Using Your Senses

Ah, the weekend. At last, some time to catch up with ourselves, break out of autopilot work mode and use our physical senses (remember those?) to appreciate what's around us.

Hightail it to Ashburn, Va., this weekend for the ninth annual Old Dominion Beer Festival, where more than 100 beers from 50-plus mid-Atlantic breweries will be on tap. May I suggest a leisurely pace with those suds, perhaps with an intermittent snack and plenty of water to keep things hydrated? If the answer is no to beer, what about wine instead? From store tastings to vineyard tours, here's how to get your grape groove on in Washington.

One of the new arrivals at local farmer's markets this week is summer squash -- yellow, zucchini and pattypan. If you don't know what I'm talking about, look for a vegetable that resembles a miniature space ship, sort of round, with scalloped edges, in yellow, ecru and light green.

For details on where to go in your neighborhood, consult the Food Section's Annual Farmer's Market Guide.


Wanna give it a try? The small pattypans can be cooked whole, in a pan with some onions and olive oil, until fork tender. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme or basil. Larger pattypans can be stuffed: Slice off top, scoop out center with a melon baller and make a stuffing with onions, herbs, bread crumbs and the squash flesh. Filler up, brush outside with oil and bake at 350 until fork tender.

Washington Post Radio host Sam Litzinger puts up with me every Friday afternoon at 2:20, but he gets a free lunch out of the deal. Today, I'll be feeding him some of that garlic scape pesto I've been rattling on about these past few weeks. It's a good thing Sam hasn't yet devised a way (as he's been promising) to deliver smell out into the radio waves, as I am pretty certain this week the studio will be veryyyy garlicky. Sam, you had better pick up some breath mints. (1500 AM, 107.7 FM,

The sounds of the Caribbean -- soca, calypso, reggae - - will be within earshot all weekend long, at the 13th annual DC Caribbean Carnival. Pack your breakfast Saturday morning to catch the danceable parade along Georgia Avenue. Inhale and get a whiff of the jerk chicken grilling at Banneker Field. Don't forget to pick up a beef patty for the ride home.

For more info: DC Caribbean Carnival Web site.

By Kim ODonnel |  June 23, 2006; 10:30 AM ET Discoveries , Wine and Spirits
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Mmmm... I had some garlic scape pesto for lunch. Thanks for the fabulous recipe! It's my favorite pesto recipe-- too bad I can only have it a few weeks a year.

I'm really enjoying the blog-- so many inspired posts.

Posted by: Ms L | June 23, 2006 12:03 PM

Mmmmm, stuffed squash. My mom used to boil a large (10 to 12 inch) zucchini until semi-soft. Then she'd cut it in half lengthwise and scrap out the seeds. Then she'd fill it with cooked ground beef, tomatoe sauce, bread crumbs, onion, salt, pepper, and parsley and bake until until all the ingredients were hot. Then sprinkle grated parm on top. When I try to make it, it doesn't turn out quite right.

Posted by: WB | June 26, 2006 7:39 PM

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