summer is delicious

It’s super unfair how much I benefit from Myra’s work stress. The more crazy things are in her neverending fight against evil Duke Energy (she’s an attorney for Southern Environmental Law Center) the more she works out the tension by preparing delicious foodstuffs for family and friends. I AM SO LUCKY. DID I MENTION SHE’S WATCHING MY CAT TOO?!

Here’s what she made me for dinner. BEFORE I DROPPED OFF MY CAT AT HER HOME TO CARE FOR FOR THE INDEFINITE FUTURE.

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It started with the waffle iron, as many great meals do at Myra and Alex’s. They got pizza dough, topped it with a hefty coating of parmesan cheese, and cooked it in the waffle iron til the dough was puffy and the parmesan was browned and crispy and smelling like heaven.

Then Myra gilded the lily by cooking fresh mozzarella in olive oil and topping the crispy parmesan layer with a gooey mozzarella layer.

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For nutrition or something, veggies also went on. Lovely roasted squash. Also unpictured corn and caramelized onions. And a basil garnish.

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And again, because the more stressful work is, the more ambitious Myra’s cooking, there was also a soup. I don’t know what it was but I seriously embarrassed myself moaning and groaning for the first twenty seconds or so of eating this soup. It was just PERFECT. Chilled cucumber soup with Greek yogurt. Like really really creamy and amazing tzaziki, but… on another plane?

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At their cute table. As always, Myra’s portions were generous. As mostly always, I passed off a chunk of my meal to Alex, and he ate it with gusto.

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My contribution was pretty puny in comparison- I brought a bottle of wine and covered the dessert department with break and bake cookies (which were actually really delicious- they involved chocolate, salted caramel and pecans), and muffin tops (which were made by starting my mom’s recipe for banana bread, panicking that I had no leavening, throwing in an egg, picking some fresh blackberries from my yard (!!) and adding those, and converting it into muffin tops).

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My contribution seems particularly inadequate when you hear the latest Lola the Cat update: SHE HAS WORMS. I know this because after I dropped her with Myra and Alex to care for her they announced she had started throwing up worms in their home aaaaaaaaagh. So I decided the best way to deal with this was to send them a gift basket. “Sorry I loaned you a wormy cat, here are some chocolate covered pretzels and treats!”

Annnnnnnyway.

More tasty goodness- a birthday brunch for Malindi, my now 25 YEAR OLD baby sister! Malindi’s boyf Eric joined us, as did my roomie Alli (another June birthday girl!)

We went to Guglhupf, always exquisite. It was kind of dripping with rain when we arrived but we decided to chance it and sit outdoors, (semi) sheltered. Coffeeeeeee! (Well, Malindi the birthday girl got a chai latte).

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I had analysis paralysis for quite awhile regarding the menu but ultimately opted for the mushroom and Gruyere omelet. It was almost comically cheesy- I’d cut myself a piece and lift it, and cheese would trail for six inches beyond my fork. QUITE delicious.

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I also ordered a fig and almond scone for sharesies. That was a good choice as well!

So a bit of my home cooking: you’ll recall that the last time I was home I saw Alli eating bread and butter and tomatoes and I was jealous so I went off and bought mozzarella and tomatoes and had a lot of bread and caprese salad action.

BUT THE URGE PERSISTED. So then I went to Harris Teeter and got some of their whole wheat pizza dough (which was EXCELLENT!) and topped it with:

  • more of the fresh mozzarella
  • packaged lite alfredo dressing (the tackiest part of this, I promise!)
  • fresh tomatoes
  • fresh basil (added at the end)

I cranked up the oven in my student housing apartment as hot as it could go (which, uh, was NOT very hot- I noticed that underneath one of the burners on the stove there is a rather large opening DIRECTLY INTO THE INSIDE OF THE OVEN. There is absolutely no way that is safe, first of all, but also it means I can’t get the oven especially hot. C’est la vie.

Anyway, it turned out gorgeous.

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By far my best homemade pizza to date. It produced some really glamorous work lunches too.

And stillllllll I thought just in case I should probably have some more carby cheesy tomatoey goodness. So I cooked up some pasta, added more of that lite alfredo sauce (and really I was unfair to disparage it because it was pretty tasty and highly convenient and I’m not allowing myself to buy milk anymore because I just don’t consume it at a fast enough rate and end up throwing it away or making weird milky things I don’t want and throwing them away so I might as well buy a premade white sauce), and added, again, tomato and basil. All I need in this summer, friends.

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And because experiences as well as foods can be delicious, a few beach shots, because I just feel that I ought to include them in all of my posts about this fabulous beach summer.

The tide is REALLY low right now and there are all kinds of exciting tide pools in which to wander about.

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It’s like, from the deep water going inland, first there’s the ocean, then moving inward there’s the mini beach where you can walk around, then moving closer to land somehow there’s more ocean. Like, ocean take two. And some of the tide pools are like a couple of feet deep, as shown by the dude wading through the center of the picture! And then after ocean take two there’s the real beach.

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Also cool marks are left behind on my fave spot at the end of the beach.

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And lovely sunsets over where the wild birdies nest.

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Finally in delicious experiences, two of my favorite people, my Auntie Jeanie and my Uncle Tim, came to see me in Wilmington. It was SO GREAT.

  • Duh we did more walking on the beach
  • Duh we ate more delicious food
  • Jeanie and I psychoanalyzed our relatives because we’re wise and practically have psychology degrees just from… experiencing some of our family members
  • Tim made some truly awful puns for our amusement (we encountered a motel on Carolina Beach called “Wanda Inn”. Say it out loud. In a Southern accent. Then groannnnnn)
  • Jeanie and I were talking about how we spell our name. Because our last name starts with V and we’re constantly trying to give people hints how to spell it correctly and not with a B or a Z (this is particularly necessary over the phone). My grandmother (slash Jeanie’s mom) would say V as in Victor. I’ve recently taken to saying V as in Vegetable. But we got into this hysterical round of coming up with other possibilities, and Jeanie swears to me that one time she was in my grandparents’ retirement community and was having to spell it out and went “V as in Virgin”. I really wish I had been there. We are both going to keep each other posted about when we can work “V as in Vulva” into a conversation teeheeheeheehee.
  • We also listened to a really great beach thunderstorm while sitting cozily in their bed and breakfast and doing a PUZZLE! (I was also hanging out with them there because Jeanie had practically force fed me margaritas and I wasn’t competent to drive yet!)
  • I got to feel some hope because Jeanie and Tim didn’t get together til later in life and they are really just so cute and hilarious together. They’ve got some quality love that is comforting to witness. #relationshipgoals

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