Thursday Misc.

I’m going to go down in order of importance-
I’m still in shock hearing this morning over the radio of the attack on the Holocaust Museum yesterday evening. My first DC job, was at the Holocaust Museum as a Visitor Services Rep. We worked with the security guards, as both teams dealt with the public. So my prayers are with the slain guard Steven Tyrone Johns’ family and co-workers.

Car Break In
There is a black car, Florida plates, on the 400 block of R St, Ward 2 side, with a busted rear passenger window. Thieves did not steal the water bottle in the front seat. That portion of road, the part nearest the AfriCare lot, I swear every other month, a car or several cars parked along that portion of street, get broken into.

Move, Get Out The Way
I’m going to guess they are interns and don’t know better…. Will the EPA interns from Howard University please move to the center of the train and not block the doors for 3 whole stops. A gaggle of 6 students with shiny new EPA stuff apparently are oblivious to the fact that near the doors, people get on and off the train. They blocked the doors for people getting off at Shaw and they continued to hover at the station side of the train for several stops until their destination at L’Enfant.

Using Duck Eggs To Make Super Rich Chocolate Ice Cream

I blogged about how the duck eggs made my chocolate ice cream so rich it was like a brownie that melted in my mouth. Here’s the recipe:
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”

Chocolate Ice Cream

2 cups of heavy cream*
3-5 Tbls of cocoa powder**
5 ounces of 100% Cocao/ bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup of milk***
3/4 cups of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt****
4 Mallard Duck egg yolks
1 chicken egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Warm 1 cup of cream in small pot with 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Try to eliminate or avoid clumps. Get it too a boil then bring down heat to a simmer for 30 seconds, while whisking. Remove from stove and add chocolate. Here is where I had problems where the mix refused to get smooth, separating into solid and oil, so I added more cocoa powder and cream, watered down with milk. Stir with spoon to get smooth. Transfer to a big heatproof bowl.
In that same pot heat milk, sugar and salt. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks. Slowly add heated milk mix to eggs. Start with a few tablespoons of milk and whisk, then move up to 1/4 cup of milk and whisk. Then take milk egg mix and pour back into pot. Slowly heat while stirring to make a custard. When it coats the back of the spoon, remove from heat and keep stirring.
Place a mesh strainer over the bowl with the chocolate and pour custard into bowl through the mesh. The mesh will capture big clumps of custard. Add vanilla. Take bowl and put in ice bath, or in my case set on top of ice pak. When decently cooled, place in fridge.
After about 12 hours has past, put in ice cream maker and churn.

* The first cup I used cream, the cream used later was more like half and half.
** original recipe called for 3, I added more later.
*** original recipe called for whole milk, I used 2%.
**** original recipe called for a pinch, I add more to keep my ice creams from being too hard and solid. Booze is better at this, but salt is more child friendly.

Execu-bird & my TV

I’ve occasionally complained about the ghetto birds- the MPD helicopters that come around after a shooting or something like that. They wander high in the sky above the hood and I could tell when they were around because the digital signal on my TV would get all screwy.
Since January I’ve noticed an uptick in air traffic above the neighborhood, mainly due to an uptick in television disruption. When I go outside to angrily shake my fist at the offending helicopter, I’ve noticed that it isn’t always a MPD marked or even MPD whirlybird shaped aircraft. I’ve noticed somethings that look like they could be the President’s or some military, Big Bertha looking like copters flying low. They fly lower than the MPD copters, and are bigger and come around more often, which means I looking at a TV screen frozen on one image with little pixels out of whack. And when it comes back into whack, the sound doesn’t match the picture.
I should mention, I don’t have cable or DishTV, I get my signal from the airwaves.
Anyone else experience this problem or can tell me what are those other helicopters flying over the hood so I know where to send a letter of complaint?

Found on the Street- Gentrification Rant

I’m going to make this quick. I found an interesting flier on Bates Street yesterday. It appears someone decided to print out some of their blog posts on gentrification and leave them on the doorsteps of several Bates residents.
I may or may not talk about this more, but the thing that gets me is the tortured logic regarding race and gentrification, that would define Asian-Americans as White. And it doesn’t even go into the main elements of gentrification, just homelessness and definitions of other non-black ethnic groups as white. Gah, if you’re going to print something out and pass it out, stay on topic. That’s just my suggestion.

Duck eggs

Originally uploaded by creekside_sonia

Sadly there were no duck eggs at the Bloomingdale Farmer’s Market today when I showed up. They were available yesterday at the 14th & U market, but I didn’t buy any there.
So what’s the deal with duck eggs and how are they different from the chicken eggs?
When I first bought them all I was told was that bakers love duck eggs. Ok. When cooking with them, when I made scones, the only difference I noticed was they were bigger and seem to have more yolk. When I made straight scrambled eggs, I didn’t care for them. But when I made ice cream, and I primarily used duck eggs there was a noticeable difference.
The ice cream recipe called for 5 egg yolks. I used 1 chicken egg and 4 duck eggs. When separating the white from the yolk, the egg was thick like a hair gel and the white didn’t separate easily. I had to run my finger down the side of the broken shell to get the white to drop. After the duck eggs, I did the chicken egg, and it was like water. I followed the rest of the recipe and set the mix in the fridge overnight. When I took the mixture out and poured it into the ice cream maker it was like pudding. Really thick pudding. The finished product, chocolate ice cream, was like a frozen brownie that melted in your mouth.

Greener Than Thou

I’m taking a break running errands that got pushed back to today because of the rain, and because I don’t have a car. I haven’t had a car since 1993, and living a car less lifestyle comes with some pluses and minuses. The reason I don’t have a car has more to do with money and the hassles of maintenance and not some Green philosophy. The greenie-ness is more of an added bonus.
My posting regarding the 5 cent tax on paper and the ever hated plastic bags, did raise some ire from some readers. I’m perfectly OK with being in disagreement on this point, as I’ll let time prove me wrong. Also I’m not out to win any greener than thou awards, we all have a multitude of green sins, some known and unknown, some that are easily avoided, others too ingrained in our identity.
When I say our identity, I include the obvious, like cars and the not so obvious, like our jobs, and our recreational activities. The computer was supposed to render the office paperless, instead the volume of paper exploded, and it has become cheaper to produce meeting minutes, handouts, leaflets, menus, fliers and maps that people will look at then toss out. We are horrible water wasters, letting the tap run as we brush our teeth and lather. We shower daily, and flush away gallons of potable water to be rid of a cup of pee. Then there is the electricity we use to stay online, charge our devices, keep our food, light our homes into the night (how much energy would you save if you went to bed at 8:30?), cool in the summer and heat in the winter. Even though I don’t have a car, I’m still dependent on fossil fuels because the bus and the train use diesel. At some points these exercises in examining every single action and choice, seems like asking how many angels can dance on the pin of a needle? You can spend an infinite amount of time and energy on things that in practice may have very little impact and are quickly abandoned.
We should make the effort to be Green, but we should avoid those heavy burdens that would make us turn away, give up, and not bother.

Why I don’t support the bag tax

Because this weekend I discovered farmers market strawberries and an iPhone don’t mix in a bag. The theory is that we should carry our canvas bags, and my main bag is a canvas bag. However, not all my groceries and purchases play well together or with the thing occupying the bag, and when my phone decided to be one wonderfully designed brick for 24 hours after sharing a bag with strawberries, I wondered how this new well intentioned law passed by the DC Council will work out in practice.
Yes, I wasn’t for it before the iPhone- Strawberry incident, mainly because the law includes paper bags and I wondered how it would impact pet poop pickup. I wasn’t aware paper bags were clogging up the waterways, so I question the logic of including paper bags which are recyclable, compostable, and good for boxes to be mailed. Seriously, taxing PAPER!?
Back to my bag…. I do have several canvas and other totes. And I do try to avoid getting a bag for small purchases. The $.05 credit I’m supposed to get doesn’t always get credited when I forgo the bag, I wonder if the charge will be levied regardless? Other problems include the fact that the bag has a limited amount of room, and it doesn’t help that I’m carrying around other things in it. Even when I have an extra plastic bag in my tote, that bag has been used and reused for lunch and more than likely is busy holding plastic lunch containers.
My first job was cashier at the Winn-Dixie and there I was taught proper bagging. Part of the lesson was certain things weren’t supposed to go in the same bag. Detergents, shampoos, soaps, paper (birthday cards, magazines) and the like, don’t go in the same bag as food, like milk, loose veggies and fruits, seafood, and deli items. Apparently the veggie bags and paper pastry bags will be tax free, so maybe there will be a greater use of those.

It will be interesting to see what human behavior results from all this.

Dead cat

found in the rain, on the sidewalk at the corner of NJ and Q St on the Ward 2 side of the street, so don’t walk your dogs over there.

Yes, I called the city’s 311 number.
No, nobody answered because I found the tuxedo kitty after 4:30pm, when phone calls go straight to a machine.
Yes, I called animal control. They don’t do dead. I was told I should call DPW.
At this point, I gave up. I’ll file a report which someone will get to it when they get to it.

Longview Gallery to move down the street

I’m feeling lazy and my mind is seriously preoccupied with some other things so here’s the straight press release:

Long View Gallery Acquires New Space in Currently Vacant Shaw Building

Renovation Will Quadruple Exhibition Space and Enhance Framing, Events Services

Washington, D.C. – [June 1, 2009] – As part of its continuing efforts to support the regional arts community and to contribute to the Shaw Neighborhood’s renaissance, the Long View Gallery will relocate to a currently vacant building directly across from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 1234 Ninth Street, NW. The gallery’s new space will undergo major renovation, more than quadrupling the gallery’s exhibition capacity, enhancing its custom framing and special event offerings, and making it one of the area’s largest art collectives.
“With many other businesses closing, we have been able to swim against the economic tide, demonstrating that art is indeed a great investment. After three successful years in Shaw, Long View Gallery simply outgrew its current location,” said gallery director Drew Porterfield. “Thanks to Douglas Development, we were able to secure a building with great potential in a location that is impossible to beat—half a block south on Ninth Street from our current location, directly across from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and closer to existing and planned fine restaurants,” Porterfield said. “Shaw has been a wonderful home, and we are thrilled to contribute to its renaissance.”
The building was previously used as an auto showroom and, most recently, as a vending machine warehouse, but it has sat empty for several years. Although the building’s architecture is stunning, with soaring ceilings and concrete floors, it requires a significant renovation before the gallery takes occupancy later this year. The gallery’s renovation, designed by local architect Will Couch, will maintain the raw feel of the building while transforming it into a premier gallery space. The new gallery will occupy the southern portion of the building, comprised of nearly 5,000 square feet, more than quadrupling the square footage of the Long View Gallery’s current location.
In its new venue, Long View Gallery will continue to show and support regional, contemporary artists as well as offer fine art custom framing. Joining Long View Gallery is Special Events Director, Suzi Molak, whose expertise in the events industry will be a great asset to the company. Porterfield said the gallery is finalizing a more frequent exhibition schedule and is preparing to announce several major new artists whose works will join the gallery in time for a planned grand opening after Labor Day.
Long View Gallery was founded in 2000 by Andrew Haley and Suzanne Zylonis in Sperryville, Virginia (about 75 miles west of Washington). The gallery quickly built a loyal following with local art patrons, including William Waybourn and Craig Spaulding, who partnered with Haley and Zylonis in 2006 to open a second location of Long View Gallery in the District. The Sperryville gallery showcases many Virginia artists and the surrounding countryside’s bucolic or pastoral settings.
Long View Gallery will remain open at its current location until the end of July, with an expected grand opening in the new space in September. The gallery will post updates and images of the renovation in progress on their blog at