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!

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