We took an impromptu roadtrip to DC over Memorial Day weekend and although it wasn’t the main purpose behind the trip, we did stuff ourselves full of tasty treats throughout, like fresh handmade pasta at Sfoglina Pasta House, crackling baguette sandwiches from Bread Furst, an icy cold frosé/margarita blend at Tonic and coffee and snacks at Little Red Fox. But by far and away our favorite stop was at Bete for Ethiopian in Silver Springs, MD. It’s something we don’t have easy access to in these here parts and I feel like I am in a constant state of longing for injera and misir wot after leaving my beloved Ethiopian Diamond back in Chicago those many moons ago. Upon our return to the non-Chicago Middle West, I’ve been fermenting a bowl of teff and have ordered a big shiny silver platter to spread my homemade injera on. If all goes well, I’m hoping I’ll have some pictures to share!

Min celebrated the end of fourth grade by coming home and making two fresh cheeses. The first, on the right, is a fresh buttermilk cheese with chives from the garden. The second we made today, a ricotta using white vinegar as the coagulant. Both are supremely tasty and so easy! You basically just need cheesecloth and milk. The buttermilk version you don’t even add an acid. We held on to the whey and have been sipping it from a snifter.
When we lost our beloved curmudgeon early last summer, we thought we would wait at least a year before bringing another dog home. But in late February, a series of unforeseen, serendipitous events culminated in us bringing home Barclay de Tolley. He’s a breeder rescue dog, which I had never heard of before, but a friend alerted us to this wonderful purebred rescue organization located in a town just about 20 miles north of here. Barclay (née Buddy) is only 2.5 years old. Typically, breeder dogs are released to this rescue organization when they’re quite a bit older and have aged out of serving their “purpose” *ahem, cough cough.* Good ol’ Barclay here refused to copulate and so there he was, patiently waiting for new owners! Never having raised a breeder rescue dog, it has been an interesting learning curve. He is whipsmart and is eager to please, and when outdoors, seems to just be a normal dog. But inside the house, he’s Barclay 2.0. He doesn’t really “get” what a house (or people IN a house) are about. Gradually he is willing to leave his safe spot for some time spent in the kitchen if it’s quiet, or by the living room couch on rare occasions. But for the most part, he is content to spend his time curled up in his little quiet nook, snoring like a mofo. Outside he is a pouncing, bouncing, wagging epitome of golden retriever joy-fulness. It has been fun watching him learn how to be more like a dog.

Min always encourages me to try new recipes and has been requesting Moroccan for awhile. I kept putting it off, thinking it would take too much time, but the other night, I went for it, and it was easy and delicious. Beef tagine with dates and chickpeas over pearl couscous. Min whipped up a Moroccan coffee to go with it that involved fresh grated nutmeg, lots of ginger, and a healthy dose of cinnamon and sugar. I used a Jamie Oliver recipe that Min deemed “inauthentic,” according to the YouTube cognescenti. But for my first try, I was happy with it. Maybe a tad on the sweet side. Next time I’d reduce the amount of dates and tomatoes and up the spices.

Great bourbon list at a new spot in Kalamazoo, Brick and Brine! Unbeknownst to us, it was restaurant week, so we got to try their fried chicken sandwich for a mere $10 and it was sublime. Hope it stays on the menu! Great bartender there who really knows her stuff and collected a fun, diverse assortment of bottles to try. We didn’t get any of the cocktails on this first go-round, but watching them go out, they looked right up my alley: complex flavors with a bitter/tart edge and not overly sweet. Looking forward to future visits!