Monday, 18 January 2010

The wonders of Washington 2

My tramp round Washington included a search for a bookshop - I had directions to a Borders but didn't find it. Then all of a sudden, I stumbled across it when I wasn't expecting it. The one cookery book I wanted to buy in the US was Ree Drummond's A Pioneer Woman Cooks. I love her website and her story of city girl meets cowboy, falls in love and learns to cook meaty treats for her man and kids on their ranch in Oklahoma. I could have bought it from Amazon, but I wanted the vicarous thrill of buying an all-American cookbook in the US. There it was, in all its glory, so I scooped it up thankfully and began a leisurely browse of the large cookery section. No James Beard, but I did get Mark Bittman's big tome - I think it was the chapter on veggies that closed the deal.

Some things about Washington that I loved:
- the coffee: almost universally good (or at least better than the UK), and DC will now forever be associated with the taste of gingerbread latte, thanks to the good offices of Starbucks on a freezing Sunday morning
- American plumbing. It looks old fashioned and wieldy but one WHOOSH! and the bath is full.
- the politeness. We're meant to be the polite types, but US courtesy seems genuinely meant. Not always the case here.
I've had a very lazy weekend, but did stir myself to whip up an American slaw, first made for President Obama's inaugeration dinner and now a firm favourite.

US Slaw

Equal quantities finely shredded white cabbage and grated carrot
Half quantity of finely diced red pepper
An equal mix of mayo (Hellmans is in the fridge) and greek yoghurt
Your favourite vinegar - I used passion fruit vinegar from Fresh and Wild
A handful of caraway seeds

Simply mix your veg and toss with caraway seeds. In a seperate bowl, mix the mayo, yoghurt and a slurp of fruit vinegar. Combine. Serve with whatever you like and stash the remains in the fridge for your lunchbox.

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