STYLE } October Love

October has to be my favorite month, and this year, it's shaping up to be an exciting one. I'm looking forward to ...

• Opening the second Salt & Sundry (fingers crossed)!

Making pumpkin pancakes 

• Finding time for apple picking

• Warming up with hot buttered apple cider spiked with rum


COOK } Rancho Gordo Beans Now at Salt & Sundry

My favorite beans are now on the shelves at Salt & Sundry! What's the big deal about Rancho Gordo beans? Founder Steve Sando cultivates New World heirloom varieties that pack greater depth of flavor and much better texture than the aged dried beans you often find.

For Salt & Sundry's pantry, we opted for Vaquero, Red Nightfall, Yellow Eye and good ol' garbanzos to start. I'm dreaming up earthy fall dishes to put them to good use.

A little DC connection from a 2009 New York Times article on the Rancho Gordo craze:
At the Yountville market, shoppers were lured by Sando’s boldly patterned beans, only to recoil when they realized they weren’t candied nuts, noted Sando. The French Laundry chef de cuisine Eric Ziebold (now at CityZen in Washington) brought Thomas Keller, who flipped for the Vallarta, which Sando jokingly described as “a stupid little yellow bean on the verge of extinction.” Soon everyone wanted “the Keller Bean.”


STYLE } Apron Chic

I love a good utilitarian apron. Two current favorites we're stocking at Salt & Sundry
above: This half apron sports a cool vintage cutlery print and crisp stripes at the waist. 
below: Hedley & Bennett's impeccably crafted chefs aprons, handmade in Los Angeles. (Instagram friends: @hedleyandbennett has such a fun photo stream.) 

Here's to looking sharp in the kitchen ...


DRINK } Sipping Summer Rickeys

The fine folks over at Mutiny recently whipped up a few summer-perfect spins on the Rickey (the official cocktail of DC), styled up with some pretty pieces from Salt & Sundry. Here are the gorgeous photos by Justin Gellerson to inspire your weekend drinking.

Check out Mutiny's full post for drink recipes and a little Rickey lore.

Bourbon Rickey with Mint

Gin Rickey with Royal Rose Strawberry Fennel Syrup


MAKE } Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind

Tis the season to trot out one of my favorite summer recipes — and a mighty delicious way to turn trash into treasure.

Every now and then, I'll grant some watermelon rinds a reprieve from my Compost Cab bin and put it to good use.

Meet the pungent, sweet, tangy deliciousness that is spicy pickled watermelon rind. I think it was the ginger that really hooked me the first time I made it. No surprise there. Have I mentioned I like ginger? And the rind turns the most beautiful color, like amber jewels with a glowing translucency.

This is a quick pickle — no need for jar sterilizing and all that. Just eat it up in a few weeks and keep it covered in the fridge. I like it as a condiment on a cheese plate, with seafood, and grilled pork or chicken. You could even mince it up finer and use as a relish on sandwiches.

Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind
adapted from Gourmet

1 medium to large watermelon
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups sugar
4-5 strips of lemon peel
1/4 cup minced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced red chile (Fresno, Thai or other)
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seed
1 teaspoon salt

To prepare the rind, remove the the pink watermelon flesh completely for another use. Cut rind crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips and remove the green peel with a knife or Y-shaped vegetable peeler and discard. Cut the remaining white rind into 1/2-inch cubes.

In a large heavy saucepan, bring rind and remaining ingredients to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rind is tender and translucent and liquid is syrupy, 45 to 55 minutes.

Allow the pickled rind to cool uncovered, and then chill in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.


DRINK } Hemingway Daiquiri

Last week, the Salt & Sundry team joined author Phil Greene and our friends at Mockingbird Hill to toast Ernest Hemingway's 115th birthday. Phil signed copies of his Hemingway cocktail companion "To Have and Have Another," and we sipped classic daiquiris. Mix one up this weekend: 

Hemingway Daiquiri 
courtesy of Phil Greene 

1 1/2 oz white rum 
1/2 oz lime juice 
1/3 oz grapefruit juice 
1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur 

Shake with ice and strain into a glass. 


GO } Movies At Angelika Pop-Up

I'm pretty excited to have Angelika Film Center on its way to being a Salt & Sundry neighbor at Union Market. (Here's the latest in case you missed it.) I finally got a chance to see a movie (Chef, very cute) at their pop-up theater, right beside Dolcezza's new factory. It's a small sneak peek of what's to come once the full theater is built.

You can check out the details for showtimes and such here. And plan to splurge at the snack bar. I'm a sucker for interesting concessions at the movies, and though I passed on the kale chips, classic popcorn, watermelon cotton candy and a local Port City Optimal Wit made a great treat.