So the other weekend I astonished my classmates and actually went out.
I had just chopped off my hair (the story of me and hair: I ignore my hair for 4-9 months at a time, then look in the mirror and go “Oh my God I hate my hair”, then chop off a bunch of it as soon as possible).
I was also going to 90s Night (!!!) so I figured I’d wear a black dress and try to channel Posh Spice.
I met my friend Camille at her place before we all went out to drink wine and eat food and get in the 90s music spirit 🙂
Her… aunt? uncle? I feel guilty for not remembering… her family member is a glass blower and made this beautiful cup!
Another angle (plus ankle boots)
I brought these foodstuffs:
Vegan banana bread (which other people noshed on and I think did a world of good in hangover prevention), classy artichokes, and kale salad with ginger miso dressing.
Camille, along with the wine, supplied the main course, which was a super yummy seafood veggie chowder.
Then the whole gang came together for a very excellent evening. We were going to Cats Cradle, which is an old and semi-legendary music venue. I felt sort of silly going there for the first time just to listen to DJs play 90s music. But, who would turn down 90s night?!
We assigned Colton, one of Camille’s housemates, to take a picture of all of us decked out (apparently the 90s dress code was black, black and black) and of the dozens he took using Sam’s phone, Sam opted to post this one on the Internet, hahahahahahaha. She’s the one sneering on the left.
Then we danced and danced and danced and danced. I was a little nervous at the beginning of the evening (the event started at 9, we arrived around 10) because the guys who were DJing at first were playing hipster nonsense and didn’t even appear to’ve been born until the early 2000s. Gross.
But then they played Say it Aint So and from that point in the evening things were simply splendid. Spice Girls happened. Will Smith happened. Third Eye Blind happened.
Other than the wine I’d enjoyed with dinner, I did not imbibe for the evening. After all, I experienced the 90s sober once before and had a great time.
Anyway, I struggled to stay on top of hydration as it was with little alcohol in my system. At certain points in the evening, I was sweating to such a great extent that I appeared to have recently been in a pool. When they played crappy songs (infrequently though it happened) I pounded water.
It was great. Dancing with your girlfriends in the best. Boys are high maintenance when you go out dancing. They invade your personal space. Their fragile egos require that you pay constant attention to them. You always have to mind their level of sobriety and hydration.
Being out with the ladies, I just danced and danced!
Funny generational thing though: there is a HUGE difference in going out dancing with a bunch of grad students than going out with a bunch of undergrads. We saw this awkward couple of 18 year olds making out on the dance floor like they were trying to swallow each other’s faces (ewwww) and then one of the girls who met up with us went, “Oh my God, that guy’s my student!”
Anyway, we stayed out late but not too late, and I woke up feeling good.
Then the next afternoon was also something fun and excellent! My sweet cousin Sophia treated my sister and me to a cooking class at the always incredible Southern Season. My aunt Michele, Sophia’s mama, was in town, and her mother in law also tagged along. It was quite the family affair.
It was more of a cooking demo than a hands on class- so essentially watching a jolly Southern woman cook and having delicious footstuffs hand delivered to me. Not too shabby!
We started with a drink and a lagniappe (apparently a Louisiana term for a little something something on the side. My sister went to school in New Orleans and has yet to fully figure out what lagniappe means). Anyway, the lagniappe, whatever that is, was a thyme shortbread and was REALLY yummy.
And the drink was mulled wine. It was funny, because the weather outside was lovely, but the prearranged menu was comfort food to eat by the fireplace. But of course there is never a bad day for mulled wine.
Also, since my cousin is preggers (hurray! She just found out it’s a boy!) she didn’t have the wine and passed her portion to me and Malindi. Sweet 🙂
The entree was probably the best fish I have ever tasted in my entire life. It was snapper (which I always love) but it was cooked PERFECTLY and was in this unbelievably decadent red wine sauce that had been seasoned with ham hocks. I repeat- BEST!
Then there were buttery grits. Well, quite frankly, more like grits-y butter. They were SO GOOD and creamy. Those mushroom bits on top were basically the only vegetable component of this meal x_x but they were real good!
There’s something beautiful that even the most highly trained chef struggles with the food processor. They are such moody pieces of crap that inevitably cease to work when one tiny stupid plastic bit breaks.
But she persevered and made the pastry crust by hand. Ohhhh yes.
That resulted in this dessert. Oh Lord.
A shortbready crust topped with homemade caramel, milk chocolate ganache, and nuts. Like a candy bar on steroids. Just heavenly.
So life was happy happy joy joy and I went, “Okay self, now it’s time to take a break from the fun times and get serious about studying for midterms!”
And then my immune system LAUGHED UPROARIOUSLY.
And before I knew it I was in student health getting tested for strep. Where, if it is suspected you could have strep, they make you wear a RIDICULOUS mask. Like, I have no future playing a charming surgeon on TV.
It turned out not to be strep but I felt *quite* awful for *quite* awhile. Which was *quite* unfortunate since I’m 1. a grownup and no one is going to do things for me and 2. in grad school with demanding midterms that were not going to be postponed.
I did my best. I got this HIGHLY revitalizing soup at my favorite sushi place.
I got it for the vegetables- to hold off scurvy- and the broth. The broth was greatly enhanced by this amazing thing they brought me:
Where have I been?! I want to consume this stuff forever! The adorable lady who owns the place (my roomie and I are both buds with her and she has an adorable baby who’s there a lot) sent me home with a little sample of it.
So soup was pretty much the highlight of my school week. Mostly suffering and studying. Then on that following Friday I kind of just said screw it and hung out with my friends. And a lobster.
My friend Steph is a Boston native and loves her some lobster, so she planned a lobster night!
She is wearing a lovely princess tiara in this photo because she had just gotten her wedding dress in the mail, having ordered it from China online (!!!) and it had come with a complimentary tiara (!!!!!!!)
Jaclyn had us over to her place. We obviously had to use this as an opportunity to see how her dog would react to a lobster.
Jaclyn made SUPER yummy (unpictured cause I was too busy eating them) imitation Red Lobster cheesy biscuits. She also made these delicious roasted veggies (the kale with coconut was ridiculously good)
And because the only lobsters in town anywhere (at the Chinese market, it turned out) were a whopping three pounds at the smallest, we ended up splitting just one and it was still a huge amount of meat (TWSS).
Dunked in butter, obviously. Nutrition students, that’s us.
Oh and then we decided to try putting the tiara on the dog.
It went about how you would expect
I spent the rest of the weekend studying studying studying. And rewarded myself, as has become my habit when in a biochem frenzy, with a super gooey and amazing grilled cheese sandwich at Looking Glass. If you have to study late into a Saturday night, you need something to take away the sting of that. (Jaclyn, who met me there, opted for a beer :D)