The joyful photograph at the top of the post – which comes from the wonderful photo/blog Real People Eat Local (check it out for their delicious pictures) – is a perfect encapsulation of our day. Summer Saturdays really are the best!
Today started relatively early (by Saturday standards) as Andrew had to be at the Cathedral for a choral practice at 8 a.m. Our car is in the shop this weekend waiting for a leaky fuel pump to be repaired (one never wants to smell gasoline in your home garage), so Candice, Andrew and I had to juggle our schedules around the availability of Zipcars – the wonderful car sharing service we swear by. Because we have some 25 Zipcars within about 3 blocks of our house, we picked one up (a little Honda) and were on our way by 7:30. Urban living is great!
Swim team meets the past six weeks have their own charm, but they have disrupted the Saturday morning ritual Candice and I established this year. So we were pleased to get back to the gym for a morning workout, followed by our stroll shopping through the Silver Spring Farmers Market. Our farmers market isn’t as large as some (we’re talking about you, Dupont Circle) but we love our high quality and growing group of area farmers and other local food sellers. We bought our usual pastry treat from Praline Bakery and picked up some wonderful bread from Atwater’s Bakery. We stopped and chatted with our new friend Julie Gray Stinar at Evensong Farms (pictured in the photo at the top), where we picked up some eggs (they have THE BEST!) and a chicken. Julie and her dad Tom Gray (yes, bluegrass fans, the original bass player with the Seldom Scene) told us about the next Bluegrass in the Barn show at Evensong on October 10, 2010 (10/10/10 as Julie noted). We attended the last one and had a blast.
The Evensong Farms connection is too strange to be anything but true. Julie and her husband Brent actually found their farm through the historic house ads in Preservation magazine (the magazine of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where I work). And their hosting of a semi-regular bluegrass series just cements our admiration for what they are doing.
The farmers market is also a great place to run into friends, and this morning we were lucky enough to see a dear friend and her daughter, who was in town for a visit. Twenty minutes later we had caught up on the family news and had also gotten a hot tip to try out 8407 kitchen bar – a new local restaurant with a chef we’d admired at his earlier job.
I mentioned that Andrew had a rehearsal this morning. He’s come full circle, from singing as a young treble in the National Cathedral Choir to now being “one of the men” as a tenor singing with the trebles who were in town this week for the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) program at the cathedral. This afternoon we all headed out to St. Francis Church in Potomac to hear a concert by the choir, under the direction of English composer David Ogden. It was a glorious hour of music and I was reminded again that “singing really is praying twice.”
Andrew had to work his desk job at the pool this evening (and we had to return our Mini-Cooper – Zipcar #2 for the day), so Candice and I decided to act on our friend’s tip and try out 8407 kitchen bar. It was – in a word – wonderful. Silver Spring has an over-abundance of chain restaurants, but not enough top quality independent eateries. This one, located one block from us across from the Metro station, quickly jumped near the top of our list and will, no doubt, become a favorite local spot. Check it out Washington-area food fans.
And then to top off the day as I’m headed to bed, Ryan Zimmerman hits a 3-run walk-off home run for the Nationals and the Nats beat the Phillies 7-5 for their second straight win against the boys from just up I-95!
Summer Saturdays are the best!!
More to come…
Okay- we want to try the new restaurant, too. Sunday at the Cathedral with Andrew singing and Frank preaching was another wonderful summer day. Here’s to more together!
Yes, Lee, Sunday was pretty wonderful as well, especially since our Claire returned after being away for a six-week marine biology course.
Praline Bakery can easily compete with patisseries of Paris (having eaten through most of them in April). Thank goodness they come to the farmers market in my hometown of Rockville. I like them so much that I featured them among my favorites in a recent Rockville Living article (http://www.rockvilleliving.com/magazine/articles/fresh-and-local-farmers-market).
And I’ll have to check out 8407 Kitchen Bar–always looking for good places to eat!
Max: I loved reading your article on the Rockville Farmers Market and to hear that Praline is a favorite.