Monday, September 2, 2019

Friends Reunion 2019

The weekend before Hanifah's wedding, my FAVORITE PERSON ALBAN came to visit me!!!!!!

yayyyyyyyyy :D 
(here's a closeup of that peach dish in case you were curious)
She arrived on a Thursday, so while I was at work on Friday she hung out in my house and kept Rafi company.

When I got home from work, they were both napping adorably in my bed together. 
Rafi keeps guard 

On Friday after I finished work, we drove to Lake Gaston!
Isn't she lovely :D 

I did an extremely humid 11-mile run and had to stop three times and when I got back I had to lie on the floor for awhile.

very much enjoyed this pizza we made for dinner

It was cloudy and rainy on Saturday afternoon/evening, but we were still able to go out on a nighttime boat ride.

Yay lake party! including some new friends! 

And now for some bonus pics of my beautiful daily work breakfast:
pre nuts and honey 
so delicious :) one of the best parts of summer! 

Nashville 2k19

Last weekend, my former Nashville roommate Hanifah got married!! I spent the weekend in Nashville visiting with my other former Nashville roommates, Jim and Lisa (who was also my date to the wedding). 

Hanifah being escorted down the grassy aisle by her older brother

my best friend / former housemate / recent wedding date Lisa

aren't we adorable :) 
After I landed on Friday evening, Jim, Lisa, and I went to a newish popup restaurant in Nashville called Tailor. Back when I lived in Nashville, this chef and I were both on the board of Slow Food Middle Tennessee, so I was especially excited to check out his new foodie project.

The restaurant space was gorgeous,

The multicourse meal was served family-style: Servers brought out each course at the same time to all tables, and then the chef (Vivek Surti) would stand in the middle of the room and tell a story about how he developed the dish based on his rural Tennessee upbringing merged with the traditions of his Gujarati Indian family. 

Every course was excellent, and it was fun learning about how so many of the ingredients I might consider traditionally Southern could also be considered traditionally Indian. Here are few of the most picturesque dishes:

vegetarian Jingha with heirloom tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, serrano chile, and lots of cilantro

Bhinda Ni Kadhi (okra, yogurt soup, basmati rice)

Keri (mango, pistachio, honey, saffron)
On Saturday morning, I did a 12-mile run: from the Crowes' house in Hillsboro Village, to Shelby Bottoms Park, and back. Jim ran the (first) 2.7 miles to the river with me! After I got back and showered, the three of us went to my favorite Nashville bakery: Dozen. 

preferred place with preferred people

prime pastry with prime partners

best brunch with best buds
Then the three of us went to a cafe in Berry Hill that Lisa likes (called District Coffee) and did some coworking for a few hours. Then it was time for Lisa and me to get ready for Hanifah and Daniel's wedding! We ended up being stuck in traffic for a solid half-hour on the way out to Montgomery Bell State Park, where the wedding was held, so we missed most of the cocktail hour prior to the ceremony. But I had just enough time to snap this pic of the beautiful reception lodge:

each table held glass jars full of assorted wildflowers

The ceremony was held under a giant oak tree in the middle of a clearing:

Afterwards, there was a buffet dinner followed by some DJ-ed dancing. Hanifah seemed really happy, and I was happy for her. 

Hanifah with her ancient dachshund, Sadie.
On Sunday morning, Lisa and Jim skipped church to hang with me!! The three of us went on a short run down Belmont Road and ran past my childhood home on Ashwood on our way back to their house on 21st Ave S.

Then we ate this AMAZING tomato tart that Lisa made:


And then the three of us walked down to 12S so I could do a little souvenir shopping. After we returned back to the house, Lisa left for a board meeting and I did some journaling while Jim worked on his iPad (strange choice of device, amirite??).

Then my friend Caroline picked me up! Caroline is a farmer who was also on the Slow Food Middle Tennessee Board with Vivek and me. We tried to go to the Frist to see a Frida Kahlo exhibit, but the line was literally out the door so we decided to walk to the 21C hotel instead, where there is always a free rotating art exhibit in the hallways. A lot of the art in the hotel was super creepy (the theme being "supernatural,") but here is one of the more enjoyable pieces:

After our loop through the hotel, Caroline drove me to the airport and I was off, back to Chapel Hill.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Summer Snapshots; or, The Things I Eat

cucumber soup! 
farmers market salad: my favorite!
I went to a Christmas-in-July party because I'm ~fun~ like that

Jack presented his summer research at UNC! 

my favorite kind of dinner: vegetarian boat bites at Lake Gaston

I contributed this roasted cauli, which I bought at the local Piggly Wiggly for only $1!!! I only had to cut a few dark spots out. What a win! 

Lake Gaston sunset: the best kind of sunset.

Did you know a clafoutis without cherries is actually a flaugnarde? I made this one with peaches from the Carrboro Farmers Market.

seared and roasted fairytale eggplant with quick-pickled hot peppers and tangy cashew spread

steamed sweet potato with tahini butter and toasted sesame; and homemade buttermilk flatbread with herbed chickpeas, tangy feta sauce, and falafel-spiced tomatoes

My breakfast most mornings (except I also dump pecans and honey on top of the pretty fruit).

Monday, August 12, 2019

ENCIP 2019

Outside of my day job, I direct a summer internship program in Tarboro called The Eastern NC Internship Program. This summer was our best yet, and I want to share a few photos from throughout the 8-week period when all the interns lived together in Tarboro.

Our 2019 cohort at their start-of-summer orientation!

A few of the interns at my family's house at Lake Gaston

We piloted our program through a partnership with the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program, which has sent us five interns for the past three summers. The following screenshots depict parts of the scholars' Instagram takeover for the Robertson Program's Instagram account.

And here is a shot from our end-of-summer celebration, where community members gathered to hear reflections from each intern on what their summer has meant to them. Below, Sophia Ramirez ’22, a Roberton Scholar, speaks about her internship with the Edgecombe County Health Department:

perks of overnight weeknight visits to Tarboro: pastry breakfasts from Alimentaire!
Another perk of visiting Tarboro: boiled peanuts on the front porch.

Of course, I have lots more thoughts about this program, but I'll save those reflections for another time! 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Conference Week in Boston

Before I even left Morehead-Cain, my boss at CCPS signed me up for a weeklong conference in Boston that took place the week bridging July and August. At first, I was very excited, but when the time came, I actually regretting having to leave behind my work for an entire week. An optimist would read that and think, how great that she loves her work so much! And I'd have to agree. 

Packing: lil Riff-Raf wanted to come

First thing I did upon arriving in Boston was meet up with my friend Grace, whom I'd originally met in Nashville, and her bf Beckett. We ate lunch at a local food hall/market place, where I found a macaron shop that sold Harry Potter-themed macarons. After all, Harry's birthday was that very week. This red velvet macaron was Hedwig-flavored.
On Sunday, we visited Singing Beach at Manchester-by-the-Sea!
On Monday morning, before my conference began, I got to watch a taping of On Point, the show Grace helps produce for WBUR!

Meghna Chakrabarti in the flesh!

The first night of the conference, we had dinner on the top floor of a Boston University building that overlooked the city's beautiful river and downtown skyline. 
During the conference, I ate every lunch with a book at a shaded outside table.


On Wednesday night, I found dinner at a semi-legendary noodle shop

The highlight of the conference was the dinner cruise Thursday night.

On a boat!

Sunset over Boston Harbor! 
I felt a little bit trapped. 

everyone needs their own sunset photo

literally everyone
a stranger took this ~artsy~ pic of me and airdropped it to me lol

~city lights~
Old people dancing:

I went running every morning of the conference, and loved each one!

This was on a trail called Emerald Necklace that joined a chain of small lakes. Not quite Central Park, but still so pretty!