Nothing against clover honey, but there are 300 or so other varieties to be explored, each with a distinct flavor ranging from mild to robust. Tupelo is lovely in tea, a drizzle of wildflower transforms a slice of pecorino cheese and buckwheat, like molasses, is best in small amounts in specific recipes.
Clover Mild and sweet; the most common.
Tupelo Delicately flavored and pricey.
Orange Blossom Faint flower flavor.
Wildflower Intriguing, intense honey flavor; pictured at left.
Buckwheat Robust and malty in flavor and dark in color. Not suitable as a substitution for other honeys.
Dinner in 20 Minutes
Spiced Skirt Steak
Virtually any steak suitable for grilling would take well to this mild spice rub. But we prefer skirt steak, a cut with a loose, marbled texture, for its quick cooking time and robust steak flavor.
Serve with warm tortillas, sliced avocado and a squeeze of lime or mashed potatoes and sugar snaps.
Adapted from "A New Way to Cook," by Sally Schneider (Artisan, 2001):
4 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper (may substitute mixed colored peppercorns or 2 tablespoons white and 2 tablespoons black peppercorns)
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground coriander
11/2 to 2 pounds skirt steak, about 1 inch thick
Preheat the grill or place a large skillet over medium-high heat.
In a small bowl, combine the pepper, allspice and coriander. Set aside.
Pat the steak dry. Rub the steak with just enough oil to barely coat it. Season on both sides with salt to taste then sprinkle a little of the spice mixture evenly over the surface and, using your fingers, rub so that the spices and oil form a sort of paste.
Grill or sear the steak, turning once, until cooked to the desired degree of doneness, 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
Carve the steak, against the grain, into thin slices. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 211 calories, 34 gm protein, 1 gm carbohydrates, 7 gm fat, 74 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 203 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber
-- Renee Schettler
FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Greek festival at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. Free admission. Friday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon-9 p.m. 16th and Upshur streets NW. Call 202-829-2910 or see www.stsconstantine-helen.com.
SATURDAY: Arts on Foot -- festival featuring cooking demonstrations from chefs and tastings from more than 20 local restaurants. Free admission. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. F Street NW between Seventh and Ninth streets NW. Call 202-482-7271 or see www.artsonfoot.org.
SUNDAY: Turkish festival sponsored by the Turkish Recreational and Cultural Organization. Free admission. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Freedom Plaza and Pennsylvania Avenue between 13th and 14th streets NW. Call 202-483-9090 or see www.turkishfestival.org.
TUESDAY: World's Great Grapes -- wine tasting with Washington Post wine columnist Michael Franz. Sponsored by the Washington Wine Academy. 7 p.m. $50. 1400 M St. NW. call 703-971-1525 or see www.WashingtonWineAcademy.org.
SEPT. 23: Discovering Wines of Southern Italy -- tasting class sponsored by First Class Inc. $47 for nonmembers. 6:30 -8:30 p.m. 1726 20th St. NW. Call 202-797-5102 or see www.takeaclass.org.
SEPT. 26: Tour de Vines -- wine tasting and silent auction to benefit the Alternative House-the Abused & Homeless Children's Refuge. 3-6 p.m. $50 in advance. Capital One Building, 1680 Capital One Dr., McLean. Call 703-506-9191 or see www.thealternativehouse.org.
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To clean hard-to-reach spots on mushrooms, use a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. The toothbrush has a comfortable handle and is dishwasher-safe.
-- From the September & October issue of Cook's Illustrated