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Posted by on Mar 23, 2017 | 0 comments

More Fab Finds from the MV Big Flea

More Fab Finds from the MV Big Flea

After last weekend’s donation drop off, the MV Big Flea storage facility at 444 Swann Ave. is busting with new merchandise! If you’re unfamiliar with the Flea, it’s an annual fundraiser for the Mount Vernon Community School. Volunteers collect unwanted furniture and household items and then resell them at a huge flea market at the Mt Vernon Rec Center on April 29. But you don’t have to wait until April 29 to snatch up the bargains. Just come to any of their donation drop offs (the next one is this Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) to browse the inventory. Here’s a peek at the vast selection we saw last weekend. There’s a ton of furniture, household items, appliances, toys, sporting equipment, lighting and electronics, garden supplies, vintage treasures and more — this is just the beginning. See something you like? Come to the showroom this Saturday or contact mvbigfleadonations@gmail.com — tell them you saw some fab finds on DIY Del Ray! Here’s the final Flea...

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Posted by on Mar 15, 2017 | 1 comment

Cabin Camping in Shenandoah

Cabin Camping in Shenandoah

This past weekend, my family took a trip to a primitive cabin outside Shenandoah National Park, one of many cabins owned and operated by the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). Despite really cold temperatures, we had a great time and enjoyed slow-cooked meals, games played by candlelight and peace and quiet away from cell phones, Internet and other modern distractions. We left Alexandria on Friday afternoon and hiked 1/2 mile up a steep trail to Morris Cabin. My kids had never been cabin camping (or camping at all for that matter) so I was a little nervous how they would handle it. Fortunately, as soon as they saw the cabin from the trail, they were instantly in awe and couldn’t wait to get inside. The cabin, built in 1927 by Wayman Morris, has four rooms: a kitchen/dining room, living room, separate bedroom and a sleeping loft. It’s primitive, meaning it has no electricity or running water, but it has everything you really need. Since it was so cold, we...

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Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 | 0 comments

Recap: Kremena’s Sweet ‘n Savory Pastry Class

Recap: Kremena’s Sweet ‘n Savory Pastry Class

A couple of weeks ago, we hosted our first ever in-house cooking class, How to Make Pastry Dough with Kremena Stefanova. Many of you know Kremena from around Del Ray — during the week you may see her at the Caboose Cafe and on the weekend at Four Mile Run Farmers Market (when in season). But for the class, she came to my house and demonstrated how to make dough for sweet and savory dishes for me and eight other attendees. The class was just as we had hoped — informative, fun and very tasty! Everyone got to sample all the dishes Kremena made while sipping wine. First, Kremena walked us through a standard quiche dough: 2 cups flour, 2 sticks cold butter, 5-6 T cold water, 1/2 t salt. Kremena usually mixes this by hand or with a pastry cutter, but today she used my Kitchenaid mixer. You can also use a food processor, but she says mixing by hand works just as well. After forming the dough,...

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Posted by on Feb 13, 2017 | 1 comment

Latest Finds from the MV Big Flea

Latest Finds from the MV Big Flea

Since we last posted about the MV Big Flea in January, there is a ton of new merchandise at the storage unit on Swann Ave. Volunteers will be collecting donations of used furniture and household items until the end of April, when everything will be sold at the Mount Vernon Rec Center to raise money for the Mount Vernon Community School. There is a wide selection of furniture — antique, vintage and modern. Some items need a dusting, some a new coat of paint, others are ready to go as is. This vintage glider is truly amazing — the green vinyl is in excellent condition, the metal frame could just use a coat of paint. It also converts into a full-sized bed, perfect for a summer sleeping porch. And speaking of vintage, check out this kitchen table. It has chairs, but they need repairs to the seat cushions. The toy and homewares sections have exploded since our last visit too. This is only a fraction of what the Flea...

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Posted by on Jan 18, 2017 | 0 comments

Register Now: Kremena’s Sweet and Savory Pastry Class

Register Now: Kremena’s Sweet and Savory Pastry Class

You may know Kremena Stefanova as one of the friendly faces behind the counter at Del Ray’s Caboose Cafe or perhaps you’ve met her at the Four Mile Run Farmers Market where she sells her homemade Bulgarian baked goods. We’re excited to announce that Kremena will teach a pastry class for DIY Del Ray readers on Saturday, February 4 at 3 p.m. where you can learn some of her tried-and-true techniques. Kremena grew up in Bulgaria and learned to bake from her mother and grandmother. She moved to the U.S. in her early 20s, met her husband and they are now raising their family in Alexandria. When she started cooking for her kids, she says she wanted to make good, nutritious food, and soon decided to try making a go of having her own small business selling scones, croissants, crisps, bread sticks, granola, and strudels. At this one-hour class, Kremena will demonstrate how to make a butter dough and its variations that can be used for both sweet and...

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