Tuesday, November 12, 2013

my cup runneth over

So I turned 25 over a month ago, but I’m only just blogging about it. This is for a few reasons

- It seems like a really big birthday. I’ve had to change checking off “18-24” to “25-29” on surveys, surveys in which I had NO idea how frequently I participated until I moved up an age bracket. Eurgh.

- Work has been an endless, grim, fairly crappy experience lately. I think I’m coming out on the end of that particular phase (knock on wood profusely) but I wanted to blog cheerfully about my birthday! I think I’ve been able to muster it.

- My birthday was pleasantly prolonged by a visit from my mother the weekend after it! I was delighted to spend some much missed quality time with my mom; and didn’t feel like toting around a camera all weekend (although Mom, I just remembered that you took pictures at Sunday brunch! Send ‘em!) but it included lots of fun times and great eats: dinner at Milltown, brunch with my roomie and her mom (so cute!) at Panzanella, hot cocoa at Matthew’s Chocolates, a Greek FEAST at Kipos, and the aforementioned brunch at Crook’s Corner. We sure packed in a lot of eating! Eating and shopping!

But anyway, my wonderful local friends, who I feel so blessed to’ve made in my short time here, as well as my fabulous boyfriend, showed me a really great time for my birthday weekend, and it’s worth sharing.

We begin with the Saturday before my birthday, in which Steve and I embarked on a trip to HIllsborough, opting to stop along the way at the (completely randomly located) Buddhist temple. It was gawwwwwjous.

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Steve disappeared on a birthday-shopping trip, ordering me to peruse the town at my leisure. I obliged, buying myself a birthday present (and inadvertently spending more than I ever have on shoes on some craaaaaaazy awesome vintage cowboy boots- bless my auntie for sending me birthday money to make the expenditure less insane!). This happened at this fabulous store.


Steve hosted a birthday dinner for me at his place. Lots of great friends showed up. Alex and Myra bought me these AWESOME THINGS.


The pickles themselves are great (duh, they are pickles) but the sweet and tangy syrup in which they float may be even more revelatory. I’ve been mixing it with dijon to toss with my brussels sprouts and boy is that great.

My other friends, who will be nameless because of the contents of this story, broke up the day before the birthday dinner and still came together to wish me a happy birthday. That verges on absurdity.

Steve made portabella burgers. Oh I think he might have put a little bit of cheese on them too…? A little hard to tell…


Dinner was eaten al fresco, by candlelight. Had to use flash for the shot above (note that the meal included additional delicious grilled vegetables that escaped the camera’s bright beam) (oh and really good wine. There was really good wine on my birthday). Managed to get a naturally lit photo of the dessert.


SWEET HOLY HEAVEN, THE BIRTHDAY DESSERT. From Matthew’s Chocolates, the place I have basically decided is my mother ship, came the pumpkin roll. Now tell me, like me, when you think “pumpkin roll”. do you think of fluffy pumpkin cake rolled up with some vapid, light, cool-whip-esque thing?

Well friends, this was PERFECTLY spiced, walnut packed, moist and tender and perfect pumpkin cake rolled up with TONNNNS of CREAM CHEESE FROSTING.

Boom. Done.

After we concluded the birthday meal, some of us strolled to downtown Carrboro to enjoy live music at Second Wind, which had a lovely outdoor seating area I hadn’t known existed. Blurry shots, but hopefully nonetheless signifying the pleasant feel.


They also infuse their own spirits- this magnificence involved tequila, strawberries, and jalapeno. As sassy as my awesome new cowboy boots.


The next day we strolled to downtown Chapel Hill for brunch, where I got my first proper taste of Soul Food at an establishment that is a highly reputable source for it.


Steve and I SHARED their four-side-dishes-and-bread meal (opting for one additional side dish).


Yes, sports fans, meaning that each person’s plate- a mere HALF of an entree- looked like this.


I have a hard time conveying the magnificence of the rich and meaty and perfectly toothsome (not mushy) blackeyed peas, the sweet and succulent but not saccharine yams, the soft fried apples, the oh-so-creamy corn casserole, the go-ahead-and-smear-a-ton-of-butter-on-me cornbread, and the comparatively virtuous but no less tasty okra and tomato casserole.

Suffice it to say, we ended the meal thoroughly satisfied and not a whole lot poorer.


The actual birthday dinner, at Foursquare, was too classy and gorgeous to ruin by whipping out a camera. Let’s just say that I ended the birthday (birth week…birth month, really) feeling thoroughly spoiled, and moreover blessed with all the fabulous people in my life.

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