Clear and cool

Olivia Macaron

Again, a later start than I’d hoped for meant I had to improvise a stop.

First stop was the garden, where I picked tomatoes and herbs and mourned the loss of the big pepper I’d been hoping would turn red. Possibly a four-legged marauder, but my bet would be on the two-legged variety.

Second stop was Bridge Street Books, D.C.’s oldest indie bookshop. I was looking for two books of poetry by local authors, and their selection tends to be the deepest. They had neither, so I ordered one and bought a book in translation (another of their specialties) that The New York Times described as “an oddball fairy tale.”

I took a jaunt up the Capital Crescent for a short way, but it was getting toward sundown and I didn’t want to be on the trail alone past dusk. So I turned around at the first connection to the C&O Canal Towpath and headed back to Georgetown.

C&O Canal

I decided to finally visit Olivia Macaron, a specialty shop tucked into the side of the Georgetown mall next to what used to be Dean & Deluca. It’s been there seven years, but I’d never bothered to visit, because a) there are other macaron shops in D.C. I like and b) if I’m on M, there are usually baked good shops I’d rather visit. Welcome to pandemic times when everything good is closed and everything open has crazy lines.

I am pleased to report that should you be hankering for a macaron, Olivia’s is perfectly nice. I’d long assumed it was an outpost of a New York shop/chain, but it turns out that it’s an independent shop. (Check out their blog for adorable Halloween macaron hacks.) Because it was late, they had a limited supply of cookies left, so I took the recommendation of the clerk.

I had a cup of Earl Grey tea and a honey lavender macaron, which I consumed on a bench in front of a closed bike shop on a nearby street because there is no bike parking by the mall or on that busiest stretch of M Street. The cookie and tea were good, but there were too many passersby with poor mask skills, so I don’t think I’ll be back to Georgetown on a Saturday evening anytime soon.

Kings of Rock Creek Concert

My final stop of the night was an impromptu one. As I was biking home, I realized that the Kings of Rock Creek, a local band was performing an outdoor show in Rose Park. I’d heard their music wafting over to the garden sometimes in the summer and passed by some of their corner store concerts en route to other places, but this was the first time I really had nowhere else to be. So I needed to be there. It felt so … normal to be outside listening to a show (albeit in the chilly October air), and the two bands played a fun mix of their own songs and covers. They shared they have two more shows this month, so I now know where I’ll be the next two Saturday nights.

Mileage: 4.65 miles

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October 17, 2020


solo weekend #2 planning
posted by soe 1:46 am

I took today off as a personal day and headed out to Shenandoah National Park to catch some fall foliage. It ended up being a beautiful autumn day (instead of full of rain, the way the forecast predicted), culminating at the area called Big Meadow just as the setting sun blanketed it in rosy light. Expect photos over the weekend.

And I still have two whole gorgeous days left of weekend!

I’m planning on making a couple of Coffeeneuring bike rides and spending time at the garden (I picked the last cucumber midweek, but didn’t pull up the vine. I’m also trying to trim back the tomato vines each week with the hopes of pouring life energy to the green tomatoes that remain. It also just seems like a great weekend to sit and read and knit outside.

I’ll go to the farmers market on Sunday, but I don’t know that I particularly need a whole lot. I hadn’t expected to spend most of October solo, so my shopping before Rudi left ran towards two people eating, one of whom actually enjoyed cooking things. Maybe I’ll try thumbing through my cookbooks (just because I don’t like to cook doesn’t mean I don’t like to be able to point others toward what I want to eat) and do a little meal planning. That might help me avoid the dinner of takeout french fries and peanut butter cups (protein!) I had one night this week. I have a couple heads of broccoli that could be turned into a quiche, for instance. I could also bake a pie with some of my apples.

Rudi and I got one of the Halloween strands of lights up the weekend he bought them, but left the others to “work on later.” This seems like a good later, particularly since it’s dark by 7 now.

With Rudi gone for a while, it is left to the person remaining in the Burrow to clean and organize it. I’m going to get started with that this weekend. Part of that cleaning definitely includes several loads of laundry.

And I’m also going to get some more postcards out to voters in swing states. Realistically, this might be the last weekend that’s a feasible activity.

Finally, I’d definitely like to catch up with a friend or two, be it in person or over the phone.

What’s on your weekend to-do list?

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October 16, 2020


caregiving, shop small, and all for me
posted by soe 1:12 am

Halloween in the 'Hood

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Rudi has gone out to Salt Lake for the foreseeable future. I miss him, but I think it will be good for both him and his mom. I’m glad that he had the flexibility to be able to go.

2. After hitting four stores over three days in search of bathroom cleaner and finding only empty shelves, I stop at the local mom & pop, where their shelves are full. They also had baking supplies back in the spring, so I must remember to hit them up earlier in my hunt.

3. I had pre-ordered cinnamon buns to pick up at Sunday’s market before we knew Rudi would be gone, which meant I had four to eat over the week, rather than just Sunday and Monday breakfast.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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