Wednesday, March 17, 2010

cows, cursing, coffee

Hello friends! I know it’s been awhile. Much to report.

I Netflix’d Food, Inc. last night, after it came up at the blogger meetup.

Oh, man. I think once a person has seen that movie they can’t really ever return to thinking like people who haven’t seen that movie. I am REALLY REALLY GLAD that it’s Lent and there’s no meat in my house, but I am having a hard time imagining a time- ever again- when I will eat mass-produced meat with the current state of things.

And then, crazily enough, the Washington Post featured an article THIS MORNING about local slaughterhouses and grass-fed beef and all of the things we should be shooting for. I refuse to believe the synchronicity of these events is an accident. So look for some new eats in the coming months!

But for now, my (vegetarian!) lunch:


It is Saint Patrick’s Day. I am 1/16th Irish. My meal mostly honored my 7/16th’s Greekness—pita, hummus, Greek yogurt—but I’d like to think that the quantity of green in the meal honors my Irish great-great-grandmother.

Plus it is my favorite color- the color of plants!

Now this sandwich-ish thing was somethin’ else.


I made homemade pita bread (a note on that in a moment) and shmeared half with avocado and the other half with spicy orange hummus which continues to be my absolutely favorite hummus recipe ever.

I had the HARDEST time deciding which bite was the most delicious- pita and hummus; pita and avocado; or pita, hummus, and avocado. Mmmm.

A note on the pitas. They are, um, kind of a hot mess:


I used my usual recipe, but I don’t know if it was opening a new bag of flour (Giant brand versus King Arthur- could that really make a difference?!) or something in the air or what, but the dough was just kind of odd today. And then I tried to stretch it thin because I was thinking about pita pizzas and you want more surface area for that.

And THEN I had a tray that I was laying out pitas on to put in the oven and I went ahead and knocked it off the counter and onto the floor and the pitas fell together into this gluey, gummy mess.

So perhaps the unbelievable quantity of obscenities I used also honored my Irish heritage! Man. I do not curse a lot at ALL but when I am driving and when I am cooking and things go wrong it is BAD. But according to my friend who studied abroad in Limerick, those folks really love them the f word. So maybe the 1/16th is asserting itself in that respect. But oh well they tasted fine.

Moving on.

As with the pita, this was another best-laid plan with mixed results.

Where I live now is kind of a wasteland for coffee. There is your standard Starbucks per square inch, but I got so spoiled in Boston with my selection of coffee shops. But, denizens of Northern Virginia, there is a non-Starbucks:


It is totally hidden in a strip mall and I actually know multiple people who’ve been creeped out by the name and the spacey looking logo because they think it says Be-a-net-ics and it’s like Dianetics and it’s some frightening Scientology thing. But no. It is a coffee shop. They roast their own beans! The setup is fanc-ay:


And they have a sweetener bar! You can pick your poison.


Okay so here’s where things went awry.

I had this lovely vision of sitting down in Beanetics, pluggin’ away on my laptop, sippin’ my coffee.

I was so optimistic when I took this photo!


Well, um. Their “free Wifi?”. Did not feel like existing today.

As for the coffee, I went for a skim cafe au lait on ice. Usually I go for a cafe au lait rather than a latte cause it’s more authentic and I am a lover of foam. And yeah it’s usually cheaper.

Well here it was $3.68 as opposed to $4.17 for a latte. But I mean, okay, they have good coffee.

Buttttttttt… this was probably dumb on my part but their hot brewed coffee was so good… so when they asked if I wanted my iced drink made with cold coffee concentrate or hot Ethiopian blend (which to their credit they gave me a free sample of and was delicious) I picked the hot. So my coffee was hot coffee mixed with ice. Equals… coffee-y water. Not so tasty.

On the bright side, the foam (I love foam!) on top stayed intact. I sprinkled it with cocoa! The foam was fab.


So better luck next time. I’ll suck it up and get a latte, or I’ll just forego my beloved foam and get a cup of coffee.


Anonymous said...

Psh, pitas are the hot mess of carbs (next to organic bananas which just grow in the most awkward shapes). Taste > aesthetics unless we're taking pastries, in which case I demand both.

mayapamela525 said...

Wasn't the story of the family in Food Inc with the diabetic dad so sad? Like I said at the meet up, my heart broke when the daughter couldn't have a simple pear because it was too expensive.

You are quite the domestic goddess making English muffins and pitas! As long as the pitas are still tasty, that's all that matters!

Anonymous said...

I love how precise you are 11/16 irish! That's so funny! I haven't got a clue what i am, maybe it's time to explore that family tree of mine!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog!

Was it really humid when you made the pitas? I've heard that rainy days can screw up baking...and fudge-making, oddly enough. haha

That coffeeshop looks awesome. I love places that roast their own bean!

Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA said...

Hey!! Thanks for visiting my lil blog :-) I graduated in 07 from Northeastern and now live in DC...Where in VA are you living??

MJC said...

I'm one of the few people who doesn't need to see Food Inc. because I already know of all the horrors of the meat industry! And I wouldn't eat meat again if my only other option was starvation. lol

Molly said...

That sounds like such an awesome coffee joint! Boo to the internet being down though. Maybe next time, because I am assuming there will be :o)

Homemade pita.. hello awesome!

Danielle (Coffee Run) said...

Whoa, I've never thought of making my own pitas! It's ok if they're's all about the taste :D

I'm pretty sure I'm the last person in the bloggosphere to see Food Inc! One of these days...

Oh, and I'm not Irish but I have a real effing problem with cursing ;)

Mom on the Run said...

I have Food Inc in my Netflix cue as well. I am very afraid to watch it. Probably best to watch on a Friday night when I am not eating meat.

A flavor bar at a coffee bar is awesome!

Heidi said...

At least now you know what NOT to order :) The pita bread still looks great. Is there somewhere I can find your recipe?

La said...

As far as I'm concerned, when pitas don't puff, I call them flatbreads and have done with it!

Ameena said...

I may be the only person who hasn't seen Food Inc. yet! Luckily I don't eat meat or chicken so I am really looking forward to watching it.

English muffins and pitas? You are pretty talented!!

Karin said...

I haven't seen Food Inc though I really want to. It seems to be difficult to watch it in other countries.. Sigh..
Your pita looks great! i love mashed avocado ;).

Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather said...

Thanks for checking out my blog - yes I love the Pacific Northwest too! Sometimes I get annoyed with all the rain, but then I spend time outside with the trees and beautiful scenery around I can really appreciate it.

I've been wanting to make my own pitas for quite some time. Do you have your recipe posted somewhere? I'd love to try it out.

Lisa said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I LOVE hummus and avocado together. Delicious! Will have to find your recipe for hummus and pita bread and give them a try. I've never made either myself!

Food Inc is definitely one movie everyone should see and definitely helped change my view of meat. Intense.

Have a great day!

Astra Libris said...

I'm so glad your pita turned out gorgeously after all! I'm very, very impressed with your homemade pita - soooo awesome!

Your hummus and guac sandwich sounds WAY awesome!

P.S. I loved the alliteration in the title of this post, and I had a lovely giggle as I imagined the title minus the commas... :-) It's the little things! :-)

Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA said...

I would looooove to do a blogger meet up!!!