Too Thrifty Chicks

Think.Thrift.Create


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Around Town: Eastern Market

Faced with the prospect of spending Sunday on the couch — Reese is recovering from running the inaugural Ragnar Relay Trail race and I was just feeling blah post homemade waffles — we decided to shake off our lethargy, get our butts in gear and get out of the house.

OK, it didn’t actually happen like that. Reese cut my hair. I took a shower and she took a cat nap. I laid across my bed post-shower and Reese popped her head in my door to ask, “Are we really going out, or are we laying around the house?”

I’m pretty sure she was hoping I would say, “Let’s lay around the house.” But I was already dressed. <— See we love y’all enough to keep it REAL!

EasternMarket

We have been planning a trip to Eastern Market for a minute, but travel, work, life and our couch got in the way. We don’t apologize for erring on the side of chill mode. :: shrugs :: Being everywhere, all the time, really isn’t our ministry. :: shrugs again::

Eastern Market, is Washington, D.C.’s oldest continually operating fresh food public market, according to its website. Not only can you get fresh ReeseShaggyDogproduce, straight from the farm, but you will find a plethora of unique arts and crafts that you will want to take home. In the past — as in before Operation Do Better — we purchased jewelry, handmade soap and other odds and ends that we probably didn’t need, but never regret buying. You’ll also find amazing street food at Eastern Market like we did on this trip.

We broke one of our cardinal rules and went to Eastern Market hungry. We were so hungry, in fact, that the trail mix and peanut butter crackers we were noshing did not do the trick, so our first order of business was to get some grub. Our noses led us to one stand in particular that was serving up all things Indian food. Reese and I love Indian food and figured if the gentleman manning the station was making whatever he was cooking — it turned out to be veggies, butter chicken, lamb and chick peas — smell like that, we had just found our lunch.

IndigoSign2We learned that those mouth watering aromas and the food we ultimately inhaled — lamb over rice, in case you were wondering — is going to be front and center in a sit-down restaurant called Indigo DC. The owners, a husband and wife team, built up their business, their clientele, and apparently their confidence to go from street vending to providing a full-on dinning experience. All we can say is, “Right on!”The restaurant is slated to open at the end of June at 243 K Street, N.E. Washington, D.C. (Click the hyperlink to follow Indigo DC on Facebook and follow them at Twitter @INDIGO DC. We sure will!)

As we scarfed down our lunch, we discovered a truth: It’s warm outside and we want to spend money on the weekends. The Lambreality is, the strict no-spending limits we were able to impose in the winter have kind of flown out the window. Most of it has to do with the fact that we’ve reached a lot of our financial goals, which we will talk about at the beginning of July. The other IndigoSign1part centers on the fact that there’s no crappy weather to keep us indoors. We’re either going to spend that additional money on air conditioning, or we’re going to spend it outside the house. But reality is we’re going to spend it, so we might as well plan for it. We’re still going to cook our weekday meals, take our lunch and eat at home, but we’re going to give ourselves some wiggle room on the weekend fun budget.

We decided to put this experiment to the test right away. While we were at Eastern Market we put a $20 cap on our spending which meant, at $12 a piece, lunch almost wiped us out. But the universe smiled on us. As we were making our way through the market again, we noticed that vendors were starting to put away their wares and close up shop. It was almost 5 p.m. and little did we know that the most miraculous thing was about to happen. Produce Produce1vendors from Dunham’s Farms had an everything must go sale — cantaloupes, cartons of strawberries and peaches, all for $1! We went home with  fruit galore for $7.  Peach and strawberry pies are in the works and so is a summer sangria with drunken cantaloupe — that’s another story for another day, trust us. We had just enough Moo-la left for some fro-yo, capping off a lovely afternoon.  We hope you had a great weekend and spent some time around your town.

Until next time,

R&R

How was your weekend? Did you go anywhere especially cool? Is it some place we should visit? Post a comment and let us know, or hit us up on Facebook.

Ricks2 FroYo Ricks


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R&R Around Town: Chicken Wings and Mumbo Sauce

A research participant once said to me:

“D.C. is east of the river. DC was Ben’s Chili Bowl [before it became popular]. D.C. is neighborhoods outside of the better known neighborhoods. D.C. is Mambo Sauce and Chicken Wings. D.C. is Go Go. DC is Carryouts. That’s D.C.”

The first time I heard about mumbo sauce was during an interview I was conducting for my dissertation. The interviewee asked, “Have you been put on to mumbo sauce yet?” I shook my head no, and he looked as if I had just cussed him out. “You need to try it.”

So Ricks and I did just that. A couple times in one weekend.

That weekend sparked our quest to discover “real D.C.” and to document it in this new series we’re calling “Around Town”. It will feature some of the fun, foolishness, and fashion we encounter as we explore.

Chicken Wings an Mumbo Sauce: A Taste of D.C. Culture

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Ricks and Reese stylin’ for Chicken Wings and Mumbo Sauce.

A friend turned us on to a free art exhibit that was happening last month called, “Chicken Wings and Mumbo Sauce.” The exhibit was developed in response to a widely publicized exhibit at the Corcoran called, “Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture in the 1980s.” The first exhibit featured local artists and the event’s namesake: chicken wings and mumbo sauce. It also helped kickoff our desire to really discover D.C.

What is mumbo sauce you ask? The short answer: no one really knows.

OK, people kinda know. It’s a condiment that every carryout in D.C. makes and is usually served with fresh-out-the-grease chicken wings. It’s a little different every where you go.

Some places make it spicier. Others make it sweeter, but ketchup and/or hot sauce seem to be the base ingredients. We were on a quest to sample this magical sauce that appears to be a part of growing up in The District.

We tried the mumbo sauce at the Chicken Wings and Mumbo Sauce event and honestly weren’t impressed — maybe because the chicken was cold and the sauce couldn’t do much to remedy that. Despite the cold chicken, we enjoyed the art, free beer, and general feel of the space. A diverse crowd vibin’ off each other’s energy. We dig it.

Pump Me Up: We Love Disco Dan!

The next day, we met up at the Corcoran to see the Pump Me Up exhibit. We wanted to see how the two compared to each other, plus admission to the event was FREE on the day we went. The exhibit was cool: posters, videos about go-go music, and an awesome mini-bio of Cool “Disco” Dan, a famed graffiti artist around these parts (who happens to be one of our new favorite people now, BTW).

IMG_4097 IMG_4093 IMG_4088Afterwards, we supported a friend who was speaking at a local university about food deserts in D.C. He dropped some serious knowledge about getting involved in communities and not making assumptions about the people you’re trying to help.  Of course we worked up an appetite, so we hopped in the car and drove from upper Northwest/Northeast DC to a carryout called Yum’s for one more round of chicken wings and mumbo sauce.

The wings and mumbo sauce from Yum’s was a nice way to finish off an exciting weekend. I don’t know if we were just super hungry or if it was really that good, but either way, there was nothing but clean bones left in those Styrofoam containers when we were done. IMG_4110

This was our first dive into deep exploration of “The Real D.C.” Not the Hill. Not the White House. Everything beyond and in between. The artwork at both exhibits was really cool. We dig go-go music, so it was nice to learn more of the history of it and see some of the awesome posters. IMG_4116

Chicken wings & mumbo sauce? Check! Now we’re off to try another adventure. Check in with us weekly during the month of May to see where our feet (and public transportation) have taken us and feel free to recommend a “Real D.C.” spot we should explore.

— R&R