Thursday, December 22, 2011

Picnic at the National Cathedral

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Washington National Cathedral

One of my favorite places in DC is the Washington National Cathedral.  It's free to visit, the cathedral and the grounds are beautiful, the view from the top is awesome, and it's a great picnic spot!  I toured the cathedral a couple weeks before the earthquake hit Virginia in August and came back post-earthquake for a picnic when the cathedral was closed for repair.

It wasn't a great idea coming to the cathedral after the earthquake because a large part of the grounds was also closed off to the public.  It seemed like an especially bad idea when what was supposed to be a sunny day turned cold and rainy after we arrived.  Jamie and I were not about to be deterred though.  We made a damn good picnic and were determined to eat it regardless of the weather!

We managed to dine al fresco by pulling our blanket under a big tree after it started to rain.

Our picnic consisted of the following:

Spring Mix Salad with Fennel and Pomegranate Seeds
(Recipe Adapted from Saveur)
Spring Mix Salad with Pomegranate, Olives, and Fennel

Instead of orange slices as called for in Saveur's recipe, I added pomegranate seeds.  This salad is tangy and refreshing.

Chicken Satay
(Recipe Adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

Chicken Satay with Lemon-Chive Tzaziki

This chicken satay recipe from Williams-Sonoma is the best recipe I've encountered while living in DC.  The chicken is extremely addictive.  The flavor combination of fish sauce and coconut milk is magical.  TRY THIS RECIPE if nothing else from this blog!  

Jamie and I paired the chicken satay with a quick tzaziki we made by dumping the leftover lemon zest and chives from making the lemon-chive deviled eggs below into a couple generous spoonfuls of Greek yogurt.  We also squeezed some lemon juice into the yogurt to thin it.  It's good to have the tzaziki to cool of your tongue if your satay turns out super spicy.

Lemon-Chive Deviled Eggs with Capers
(Recipe Adapted from Williams Sonoma)

Deviled Eggs with Lemon Zest, Chives, and Capers

The deviled eggs were a little bit underwhelming.  I wanted either add some spice or more tartness.  I think next time I'll add more capers.

Radish Tartines with Chive, Ginger, and Sesame Butter
(Recipe Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Radish and Chive-Ginger-Sesame Butter Tartine

I've never been much of a raw radish fan, but this tartine converted me.  Fresh, crunchy, buttery, with a radishy kick.  Yum!


Do you see why we were willing to endure the rain to have this picnic?

Picnic with a view

After our delicious but wet picnic, we decided to go to a coffee shop to warm up.  We picked Politics and Prose because, well, we both studied politics and we've heard that it has character.  

Politics and Prose

It seemed liked everyone who studied politics/IR/policymaking got the same memo, and they all decided to mix and mingle here too.  We had to stand around for 30 + minutes before we were able to steal a table.

Reading and Sketching at Politics and Prose

By the time we walked back to the National Cathedral, the sun decided to show up right before setting.  Nice!

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