Many things to recount:
I went to a meeting with the lovely folks at End Hunger Durham, with whom I’ve collaborated on some projects. The meeting was held at The Scrap Exchange which is the coolest place ever. Look at the decor! All upcycled.
- My old place:
- incredible location, newly renovated and fancy inside (the bathroom in particular looked like HGTV had thrown upon it).
- Yet… obnoxious landlord who among other irritating things ultimately sought to raise the rent from $850 to $1400 in a single year so I just wasn’t doing it
- My new place: I BOUGHT IT!
- Buying a house is terrifying and expensive. I got a crash course in due diligence money which is a North Carolina thing and super gross. I got a crash course in appraisals and what happens when your house appraises at less than you offered for it (spoiler: you have to abruptly come up with a lot more money. In my case, $7000. In ADDITION TO THE DOWN PAYMENT I’D ALREADY SAVED UP FOR.) (But also you use these things to negotiate, so I feel safer with my up-to-code electrical panel and am pleased with my new, efficient, HVAC system)
- Buying a house is exciting too I guess
- The new place also has a great location. Although I am no longer in Carrboro and it feels like the end of an era. But this place is kinda in the woods and has lots of cute birdies and lizards and chipmunks and things.
My pal Emily recruited her very kind boyfriend Mike, who has a pickup, to help me move. They wouldn’t let me pay them but they did let me take them to brunch. We went to Foster’s and I had this ridiculous benedict. Toast, homemade chorizo, poached eggs, guac, chipotle hollandaise aaaaaagh!
And then I got to an organizing frenzy in the new place. Here is a hint of the woodsiness I described. Also the first meal I “cooked” in the new place which was boxed mac n cheese lol.
And a nicer shot of back patio (which I will have to prettily adorn when I have a bit more $) and then sunbeams coming in, which Lola loves a lot.
This spot has prime sunshine and also there is a chipmunk who seems to have buried something in the little flower bed behind my house and makes daily visits to do a bit of digging. Lola LOVES him and definitely doesn’t want to eat him, nope.
More nature… the new place is near a beautiful rose garden! I thought I was indifferent to roses but man they have some gorgeous varieties there. They are also more beautiful on a bush than in a vase, IMO.
They were at peak bloom the week leading up to June 8th, which was the joint birthday of my grandma Stacy and my great aunt ROSE! So of course I thought about them lots while admiring the beautiful roses.
Then I was on the trail nearby when I saw this SNEK
My primitive cavewoman sections of my brain definitely started lighting up when I saw him on the path ahead. I stopped abruptly and made a very loud gasp. I made sure to point him out to the lady walking behind me, too.
We chatted and psyched each other up that no, that’s not a copperhead, everyone in the South thinks every snake was a copperhead. It was just an ordinary snake. Anyway this snake was polite and went slithering away.
Went home and Googled the snake. Naturally, that was ONE HUNDRED PERCENT A REAL COPPERHEAD hahaha. Glad I didn’t get bitten!
Along with other outdoor pursuits, it is prime farmer’s market season. Here is some amazing artwork made to promote one of the vendors at the farmer’s market:
And speaking of fresh local vegetables, the manfriend took me for an UH-MAZING dinner at Mateo.
First, we just got pea shoots for free. We were sitting at the bar and the bartender was like “Ya wanna try these?” It was great.
Again, this was right around June 8th, my grandma’s birthday, and the greens were JUST LIKE she used to make them, with olive oil and lots and lots of lemon. She would have approved.
Additional tapas we ordered…
Chicken liver pate with peach relish (!)
Salad with pistachios and (unpictured) FRIED BABY ARTICHOKES!
Deviled eggs wrapped in chorizo (!)
Oh man. This guy. What is your guess of what this is?!
The bowl involved:
- a top layer of potato espuma (! like potato foam! It was rich and creamy and potatoey, and light and airy, all at the same time!)
- chunks of octopus, more solid potato, and chorizo nested within
- an incredible garlicky peppery salsa verde at the bottom. I think it had watercress in it? Another thing that makes me think of my grandma
Now we pause for a silly interlude hahaha.
The manfriend thinks I take too many pictures of food that don’t also include me in the picture. So he sought to remedy that HAHAHAHA.
Since that’s a terrible picture of the actual food, another angle:
This involved SWEETBREADS! I feel v brave for eating them. Also shaved asparagus, peas and fava beans (mm fava beans), tarragon, etc.
That would have in and of itself made for an 100% awesome evening, but we weren’t even done! It was our dinner prelude to a baseball game!
So many things about this experience were great. First of all when you go to a minor league baseball game (the Durham Bulls, from the eponymous movie) the stadium is much smaller so there is not a bad seat. Also you can just wander around and watch things from different angles. Second of all, it was before this current rather intense heatwave so by nighttime it had cooled down some and was just breezy and dreamy. And third of all the company was great 🙂
The following weekend, the company was… less great. Colton.
We continued in our ongoing, futile efforts to become more beautiful
We ate tasty brunch at Monuts (Greek yogurt, fried eggs, olive oil, lots of zhoug sauce and other yummy spices, their incredible toast which has the crispiness of normal bread but the sponginess of focaccia)
And then we ended up making homemade pizza for an early dinner.
It was topped with sauce, mozz, goat cheese, arugula, and balsamic reduction (!) and was v good. With a side salad because we are good dietitians.
And with pink wine because we are basic.
That balsamic reduction was moneyyyyy. Oh and! I used Smitten Kitchen’s lazy pizza dough (the 22 hour version; used half whole grain flour) and it was v easy and delicious and had a wonderful fermented tang and I actually would have missed the whole grain flour if it wasn’t present; it added really nice flavor.
A few more fun things to recount… Johnnys has this cute donation based coffee system set up right now.
My old roommate danced ballet professionally for several years so naturally I sent her this pic!
Anyone else been doing anything fun lately?