Surviving Week 1

I’m going to try to do weekly (ish) recaps of my Masters program experience. One for my own personal memories and two because back when I was on the hunt for a chosen career I really enjoyed reading bloggers’ perspectives on their nutrition programs.

So here we go: I’m a Master’s candidate! I’m also in an accredited coordinated program to take the classes and complete the internships to sit for the exam to be a registered dietitian. That means, God willing, in the next 28 months I’ll obtain 5 new letters to add to the end of my name- MPH/RD!

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Some fun facts…

The classes:

- Intro to Biostatistics, in which we observed this awesome graphic:

- Nutrition through the Lifespan (talked about pregnancy week 1- women’s bodies are amazing!)
- Intro to Health Behavior (all about different interventions to improve health behaviors- we’re focusing on tobacco, healthy eating, and exercise)
- Nutritional Counseling, Communication and Culture (we started off by talking about how important it is to consider illiteracy- a shocking 1 in 5 Americans have limited literacy, and it’s not the people you think).
- Food Policy (this is just a seminar I’m taking for fun. No, seriously! This week we had a speaker who worked in state politics in NC. Whoo, fascinating!)

Some of the week’s eats:

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Whoa, steel cut oats are magic! I got a package at Trader Joe’s (impulse purchase, story of my life) and made four servings and then ate them ALL week. Topped with a little almond milk, fresh peaches, and slivered almonds. They left me SO FULL AND SATISFIED (TWSS).

My little cousins who were visiting from Taiwan this summer gave me the most cunning little compartmentalized lunch box. I love it! It’s so useful!

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It enabled me to make a delicious lunch: separate compartments for arugula, watermelon, goat cheese, and amazing thick reduced balsamic vinegar my roomie brought me back from Asheville. This was such a beautiful and delicious lunch! I felt legit eating it in front of my nutrition classmates :)

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Steve made most of this dinner on a day I was totally knackered from classes. I was beyond grateful.

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A giant, delicious saute of potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, and mushrooms with lots of herbs and cheese.

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Plus salads with lettuce, cherry tomato, and Parmesan (I topped mine with Trader Joe’s goddess dressing, mm) and my protein contribution, salmon burgers from Trader Joe’s (I wouldn’t buy them again, but at least they were healthy) topped with Sriracha mayo.

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I had some leftover Trader Joe’s whole wheat naan and Indian food (more on that in another post) and also some tomato sauce, cheese, and mushrooms, so I made myself some single serving naan pizzas. It was SO nice and useful to have these around.

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Finally, lest you thought I was too healthy and had it too much together, an anecdote: I got home on Thursday (my last day of class for the week, yes lucky me) around 4 and had every intention of joining my classmates at 7:15 to go see a movie. Feeling really tired and a little dazed, I decided to take a little nap around 5. Then… woke up at 8:45 when my innocent boyfriend, rightfully assuming normal people were awake, called me.

Oops!

I thought about just staying in bed and sleeping til morning (definitely was up for it) but ultimately decided to put a little something in my stomach. Thank you, frozen Morningstar Farms egg and “sausage” biscuit. Then I went back to bed :)

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So that night of sleep: 5:15ish to 8:45 plus 11 to 10= FOURTEEN AND A HALF HOURS! My cat would be really proud of me.

Finally, I made some granola bars with some odds and ends I had around the kitchen (old trail mix, old flaxseeds, old cereal, etc.) and stuck ‘em in the freezer for an on-the-go snack. They’re just okay. The problem is that now that I’m a co-op member, I can combine seemingly ubiquitous manufacturer’s coupons and sales and get Larabars for 50 cents and they are WAY TOO GOOD.

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Now, a fun festive meal- wouldn’t you like your Friday night to look like this?

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It’s always nice when your interests line up with those of your significant other. Happily, Steve and I both enjoying doing a fun ambitious cooking project together from time to time. This particular evening, we tackled (ish) this recipe for Arugula and Goat Cheese Ravioli, using egg roll wrappers instead of homemade pasta dough, because frankly that labor is seldom worth it.

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Then when we had leftover egg roll wrappers after the filling was used up, we filled them with peaches, ricotta, goat cheese, and a little balsamic. This was a delicious decision.

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The pine nuts for the sauce for the arugula ravioli were offensively expensive (even in the bulk bin, even only buying 3 tablespoons or so) but dannnnng that sauce was good. Steve gilded the lily by adding more cheese on top.

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For weekend relaxation, we went to the nearby state park with our friend and her reliably adorable puppy for a bit of hiking.

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We managed to spend the one hour of the day that it WAS raining in the park hiking. Chalk it up to poor planning and Murphy’s law. The daschund was a really good sport about it, but she did look adorable and pathetic on the car ride back.

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Closeup on that adorable face:

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Fortunately she was back in her usual good spirits when we went back to Myra’s house to hang out later that night. I always get my cardio playing with this dog.

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There was also lots of nature watching!

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We vegged out, drank wine, ate Chinese, and watched Pitch Perfect. Basically a perfect way to wrap up week 1.

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elizabeth’s on 37th

Indulge me as I continue to reminisce about my trip to Savannah.

The owner of the Bed ad Breakfast recommended Elizabeth’s on 37th, a super posh restaurant a little off the tourist beaten path. We made our way further south than we’d been and I, as usual, took a billion photographs of the beautiful houses.

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Elizabeth’s is in a gorgeous old mansion.

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The hostess was leading us one way but then I saw a adorable porch-y area and asked if we could be seated there.

I loved the whimsical produce artwork.

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And I knew Steve would love the Christmas lights.

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Our table had lovely fresh flowers.

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And the menu was dizzying- checked all the local/seasonal/innovative boxes.

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Of course it took us awhile to get through that because we were quite fixated on our free spicy cheddar mini biscuits with homemade marmalade (so perfectly tart)!

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And then drinks commanded our attention. I got a glass of white wine and Steve got their faaaaaaamous mint julep (infused with mint from their garden). I’m usually too much of a lightweight to like bourbon but dannnng this was good.

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After we finally decided on our entrees, we were greeted with an amuse bouche. This was a mussel with smoked tomato. Smoked tomato! What a yummy revelation! This was a smoky, sweet, crunchy, creamy bite.

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Then we got a complimentary salad. Fresh herbs straight from their garden, a bit of watermelon and feta, and a perfectly light vinaigrette.

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For my entree, I got a special! It was local snapper on a bed of butter beans and tomatoes that tasted like SUMMER PERFECTION. Plus a tangy, slightly smoky sauce, and an EXTREMELY rich corn pudding.

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So I’m reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally picky about fish- I think there’s a very narrow sweet spot in which the fish is adequately cooked but still moist and just getting flaky. I hate overcooked fish. I know I sound like a snob, but to me, the point of going to a restaurant is to have access to ingredients I wouldn’t have at home, and to leave my meal in the hands of a professionally trained chef who can cook everything better than me!

Anyway, this fish fully delivered on both. It was perfectly done and crusted in this crunchy Parmesan awesomeness. The best bites were those browned edges, mm.

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Steve’s entree was equally amazing. He got the spicy Savannah red rice with Georgia shrimp (also clams and chunks of fish and more!). The sauce on this was KILLER- intensely smoky, just a little spicy, with some acid from the tomatoes. The rice was perfectly chewy and flavorful (they know what they’re doing with rice down South- I have some skills to learn). And the blackened okra topping was crunchy and tasty! (And Steve loves him some okra).

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Finally, for a dessert (despite the fact that we were already bursting at the seams), we split this peach and blueberry cobbler. PERFECTION! Ripe and succulent fruit in a perfectly textured broth (not too thin, not too goopy) topped with a sweet, crumbly, slightly crunchy crust. With oh-so-rich vanilla ice cream. We couldn’t finish it! It was so good and we still had to give in!

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This was such a fun treat! I didn’t expect to have such a fancy-shmancy dinner on this trip, and then Steve announced one afternoon that he wanted to take me. Amazing surprise! Thank you thank you thank you!

getting ready for getting back to school

I write this post having successfully completed my first week of graduate school. It involved a LOT of nerves (golly gee, will everyone like me? Golly gee, am I smart enough for this?) but also a lot of excitement (I get to spend my days LEARNING about EVERYTHING I LOVE?!) and on Thursday night, after my classes concluded for the week, I slept a whopping fourteen hours. Intense in every way!

I’m sure I’ll have lots to share as I get my learning on, but in the meantime I thought I’d share how I kept life healthy and (reasonably) nutritious these in the days leading up to my big life transition. The main thing I tried to do was get in lots of time with my friends/family/support network.

Steve made AMAZING homemade bread (for which he gives me far more credit than I am due, but I did show him the King Arthur Flour website and taught him about the proper length of kneading) and then made REALLY AMAZING homemade French toast with it.

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I got some succulent local peaches and turned them to a compote with just a bit of butter and vanilla and heat.

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Then Steve decided there should be grits, too. Ultra decadent with Kerrygold butter and whole milk; and intriguing with rosemary. Steve isn’t afraid to take risks with herbs and I dig it.

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All this was assembled al fresco, on Steve’s lovely porch. My recently-single friend was joining us for dinner so I offered her comfort and kindness the best way I know how: by buying her favorite kind of cheese. (In a fun coincidence, that cheese, Paranno, is rapidly becoming my favorite as well).

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I eschewed syrup and butter and just smooshed peaches all over my french toast.

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And added, in a cursory nod to protein, a chicken sausage (I got the Applegate farm kind that is free of onion- which is good since my friend has some dietary intolerances and onion is no bueno for her- but also a little bland)

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Another visit with a friend- Andrew! My good buddy from my old job who left was visiting for a few weeks in the summer. We had a lovely time hanging out outside Weaver Street Market (the co-op central to all social activity in downtown Carrboro).

He got a brew and sesame noodles; I got cider and a luna bar. (I used to really like Original Sin when I was at school in Boston but now find it to be a bit bland).

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Another friend date- my friend Leesie’s birthday! Leesie is one of my newest friends but she’s great- here she is photographing her food too!

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We went to Jessee’s for lunch. I rejoiced in the fact that they serve their breakfast menu all day and got their breakfast burrito. It’s GREAT because they put in a ton of avocado and super seasoned and fatty and crunchy and delicious breakfast potatoes.

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Leesie got the even more succulent looking brisket sandwich.

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Now for the family department!

My favorite sister Malindi came down to visit along with her boyfriend Eric. They arrived on a Friday night but due to some unfortunate traffic, they didn’t make it til about 2:45am. Yeurgh.

I refreshed them the next morning with brunch, and then we hit up the fabulous Carrboro farmer’s market, which offered complimentary samples of various delicious kinds of pickled things.

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We spent the afternoon swimming at the quarry in Eno River State Park, which was BLISSFUL. Adding a comic touch, as Malindi put it:

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Then, lucky me, MORE family arrived. My aunt and uncle were traveling home from Fort Bragg, and where better to stop than to visit their favorite nieces?

We all went to my beloved Saturday in Saxapahaw, listening to relaxing music and taking in all the pretty nature. My friends Dan and Bethany were there with their adorable 6-month-old, who makes any occasion cuter.

We took in the people watching, delicious mezze, and beautiful light fixtures at Kipos (my go-to yummy, vegetarian-friendly, festive place to take guests).

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And then 24 hours later, my head hit the pillow and I lay in my bed, marveling, “Tomorrow I start grad school!”

More on that soon!

prep cookin’

My roommmate doesn’t cook as often as I do, but everything she cooks is always a billion times more delicious.

This seems unfair.

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For example, this is the Thai pizza she makes: the base involves whirring up traditional ingredients for peanut sauce (peanut butter, soy, and so on) with MANGO!

Then topping with cheese, purple cabbage, carrots, and green onions in this PRETTYINESS.

When I prep for meals in the future, I’m going to try to incorporate more of Alli’s pizzazz. In the meantime, here’s a peek of what I’ve been doing over the past few months.

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In the center, roasted peaches. In the upper left corner, slow roasted farmer’s market grape tomatoes with olive oil and salt.

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Next, corn pudding. Useful for using up some milk and cheese and things that needed using. This contained lots of eggs for protein-ness.

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This didn’t particularly impress me but friends liked it. It had some lasagna flavors- layers of quinoa, tomato sauce, spinach/feta/milkiness mixture.

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I made some great panzanella just with the roasted tomatoes, some leftover Trader Joe’s whole wheat sourdough (toasted), and oil and balsamic.

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We’ve continued to combat the dance-studio feel of our apartment (with its floor to ceiling mirrors in the dining room and both bedrooms, sigh) with various decorating touches. I cleaned the place in a furious manner to get ready for friends coming over, and ended up taking a minute to appreciate some of the cut touches we’ve added.

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Then I served my friends all the stuff I’d prep cooked! I also made a nice fruit salad, and what THEY brought (which was the BEST part of the meal) was tomato-gouda soup. Swoon.

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Another week I made the following items (ended up throwing them all together one weekend dinner at Steve’s for a leftovers extravaganza)

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1. Trader Joe’s spinach and kale pie, which I lovingly unwrapped. I’d been getting over a stomach bug and wanted to get greens in my system with a modicum of effort.

2. Leftover corn pudding (I’d ended up disliking the texture) reappropriated! Stuck it in a blender with some extra milk and whirred it until smooth. Then layered it in a pan with black beans, feta, and salsa. Deconstructed tamale! Ish!

3. My aunt’s awesome chicken. Sort of.

When I was a kid I used to spend teacher workdays at my aunties’ houses, since my mom perpetually didn’t have enough leave and had to work. This was not at all a hardship- my sister and I always had a blast.

Knowing my fondness for artichokes (which I still retain to this day) my aunt made this wonderful recipe that has totally stuck with me: she breaded chicken pieces in egg and breadcrumbs, sauteed it in olive oil, and served it with artichoke hearts and lemon. It was AMAING.

Since that aunt is now a vegetarian (!) and I didn’t have some of those ingredients, I improvised: I coated my chicken first in mayonnaise (that Steve abandoned in my fridge) and then Bisquick (leftover from various baking experiments). Then I browned it in olive oil (it wasn’t cooked through yet). I deglazed the pan of all its yummy bits with the juice of half a lemon, a bit of wine, and some of the water in the can with the artichoke hearts. I used a spoon to vigorously scrape up those yummy drippings and make the beginning of the sauce. Then I returned the chicken, added the artichoke hearts, threw in some random leftover olives I had, and covered the pot til the chicken was cooked through. Finished with another squeeze of lemon. SO GOOD!)

savannah

“All the trees have beards!”

- My best friend Lydia, on Savannah, GA

Let’s start with Forsyth Park. Forsyth Park was probably my favorite part of the city. Steve liked it too.

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There are indeed beards (okay, fine, chunks of Spanish moss) on nearly all of the trees in Savannah. It makes for a beautiful, atmospheric, and even slightly spooky feel. (Which seems apt, with all the discussion of ghosts that happened on this trip. More on that in a bit!)

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There are war memorials (mostly relating to the Confederacy, sigh) everywhere.

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And lots of trees. Did I mention the trees? (I took a lot of pictures of trees). Steve, of course, appreciated the trees as he usually does.

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Oh, also buildings. Pretty buildings. Not quite as amazing as New Orleans (though in New Orleans the pretty buildings are almost obscene) but there’s a real feeling of history.

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As we learned on our tour, the Masons played a pretty big role in the construction of the city. Steve, as a Mason-o-phile, was ecstatic about this and spent a lot of time trying to explain the various symbols on this sign to me.

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Savannah is quite hot in August (shocking, right?) so a siesta is recommended. After relaxing for a bit, we went to City Market, and got some peach sangria (Georgia peaches)! Surprising no one else, I immediately pronounced mine too sweet (despite having gotten it with fizzy water instead of Sprite). I have learned the hard way that me+booze+sugar don’t mix (and I say that with the highest respect for sugar, one of my favorite things). Fortunately Steve got the job done with both.

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Steve and I had been having a slightly trying day and then when we were in this courtyard, enjoying Savannah’s absence of open container laws, listening to music… the guy started playing James Taylor!

I HATE JAMES TAYLOR!

It’s actually really helpful when I’m having a tough day and hear James Taylor because then I start laughing at the Murphy’s Law-ness of it all and feel better.

Fortified, we then went to Moon River Brewing, which has the loveliest of courtyards.

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The boy enjoyed a brew. I really miss out on a lot of activities because of my distaste for all things hops.

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The boy chowed down on a bacon-involving sandwich and sweet potato fries (don’t worry I borrowed some of those).

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And I opted for a trio of little things.

1. Deviled eggs (smoky and spicy!) with a tuna sashimi ish sort of topper.

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2. BOSS black eyed peas. This was a server recommendation and it was great! Crunchy and tangy.

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3. And another side, the smoked gouda scalloped potatoes. Obviously great.

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Fun fact: apparently our fun dinner spot is considered one of the most haunted spots in Savannah! (Though, of course, basically everywhere worth noting in Savannah seems to be haunted. Which brings me nicely to our next outing)

That night, we went on a ghost tour! It was the Ghost City Tours Beyond Good and Evil tour. It was lots of fun! Our guide, Nicodemus (I think it’s a safe guess that was not his actual name) was both funny and informative. Vaguely Jack Sparrow esque, in retrospect (he also had an Australian accent).

We learned about voodoo (spooky!) and saw some old haunted houses, the scariest of which was this one (photographed in daylight so as not to alarm you too much).

It has a certain look of evil, doesn’t it?

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432 Abercorn. Read all about its grim history here. Though apparently some of that is probably untrue. But, uh, that debunking article is published at the website for the ghost tour company that we used… and our guide happily told us all of those stories… so… who knows. What’s undisputed is that they built this square, Calhoun Square, on a slave burial ground. As far as I’m concerned that is basically an invitation for haunting!

After a surprisingly good night’s sleep (despite the previous night’s subject matter!0, the next day involved more exploring, including a trip to the museum at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Saw an awesome installation with LASERS! Lots of fun. Interactive.

Plus, museums are such a fun vacation luxury. Which is silly- it’s good to be a lifelong learner, and what better way than to go to a museum?!

Post-museum, more walking and then lunch on a rooftop.

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Since it was unspeakably hot, all I wanted was some ice water and iced tea, and this watermelon salad.

But oh, this awesome watermelon salad. Peppery greens (heavy on the arugula), lots of fresh mint, perfect sweet watermelon, creamy goat cheese, and sweet-tangy balsamic reduction. It was the best salad I have had in quite some time. 

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Then, just to make sure I wasn’t dying of being too healthy, I demanded a trip to the ice cream parlor. It’s owned by a Hollywood bigwig, and contains posters of various productions with which he’s been involved.

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Almond ice cream in a sugar cone. Yum!

A tour of Saint John the Baptist cathedral was next. It was very very pretty.

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Then a fancy shmancy dinner, which I’ll chronicle later in an effort to keep this post at a vaguely reasonable length.

After dinner drinks at a swanky bar in a swanky hotel next to Forsyth Park. It was full of vaguely nightmarish paintings. Fun!

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And now a brief discussion of our bed and breakfast.

Look at the beautiful outside!

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We were on Gaston Street, just two blocks or so from Forsyth Park and an easy walk uptown to the river. I loved staying where we were- I found it a bit tourist-trap-y closer to the river.

Our B+B also boasted an adorable fountain and lush garden!

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The mysterious looking door!

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Great location, good food, welcoming owner. Crazy welcoming- greet you at the door with a hug and a piece of coca cola cake. The South is so great! (Though actually, Kathleen is a Bostonian!)

The only thing I wasn’t wild about was that our room didn’t have natural light. I know a lot of people don’t care about that, but I’d love if they’d mention it on the website for those of us who do.

Anyway, it was BOGO (there were a ton of deals on TripAdvisor because August is a slow month in the South… for obvious, obvious reasons) so we got to have a pretty fancy shmancy experience.

This is the beautiful breakfast room. Breakfast always involved candlelight and relaxing music (classical or Sinatra-esque).

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Fancily laid tables. Fruit cups waiting for us (what makes eating fruit so much more exciting when it’s in a fancy cup?! Though I will say on the second day the watermelon had turned and was… pretty terrifying).

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View out on the cute back porch. In general, Savannah had an abundance of adorable courtyards and porches and balconies.

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Beagle observing the breakfast proceedings :D His name was Mr. Cooper and whoo he had a bark on him (as beagles tend to) and he was super cute. See him yawning there?

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Breakfast always included a french press for the table, orange juice, and bacon and snausage. I dispatched the coffee, Steve was on oj and meat duty.

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The first day we were there, the owner, Kathleen, made aaaawesome omelets with grilled corn, eggplant, tomatoes, and feta. The second day Kathleen was leaving town and her son was in charge, and he served these outrageously decadent waffles.

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I love ice cream, and this was homemade, but even for me 9am is a bit early :D So I shoved that to the side and inhaled much of this delicious waffle with those great strawberries.

But wait, there’s more, in the next installment of Southern Road Trip Summer 2014!

tomato day!

What are all these adorable people waiting in line for?

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TOMATO DAY! TOMATO DAY!

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My new favorite holiday. A celebration of tomatoes, in all their adorable shapes and sizes. (Steve got a particular kick out of that one with the pointy top).

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You just walked down a line sampling. I mean come on.

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Some of my favorites:

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And OH MY GOD this mozzarella from Chapel Hill Creamery was the best I’ve ever had. They also make a brie that’s heavenly. Basically they are cheese geniuses.

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There was also hippie music playing.

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And tomato infused beer… it tasted like IPA. Aka GROSS.

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That particular week, I ended up bringing two sets of tomatoes of the cherry persuasion, a cantaloupe, some peaches, and some squash. Wunnerful.

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Here are some fun tomato things to make. (No, fine, not with any of the tomatoes I bought at Tomato Day. Or this summer, honestly. I’m trying to catch up with my archives!)

Secrets to delicious tomato pie:
- Really stinkin’ fresh tomatoes
- Fresh sage
- caramelized onions
- Really stinkin’ fresh eggs

Good crust is great but I only made a so-so one because I tried to get all healthy and found one involving whole wheat flour and olive oil. Eh. Anyway, the pie was still magnificent.

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Now, how about a little focaccia?!

First a mushy mess.

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Then, after time/gluten development/magic, it was proper starter:

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Then it got fed, and grew even bigger and bubblier, into real dough:

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Then I smushed it into submission.

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And then I cooked up (not enough) tomatoes. I used to love going to Olsens (sp?) bookstore in DC but it went out of business. One of their highlights was their amazing tomato focaccia. Anyway. This was not enough tomatoes. But I cooked ‘em up.

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Then threw in a bunch of fresh basil.

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Then scattered it over the top of the bread

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And gave it a bake!

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After all that, it was only okay. Oh well. Look for further tomato adventures!

on worrying

So I just got a hopped-up-on-Oxycontin call from my dad. He just got his hip replaced (just, as in earlier today). I found myself very relieved to hear his (frankly, kind of excessively) cheerful tone, and astonished to learn that he’s expected to walk up and down stairs (!) before he checks out of the hospital tomorrow (!!).

However, prior to that phone call, I found myself shocked, shocked, shocked at how worried I was.

The thing is, my dad isn’t a terrible person, but he’s also not especially fatherly. I haven’t stayed in his house since high school, and don’t really intent to at any future point. I often think about him like a weird uncle who I see from time to time. I don’t depend on him for a great deal, particularly not on the emotional stuff. I called him to tell him I got into grad school, and he said “Oh, that’s nice. Now let me tell you about my Obamacare…” (he is REALLY INTO his Obamacare. As the new hip would suggest.)

But then last night I found myself up at 3am, praying and panicking at the thought of him going under anesthesia and never waking up (sidebar: I just learned from him that you don’t even go under general for this surgery, it’s just a spinal block). I felt guilty for not being in Virginia where he is (despite him explicitly saying that he didn’t need me there, and despite the fact that I saw him last week when I was visiting the fam).

It goes to show you, everyone has their ways of expressing love, and for me it is most definitely worrying. I worry about my sister, that she succeeds with her plans to go back to school and finds work-life balance and gets to meet cool people her own age instead of working in a grim lonely office. I worry about my mom, that she finds work-life balance and has a nice fella around (though she seems to at the moment :D). I worry about Steve a ton, that he finds work-life balance (I seem to associate with a lot of workaholics, eh?) and finds a good place to live and gets to bike around and gets to go adventuring and gets to live and work in keeping with his ideals about protecting the environment.

And then of course I worry about everyone in Gaza, and Iraq, and Syria, and Liberia (ebola, agh!) and on and on and on.

Is worrying productive? Is it good? Guilt and shame certainly aren’t, as a year of therapy taught me- feeling guilty about all the things I ought to be doing to be “good”. Both personally (being a perfect worker/student, working out daily, eating pristine whole foods, etc.) and in my relationships (being the perfect girlfriend, indispensible to Steve, saving him from any and all heartaches that might befall him).

But where does worrying fit into all this? I like being a good listener. I like being a reliable friend (though I often feel- surprise, surprise- that I fall short on that). I like being a conscientious worker. But sometimes I feel so exhausted by going through the basic aspects of life. Then of course I feel guilty about that (I’m financially comfortable and spoiled and don’t have to work for under $1 a day like so many in the world! I don’t have to work with toxic chemicals or do back-breaking manual labor!).

Still I wonder, is worrying keeping me from doing? Could I actually do more good things for myself (like exercise), do good things for others (go camping with Steve), and contribute to the world (volunteer) if I just didn’t spend so much energy on worrying unproductively?

Trying to figure this all out. In the meantime, I’ll try to check in with my dad once the meds wear off…