Garlicy, feta pizza

I think it was on the Eckington listserv I saw mention of Italy Pizza, a hole in the wall pizza joint at 634 Florida Ave NW. From the outside it doesn’t look like much. Honestly, it look like a greasy carry out place you just keep walking by. But looks are deceiving. There is good pizza to be had.
I picked up a portabella mushroom pie. It was a thin crust pizza with a garlic herb sauce (not tomato), mozzerella and feta cheese, portabella mushrooms, roasted red peppers and a lot of spinach. It was good. Not as great as Matchbox but a tad better than Ella’s. Looking at the carry out menu I see I could make my own stinky breath pizza with the garlic sauce, caramelized onions, red onions, white onions, fresh and roasted garlic and anchovies. When in the mood for pizza I’ll definitely choose them again.

Chickens in the City

I woke up this morning (cue blues riff), and heard a report on WAMU saying that “Officials in the mayor’s office say there is currently no law prohibiting raising chickens within city limits if residents follow guidelines on proper animal care and shelter.”
As I remember, I thought there were laws on the books that in one way or another say no to chickens. Just to make sure I checked The City Chicken, which according to it’s chicken law page says, “Washington D.C. Housing chickens here violates health laws and is not legal.”
Then I checked the online DC Code, plugging in Chicken, poultry and fowl. DC ST § 8-1808, says, “(d) No person shall change the natural color of a baby chicken, duckling, other fowl or rabbit.” and “(f) No person shall sell or offer for sale a baby chicken, duckling, other fowl, or rabbit that has had its natural color changed.” and more importantly:

(h)(1) Except as provided in this subsection, no person shall import into the District, possess, display, offer for sale, trade, barter, exchange, or adoption, or give as a household pet any living member of the animal kingdom including those born or raised in captivity, except the following: domestic dogs (excluding hybrids with wolves, coyotes, or jackals), domestic cats (excluding hybrids with ocelots or margays), domesticated rodents and rabbits, captive-bred species of common cage birds, nonpoisonous snakes, fish, and turtles, traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes, and racing pigeons (when kept in compliance with permit requirements).

As I read that, I don’t interpret chickens or quail or ducks or any other fowl one may want to raise in the city as a ‘common caged bird’. And if I want pigeons, or squab, they’d have to be racing pigeons and have a permit, issued by what agency I don’t know.
So far with my limited knowledge it looks like chickens aren’t permitted, nor are they illegal.

Inauguration Musings- Inaugural Stuff in Shaw

A- I’m not going anywhere. I’ve told the Aunt and the 1/2 sister that I will be home to receive them and their people should they need a warm safe house between the Mall and Hyattsville. Besides that, I hate cold and crowds.

As I mentioned before with the Aunt, there are several things Shiloh Baptist is doing for Inauguration weekend, and there is a website up regarding that.

For the artistically minded there is the Art of Change at the Warehouse, here’s the press release:

From the press release:

Artomatic, Inc. and Playa del Fuego, Inc. – institutions of the mid-Atlantic arts community – have joined together to create this year’s most distinctive inaugural celebration, The Art of Change (, on Jan. 20, 2009 at 8 pm. With the generous support of Corporate Sponsor Scion ( and location sponsors The Warehouse Arts Complex ( and Douglas Development (, this event brings Washington, D.C., a unique opportunity to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as President. Tickets are available immediately for $50 at

Occupying three separate venues on the 1000 block of 7th Street, NW in downtown Washington D.C., The Art of Change will feature visual and performing arts, multiple dance floors, fire dancing and live music. DJs from across the mid-Atlantic region will be spinning an eclectic mix of musical styles on two dance floors, and in The Art of Change Galleries, displaying artworks created for this celebration. The Variety Stage will showcase performances all night long, including live music, comedy, belly dancing and spoken word poetry. And outside, attendees will enjoy fire-dance performances while dancing to up-and-coming DJs in the heated White Tent.

In the spirit of community organizing and collaboration that President-elect Obama has come to represent, The Art of Change is being planned in collaboration with a number of supporting organizations. These include DC Burners, Dance Afire, Bethesda Theatre, Cultural Attaché, Washington Project for the Arts, 4&9 Productions LLC, Brightest Young Things, The Pink Line Project, Pecha Kucha , Creative DC, Hungry for Music, Capitol Riverfront BID, and NoMa BID.

This collaborative ethic also facilitates social engagement by making us all responsible for the creation and maintenance of our shared culture. We encourage all attendees to contribute by performing, displaying art, volunteering, or donating to make this event a success. For more information visit

And there are some dining specials in Shaw celebrating the inauguration. Acadiana Restaurant on 9th and New York Ave is having a 4-course menu for $44. A bottle wine for $44 to honor the 44th President. Two Inaugural Cocktails: The Dream and The Spirit ($9), and the regular menu also available. Corduroy plans to be open, and I don’t think they are doing anything special. Same for Vegetate, open with the regular menu. Since these are close to the Secret Service Lockdown, I’m going to suggest if you reserve through OpenTable, bring a printout confirming your reservation, should you get stopped by some out of town constable, to prove (you shouldn’t have to but be on the safe side) you indeed have business in the area.

Chef, Church, Contractor, Coffee

This posting is for stuff on the backburner I’d been meaning to post. So, going in alphabetical order

Chef Jean Claude LeLan that is. About a week ago I took my 3rd or 4th class with him and they are always wonderful learning and eating experiences. His classes tend to be on Sunday mornings at 10 at his home in Mt. Vernon Sq., so even after having a rich meal and a good deal of wine, I can toddle or waddle back home for a good nap. The next class he’s having is the sauce class January 11th. I’ve taken it and it is well worth it because Chef Jean-Claude is a hoot, you get to take some sauces home and the after class meal is brunch. I also recommend that you take good notes and ask questions because the handouts are general and some steps are not mentioned or can be adjusted or are estimates or there are ideas that come out of the class.
Chef Jean Claude also offers catering and cooking classes in your home. I am tempted to have him cater, but a cooking class would not work. My kitchen is tiny.

Church of the Immaculate Conception at 8th and N NW is one of two Roman Catholic Churches in Shaw, the other is St. Augustine. The pastor of Immaculate Conception, Rev. Msgr. James Watkins resides in Shaw, so he is a part of the community. Mass is as follows- Saturday 5:30 (29 minutes or less or your next mass is free); Sunday 9AM (1 hour), 11AM (about 1.5 hours), 6PM (Latin. Fr. Watkins’ Latin is lovely, everybody else….eh). And don’t bother with the website, it is stuck in Dec 2006.

Not exactly in Shaw, but close, and they asked nice, and I needed another ‘C’…

I’m Ongisa and we just opened up CocoLibre at 786 Harvard St. NW. It’s a Fair Trade Cafe’ that specializes in certified tea, coffee, and chocolate- plus your typical coffee shop fare like paninis and pastries. I know we aren’t exactly in Shaw, but we’re close. If you could give us a shout-out or something, that would be great. Check us out on the web- Feel free to hype us up and stop in for some great organic (and ethical) tea! Thanks.

Some of y’all wanted my contractor’s contact info. Well my 2007 big renovation job and my 2002-2003 kitchen job were done by David of Something Different Contracting, 2/321-6416. I do recommend him for your big house projects (things that may require permits). David is very communicative, and lives close, in Frozen Tropic land (Old City 1). He has worked with older homes and will work with you to salvage any old beauty that may still exist in your home. You can email me at mari at inshaw daht com if you have questions you want to ask.

Want to join me for lunch Nov 17?

or sometime that week?
I got a promo email from Opentable advertizing their “Appetite Stimulus Plan”, which is sort of like Restaurant Week but $4-$5 more. Anyway I noticed a few Shaw and Mt. Vernon Square favorites, like Corduroy (lunch only) and 1905 (dinner only). There is also Vegetate and Acadiana. And I thought, I’d be willing to trek up to Corduroy for lunch from Penn Quarter. So if anyone else is working around Penn Quarter/ Gallery Place or at home in Shaw and care to join me for lunch at Corduroy, drop me an email in the next week or so at mari at inshaw period com.

Fall garden

Cutting board tomatoes 1
Originally uploaded by In Shaw

It must be tomato time, because they are all over the place. Well all over the place in the yard. Though 2 of the 6 backyard tomatoes plants were complete duds (no fruit), The front yard tomatoes have been making up for it. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been bringing my overflow tomatoes to work and giving the to co-workers.
The San Marzano Roma tomato plant has been obnoxiously fruitful as of late. After grabbing the mail I will notice some tomatoes ready to be freed from the vine, which are then deposited on the radiator in the entryway. I had about a dozen of the sometimes rudely shaped fruits sitting on the radiator, when I figure it’s time for sauce making.
My method is simple. Wash tomatoes. Cut off bottom blossom rot (a problem part of the potted tomatoes). Remove seeds. Cut in half or several pieces. Throw in pot. Add water as needed. Heat on low. Find something else to do while it turns into pasta sauce mush. Throw in salt, maybe remove skins, or not. Maybe add garlic, cream, herbs, or whatever I feel like, or not. Cool. Label. Freeze.
As the tomatoes are doing their thing, I’m planting seeds for winter foodstuffs. Pretty much beets, leeks, garlic, and onions. The arugula and coriander were sown earlier and I expect them to serve me through the winter like they did last year. I’ll see if the parsley will last.

Windows Cafe Gettin’ All Fancy

Bloomingdale’s Scenic Artisan has reported that the cafe is serving real food:

1. California mixed greens, shaved organic fiesta fennel, oranges, pinenuts, artichoke and balsamic vinaigrette. $8.95.

2. Pesto Canadian fresh salmon over saffron couscous. $11.95

3. Roasted Portobello, roasted red peppers, chevre, artichoke omelet with potato hash. $8.95.

4. Capalleni Angel Hair pasta with chipotle clam sauce. $8.95.

5. Grilled chicken breast topped with pepperoni, mozzarella on a rosemary focaccia. $8.95.

Soups $2.95:

roasted red pepper & tomato
cream of potato

I’ll admit the nothing to write home about food was one of the reasons that kept me from Windows. The other reasons were I would have to cross 2 major roads to get there and it was too far. I’m going to have to check them out.

East of New Jersey Challenge: Sorbet

I would have here Mango sorbet as the mangoes at the Mexican fruit stand were quite ripe, but the recipe calls for gelatin, and I don’t know where you get that east of New Jersey.

Mojito Sorbet

1 cup Sugar (G & S or any quicki-mart)
2 cups Water (WASA)
5 Sprigs of Mint (my front yard/ Bloomingdale Farmer’s Mkt)
1/4 cup lime juice (Mexican Fruit Stand-Capital City Market)
2 Tlb of Rum (Bloomingale Liquors)
Zest of two limes (Mexican Fruit Stand)
2 Tlb of mint cut into very thin strips (front yard)

Take sugar and water in a small pot, heat and stir till sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 mins. Remove from heat. Throw in sprigs. Leave for 10-20 minutes.
Filter out mint (maybe use a strainer) and pour into a bowl. Add lime juice, rum and zest. Chill to 40F.

If you have an ice cream maker- follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding sorbets. Add mint strips when you’re done churning.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker- use a stainless steel cake pan. Pour mixture so that it is no more than an inch deep. Place in freezer and agitate/ stir with fork every hour till frozen. Take batches of frozen concoction and place in blender. Get something slushy, add mint strips. Freeze and eat later.

Next time I’ll try something without booze.

East of NJ Ave Challenge: Bananna Liqueur

I had an idea to share some recipes as well as promote some Bloomingdale businesses and the Capital City Market, and that idea is the East of NJ Ave challenge. The challenge is to create a few yummy things from items east of New Jersey Avenue and west of…. oh face it I don’t bike past the Capital City/Florida Market. The borders are fuzzy. I don’t know how much of a challenge it would be when there is a great farmers market in Bloomingdale, Timor, a big honking chaotic warehouse district, and whatever I or my neighbors grow in their gardens. Yes, a big cheat is the stuff I grow in my yard. Not much of a challenge and it’s an excuse to talk about food.

So Banana Liqueur
Recipe from Homemade Liqueurs by Dona Z. Meilach & Mel Meilach (1979).

2 Ripe Bananas (Mexican Fruit -Capital City Market)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (Don Pepe’s – Capital City Market) or 2″ vanilla bean
1 cup of sugar syrup (see below)
3 cups of vodka (Bloomingdale Liquor)

Take the bananas, peel them, squish them and place in jar. Add the rest of the ingredients to jar. Tightly screw on jar top, and leave in the back of a cool/dark closet for 1 week. After a week strain and filter to capture liquid. You can drink it but let it mature if you can, for 2-3 months.

Simple Syrup
1 cup of water (WASA)
1 cup of sugar (G&S Grocery on 1500 blk of NJ Ave)

Combine the two in a saucepan. Heat and stir contents until mixture is somewhat clear. Cool and refrigerate. Add a smidge of vodka as preservative.

In search of a Happy Hour

Guess what? There is a dress code at Corduroy. I suspected as much when I called up Jimbo and suggested we head over and check out the happy hour. Jimbo was quite casual, sporting shorts, sandals and a tee. Jim had quite a bit of news, which you can read over at his blog, and so we talked about that on our way over to 9th Street.
Heading down 9th we stopped by the Long View Gallery. The cool painting in the window, of the flag wrapped like a bag (see pictured), just hung today, already sold. There is another blog posting about the opening for the artist Richard Currier, by Shaw Rez. The opening is this Friday, but I’ve already now seen it. I like the style and Drew mentioned that some of (or one of) Currier’s is in a museum somewhere. Oh, and there were two happy pooches in the gallery. Almost everytime I’ve been to Long View there is a canine in the house.
Anyway, we gave our reviews and said our goodbyes and continued on to Corduroy. And then we discovered the dress code. Shorts were a no-no. I didn’t even consider Jim’s shorts, I thought the sport sandals would be the deal breaker. The maitre’d asked if Jim lived close enough to change, but we decided to just come back another day. And I do hope to come back another day an try out their happy hour. That day, someone will be wearing pants, and maybe close toed shoes.
As I mentioned earlier, I suspected there was a dress code so I had a plan B. Vegetate also has a happy hour, so we turned northward on 9th. Mini-veggie burgers are good. So are the accompanying fries.