Our Nation’s Capital

I had a lot of fun in Baltimore, visiting a friend from college. We spent Saturday in DC, where I found the signs to be a bit testy.

I had two very memorable meals. The first was in Baltimore, at Woodberry Kitchen, where the knowledgeable server and my friend struggled to make me understand that local produce could come from a different state (in this case, Pennsylvania.) They even served local figs, brought by a local resident with a fig tree and a hankering to share.

The second was at the cafeteria of the National Museum of the American Indian. It was the size and layout of a nice corporate cafeteria, but every station was dedicated to the foods of a different native American culture. I have to admit that I strayed from the Chesapeake region and had planked salmon from the Pacific Northwest.

Everything was cooked to order, and the ingredients were excellent. It’s my friend’s favorite place to eat in DC, and the secret is obviously out; there were many other people there, enjoying the food and the view out to the lovely fountain facing the Mall. Although my friend says that the museum food in Washington in general has vastly improved in recent years, I was really struck by how effective this cafeteria is as another way to educate people about native cultures, as well as being a great place to eat, with freshly prepared, inventive foods.

I also saw the USDA

and its symbolic vegetable garden,

where my friend sadly noted, “That corn is not going to get pollinated.”

And then today it was back to normal life. There was a small Village Harvest team picking oranges today. We got nowhere near the six barrels that had been rather optimistically scheduled, but they were all still juicy and sweet. John even got to take a little rest.

And Julia, La Jefecita, made us stir fry noodles for snacklunch.

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