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Jenna Gardiner

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  1. Thank you, but I could not find that thread when I searched earlier, perhaps it has no tags, and the OP contains no information on the current location (it is coupon codes) or anything else. There is also another thread with a single post on the topic from 2012 with outdated information.
  2. I was quite disappointed with my most recent visit to Persimmon. Like the poster above said, they do not make walk-in customers feel welcomed in the least, but in my case we did not visit at a busy time, ~4 PM and there were only 6 customers there: two at the bar, two couples at tables. The condescending waiter with the Kewpie doll hairstyle 'managed to squeeze us in somehow', told us he would kick us out if we were not gone by 6:30, and seated us at a small, chipped table by the window with a view of their planters which block the public sidewalk. He left the drinks menu with us for the entire meal, failed to clear empty sugar packets, had to be asked for drinks refills, and disappeared entirely by the time dessert arrived. Dessert was dealt to us by a blond waitress with hair half-covering her face and a voice like Tom Waits. Surprised the plate it was on didn't crack from the force with which she flung it towards the table. The bathroom was ...shabby. A dying palm tree sat covered in dust by the sink, and there was no toilet paper in the holder - rolls were scattered over the floor. The food overall was still good. My spouse was not terribly hungry to start, and was disinclined to stay after the frigid 'welcome', but he settled on the soup, curried cauliflower. It was creamy, mild, and very lightly spiced. I always start with the mussels, had the Provencal style this time and while good, the mussels seemed to be barely market-sized. I recall being served bread with their mussels in the past, that was not the case this trip. Braised short ribs with pureed parsnips, crisped Brussels sprouts, and paper-thin fried onions on top was the main course, and was commendable. Dessert was - allegedly - molten chocolate cake, which is supposed to be a hot, chocolate cake with a center that is still liquid. This was a warm, fully cooked, tiny, ramekin-shaped cupcake topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup, and I would not order it again nor recommend it. The coffee was good, the iced tea execrable. If Arthur Dent had been a Southerner instead of English, this is the 'tea' concoction that would have set him off on his rant. It is not difficult to make good tea, be it hot or iced, and as it is the most popular prepared beverage in the world, it would behoove them to learn how to make it palatable. I won't be going back here any time soon because of the service.
  3. Figured for my first review of the vendors I would start with Number 1 Sons. Naturally fermented pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha in numerous varieties make this deli lover feel like she's in heaven. I haven't been this psyched since I discovered the Parkway Deli pickle bar. My spouse is assuredly not a fan of kimchi, yet even he declared their Summer White kimchi edible, and ate several bites. If he's good, I'll save him a half-sour next time I shop, or better yet, just buy a whole quart. You can mix-and-match pickles or buy singles (as is proper.) First time I tried kombucha was their free samples so I can't compare it to any other, but it was not bad and would probably taste much better chilled. All of their products are vegan, but the selection of leckere sauerkraut just cries out to be cooked with the sausages I'll be getting from other vendors. http://number1sons.com/in-our-barrels
  4. A large market featuring over 100 vendors open Sundays year-round in the lot at Bethesda Elementary School, 7600 Arlington Road. Easy walk from Metro, ~3 blocks, or catch the free Bethesda Circulator which runs every 10 minutes and stops half a block away at the corner of Arlington and Wilson. Hours are from 10-1:30 in winter, 9-1:30 spring through fall. http://bethesda.centralfarmmarkets.com/ https://www.bethesda.org/bethesda/circulator-map
  5. I hate to bust your bubbles here, but freezing instead of canning is no guarantee that you will not get botulism. Freezing temporarily stops the growth and toxin production of C. botulinum, but as foods thaw, the spores will revive and resume making poison. It is best to thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator. http://extension.missouri.edu/p/GH1501 Another advantage to canning is you will not lose a season's worth of food if you have an extended power outage like we did during the Blizzard of _____ (choose any of the recent ones you'd like) or the summer lightning storms. The USDA offers free guides on home canning: http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html Even if you've no plans to try canning, it is an interesting and informative read. One of the tomato sauce recipes does include oil, and all tomato recipes reiterate the need for proper acidification via addition of specific amounts of citric acid, bottled lemon juice, or commercial vinegar of 5% acidity. Fresh lemon juice or homemade vinegar are unacceptable because their acidity can vary.
  6. This year I'm not growing any tomatoes since my back yard has gotten too shady because of the neighbor's overgrown Asian honeysuckle bushes I've grown many on your list in the past, though not PR. I looked it up and it is not listed as being resistant to anything, and the soil fumigation treatment (methyl bromide) for the common types of wilts has long been banned for private and most commercial use because it is a powerful neurotoxin. I gave up trying to grow Yellow Pear tomatoes because of fusarium. Mister Stripey, the various Brandywine strains, Big Boy, Taxi, Garden Peach (which has a soft, fuzzy skin!),Yellow and Red Pears, Sungold, and Sweet 100 and its offshoot Sweet Millions are some of my faves. As a B5 fan I have wanted to try the Vorlon strain since I first read of it, perhaps next year - I found all my rototiller bits and am making plans for plots in the front yard.
  7. Chill and drink it is what I usually do. It makes a good base for a vegetable broth, and would be lovely for poaching eggs, fish or poultry. It is mildly acidic and so is well-suited for marinades. What kinds of tomatoes are you growing?
  8. My mom's stuffed tomatoes are quite simple to make, and I find them tasty and comforting. Core and hollow the tomatoes, saving the insides to make tomato water. To fresh white bread cubes add lightly sauteed chopped onion, marjoram, pepper and salt to taste. Stuff tomatoes loosely with mixture, put them into a greased baking pan and cook uncovered at 350 until the bread starts to brown. The skin comes off easily after baking. Tomato water is a refreshing drink made by draining the gelatinous insides of tomatoes in a sieve over a bowl until nothing but the seeds remain. It is light and mildly tangy and has none of the texture associated with tomato juice.Try cold infusing the water with herbs of your choice in the fridge.
  9. Recently I had the pleasure of tasting a locally raised, pastured RIR cross broiler, $4/lb, and the difference in taste from the various supermarket brand birds was marked. The eggs from the same pastured flock also had a much richer flavor than that of eggs from hens raised in cages or free range hens, both of which are fed primarily on grains. Plants and bugs are what pastured chickens feast upon. Free range does not necessarily mean the same as pastured, it means they are not kept in cages, but they may live the entirety of their short lives in a barn, never seeing the sun or eating fresh food. Pastured birds spend most of their time outside, coming inside to roost at night. It is well-known that a creature's diet affects the taste of its flesh. Seagulls are fine, fat specimens that would easily make a meal, but no one wants to eat something that tastes like rotting fish and garbage. At the other end of the spectrum, there is a game bird which is particularly prized at the time of year when it feeds upon seasonal berries because of the flavor they impart to the meat. Sadly, that time of year is nowhere near the hunting season for them. Cured hams are an excellent example of how feed makes a difference in taste and price: this Wiki on the different types of jamon iberico should clear up any questions one might have as to why the prices range from $25 to $100/lb. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamón_ibérico#Types_and_characteristics I have yet to encounter a fresh chicken retailing for anywhere near $8/lb, let alone $15, but I would certainly be interested in trying a domestic poulet de Bresse raised in the traditional manner, if anyone knows of a retailer.
  10. Hello everyone! I'm Jen, and I've lived in the DC metro region for over a quarter century, mostly in Bethesda/CC. Having grown up in semi-rural PA suburbs, Bethesda is a foodie paradise. I have worked at a number of restaurants and bars both front and back of the house, but sadly, working in the industry dampened my enthusiasm for dining out for years after. I still tend to prefer take-out as there's virtually no drama involved. Fortunately, I never lost my love of cooking good food. My spouse was a cook for almost 20 years and all he is willing to make now is coffee and occasionally BBQ. I grow some of my own food, even kept the French tarragon alive over the past winter, and I have several young fruit trees just bearing their first crops - fig and medlar. I enjoy shopping at local farm markets - it's lovely to meet the people who grow, raise, and prepare our food. I've looked into CSA plans but they don't seem to be especially convenient and I prefer to choose what and how much I buy. Trader Joe's is my favorite supermarket, although their fresh produce is not the best, and I'm psyched for the Harris Teeter opening next month. In addition to cooking, reading about food, and of course, eating, my interests include reading and watching science fiction, studying articles from reputable science journals and sites, anime, gardening, cycling, walking our three cats, crochet and other needle arts, drawing and etching, ceramics and polymer clay sculpting, and dollhouses and miniatures.
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