Oh hello! I was thinking like, “Hurray, the semester is done! I survived finals and have no more biochem [er, til next semester]! Happiness is here again! Summer relaxation! Lots of blogging!” When in fact I only had three days off and then started six hours a day of classes. With so so so much group work, eeeurgh. (Note that I wrote the prior paragraph nine days ago and am just now getting back to this post. Oy!)
Anyway, this was life around finals time.
I made 134 flashcards for my biochem final. All about micronutrients- every water soluble vitamin, vitamin like compound, antioxidant system, mineral, AND what happens to your body when you have too much/not enough of them. Note that even with this profusion of flashcards, this wasn’t even a cumulative test. Blessedly, I had lots of study buddies. Who fed me!
My friend Carolina (yes, she is named after our university! hahaha) made me a SUPER delicious Giada white bean dip- lots of fresh herbs and olive oil. And yummy dippers. This inspired me to buy baby carrots which, loath as I am to admit it, really are better than regular carrots and actually inspire me to eat raw vegetables.
Carolina’s cat has total free run through her house, which resulted in some amusing picture opportunities.
He was not at all sure about me.
He spent a lot of time sniffing my lower extremities (and my extremely old Toms- sniffing them could not have been particularly fun for him, but I guess he felt obligated to really get to know the stranger in his house).
After yummy snacks, Carolina even made me dinner! Our other friend had thought she could join us but then had other stuff come up (this poor girl had finals, a friend with Stage IV cancer, and emergency dental surgery all to contend with in the same week!). That friend can’t do the gluten, so Carolina was sweet enough to make a gluten free pasta salad. I then got to enjoy said pasta salad (despite the fact that I eat gluten til the cows come home): what made it so delicious was lots of avocado! And cheddar. Mm.
Carolina said she puts sour cream on everything (she is Argentinian and it sounds like those guys really love their meat and dairy!) so she gave me some to try on the side, and yes, sour cream is delicious on avocado-cheddar-tomato pasta salad (but I bet you could have already guessed that).
My dear friend Andrea had a birthday dinner at Akai Hana, and I was EXTREMELY pleased with my sushi selection! (And it was massive, so I only needed one roll, though I did have a salad too). This was the Master Roll – Spicy Tuna & Shrimp Tempura topped with Yellowtail, Avocado, Wasabi Tobiko, Wasabi Sauce, & Scallions
Then two days later Andrea thought we might have to have an emergency girl talk meeting, to which I of course immediately agreed, being a good friend. But then crisis was averted (his phone was broken!) so instead we just gabbed. We sat outside at Root Cellar and they have a really pretty situation going on.
I did do some minimal cooking that week, the highlight of which was this:
Trader Joe’s! Toasted whole wheat Tuscan pane bread, roasted cherry tomatoes, sliced fresh part-skim mozzarella, olive oil, and fancy balsamic my roommate got me in Asheville.
After spending a lottttt of the weekend studying, my friend invited me to join her and her bambino at my beloved Honeysuckle Tea House for live music. This band, Chocolate Suede, was SO GOOD! (and, uh, lotsa cuties in the band! One of whom privately serenaded my friend’s toddler on violin, awww)
The toddler enjoyed clapping. It’s so funny with the little ones- I made this big case to Bethany about how great this place was for kids- music! Tea and snacks! Playground! Pond! Sandbox! And then once we got there her kiddo was like, MOM YOU DID NOT EVEN TELL ME THERE WOULD BE GRAVEL HERE and of course that was the most exciting part, hahahaha. Oh kids.
Then once finals were done my friends totally spoiled me. Since my friend Alex quit his job he’s been doing super ambitious cooking. This was INCREDIBLE.
It’s homemade pasta with homemade alfredo sauce (basically a ridiculous amount of extremely fancy and expensive parmesan with a token amout of cream to thin it out, hahaha) and delicious, perfectly roasted vegetables.
And then my classmate Sophia, the most perfect human being in the world (I’ve mentioned her seasonal treats a number of times in previous blog posts) decided that it would be only appropriate to host a fiesta, since our last final (biochem!) fell on Cinco de Mayo.
There was lots of fabulous food but to me the most incredible thing were the homemade tortillas all fried up. Oh my goodness they were heavenly.
Sophia’s mom was in town (and her mom has become like den mother to people in our program) and she is a pastry chef, so naturally she made us tres leches! Decorated with adorable peeps driving around in peep cars (apparently their family’s Easter tradition).
The tres leches was sooo good and even better with Sophia’s homemade vegan coconut milk ice cream.
A final note, since I promised, a bird update:
These little guys definitely hit their awkward stage- you really see at this phase how birds and dinosaurs are related- and their mommy and daddy continued bringing them frequent snacks to get them strong. And then…
THEY LEFT THE NEST ON MOTHER’S DAY! WE WERE LITERALLY EMPTY NESTERS! It was sad, but we were very proud of them, and their parents’ success. And now we already have a new clutch going! Nature, man. Blink and you miss the important moments.