celebration upon celebration

First of all, I GOT ENGAGED!

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With gummi savers. For about two minutes (til my groom-to-be ate his ring). Oh also, the groom-to-be plays for the other team.

But doesn’t he look ecstatic at the prospect of our union in this lovely pic?

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No? Fine, a few days later I went hiking with him and his real-life boyfriend. We got a nourishing breakfast first.

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(A pimiento cheese biscuit- holy richness, Batman- and 1/2 a pumpkin spice latte donut which I split with Colton. Plus coffee of course)

Though I am nowhere in the sphere of engaged, I have nonetheless had a variety of fun social gatherings in the previous few weeks (ok, months) that I’d like to recall on the ol’ blog.

First, a cat party:

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I had sweet Bill and Angela the kittens finally down in NC, meeting potential adopters (they are happily ensconced in their new home, together forever, hurray!)

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And in the meantime, Clovis’s adopter Andrieu decided to bring Clovis by to see if he remembered his onetime siblings. And Malindi came too, to hang with kittens. It was a cat party.

The kittens did not at all remember their erstwhile siblings. Hilarity ensued.

Anyway, it was SO FUN in those few days I had little Angela and Bill at my place before they went home with their new human parent.

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When you are a kitten, everything is a toy.

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Your sibling is, too.

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I love this picture- Bill is all “I AM SO EMOTIONAL I AM BURYING MY FACE IN MY PAWS”

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They all have lovely forever homes now, and I am lucky enough to get the occasional photo update from the adopters.

THANKFUL.

Speaking of thankful, another party: Friendsgiving! Reliably fun and delicious at my friend Steph’s house. I clearly focused on the carb portion of the meal.

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Her friend created this turkey stencil to top an almond cake! Talk about classy.

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Next, a party that my family was all together for the Thanksgiving holiday break!

We kicked things off with a delivery from Malindi’s boyf, who was forced to stay in NC through the interminable gubernatorial recount (which has, at last, resolved, but not without the psycho NC legislature making us a national embarrassment a few more times).

Anyway, Eric sent Malindi (and thus all of us) chocolate covered strawberries!

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I nestled myself into the bosom of my family, relishing the omnipresent avocados in my mother’s home.

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We went to the BEST Chinese place, A+J. Pictured, clockwise:

  • wheat gluten and mushrooms
  • pickled seaweed salad
  • edamame, spinach, and tofu skin
  • thousand year old egg with yet another texture of tofu

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  • Fan-tabulous spicy peanut noodles

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  • Dreamy fried chive pancake

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  • dumplings!

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Then it was time for the party of actual Thanksgiving!

Mama laid the table all nice.

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Small crew this year: myself, Malindi, Ma, and Ma’s boyf.

Traditional mashed potatoes and gravy with… salmon?

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Yes cos salmon is delicious.

Also:

Artichoke parmesan sourdough stuffing

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Poorly photographed green bean casserole, made using all Trader Joes’ ingredients: French-style green beans, fancy portabella mushroom soup, and fancy fried onions.

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Malindi’s yummy sweet potato casserole with oat and pecan streusel atop

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General gorgeousness of the table, along with a peek at my homemade cranberry sauce.

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My plate. So lovely!

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Malindi’s apple cake for dessert. A little cream poured on top, why not?

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Now we have reached the Christmas season. Which means cookie parties, apparently!

First to my friend Leesie’s house, where she had a very impressive array of cookie decorating supplies and a delicious homemade dough that involved nutmeg.

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Then to my friend Lesli’s, where we also got a feast in the savory department before the cookie swap began.

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My friend Emily made these adorable cookie shots: a chocolate chip cookie cup (bake chocolate chip cookie dough in a mini muffin tin) filled with grown up “milk” (Irish cream I think was involved- don’t know what else).

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For the cookie swap, I used the abundance of eggnog leftover from my graduation party to make eggnog whoopie pies (note that I ad-libbed a filling that omitted marshmallow fluff and included actual eggnog)

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And there was LOTS of additional bounty!

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Sam and Alex, cute newlyweds, arrived to the party wearing matching antlers. Their cuteness inspired a group photo. It was imperfect but nonetheless amazing (see Boo the cat, and the caption!)

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A party break:

I was scared after a day when I literally only ate cheese and crackers for the whole day that I was going to develop diverticulitis. So I went to Weaver Street Market and made myself this fiber bomb of a plate:

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  • BBQ-seasoned lentils
  • roasted root veg
  • sauteed brussels sprouts
  • roasted sweet potatoes and apples
  • sauteed carrots
  • mashed butternut squash

It helped.

Another celebration- it was like 65 degrees outside a few days after Christmas! I met up with my auntie and we took a magical walk along the C+O Canal towpath.

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Then we had a graduation celebration lunch of delicious sushi.

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On my aunt’s delicious porch!

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We have finally reached the last celebration- my family’s annual post-Christmas open house! This year it was held on New Year’s Day, and we had a smaller crowd than usual. Were people hungover? Were they preparing to return to work the next day? Were they watching the Redskins?

Anyway, it meant more cheese for the rest of us 😀

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Here is the main table, midway through the party. Abundance, as you can see! Our usual mega roasted turkey and ham are in the background.

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Additional yumminess:

  • crudite
  • various breads and crackers
  • labneh (from the Greek store)
  • taramasalata (from the Greek store)
  • baba ghanoush (made by my mom)
  • artichoke dip (made by me)
  • butternut cheddar dip (made by me)
  • green pea and pesto dip (made by my sister)

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Annnnnnd a closeup of even more cheese. My mom went nuts (in the best possible way) at Costco this year. A raspberry on the brie so it looked womanly 😉

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And of course the cookie department.

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  • macarons, purchased at Costco
  • rugelach, purchased at Costco
  • thumbprint cookies from Oh She Glows, made by me (gluten free and vegan)
  • chocolate crinkle cookies from Iowa Girl Eats, made by me (gluten free)<< people LOVED these
  • my aunt’s fruitcake (my grandma’s recipe)
  • my mom’s baklava
  • my mom also made the Dorie Greenspan recipe for sugar cookies (I decorated the purple one, as a tribute to Prince and the other wonderful people we lost in 2016)

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