Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23, 2009: So Graduatey, and Totally Zonked

Well, as expected, the graduation was exciting, but very tiring, and now it's 2 days later and all I've managed to do was sleep, eat, watch a lot of movies, and (sort of) book my movers. And packed 1 and a half boxes. I'm moving in slow motion

I don't really have any photos from the past 2 days, mainly because (a) I do not want to even think about most of the horrible, celebratory stuff I've been shoveling into my face and feeding to my friends, and (b) I wasn't really with it enough to take any pictures. Too bad, as well, because actually dinner last night was terrific, courtesy of my roommates N and S, who threw together a delicious meal of strawberry-avocado salad (ooh), and an Asian spices rice pilaf with great big thick asparagus (ahh). And beautiful presentation as well, but you'll just have to take my word for it.

Meanwhile, a few days ago I was thinking I'd whip up a few dozen cupcakes for my grad party Thursday afternoon. Of course I got through one batch and gave up, but they were pretty special:
Yes, that's blue cupcake batter. I ran out of red food coloring, and it occurred to me that I'm probably not packing up my tiny food coloring supplies to bring to a new place, so I may as well use whatever's left. So, Blue Velvet Cupcakes. And then the next day when I went to make frosting, and my whole family was running around like crazy people, I accidentally started making buttercream instead of cream cheese frosting, so that's what we had. They were a hit though, and everyone seemed amused, rather than disgusted, by the bright blueness of the cupcakes. They went pretty fast and the party itself was lovely. Most of my favorite folks, from law school, college, high school, and other eras, were able to make it, and a good time was had by all. I ate a lot of cheese. (Bad quasi-vegan!)

Yesterday, I brunched with the family before they left, and listened to them go on and on about how shockingly expensive everything is in New York. I just feel like a jerk when they say stuff like that, since I'd chosen the brunch place, obviously. It is not an expensive brunch place, but it is true: New York is expensive compared to just about anywhere else. I heard similar reports from friends with suburban parents.

Today I brunched with my mentee from the Law School Women's Association, who is a lovely and amazing lady, and this was sort of our big goodbye since she's got 2 more years of school here and I'm off to BOSTON (woot woot) next week. I wish I had a photo of this one, because it was pretty. "Olive Eggs" from Cafe Fresh on Amsterdam Ave at 121st Street. They were just 2 eggs cooked over hard in olive oil, then plopped onto a large and luscious brioche roll with a bit of cooked spinach on top, and home fries and a salad on the side. Definitely recommend it.

Meanwhile yesterday I had moved the pizza sauce from last time I made pizza from the freezer to the fridge, thinking at some point this weekend I'd do pizzas. So today was the day -- I made the dough this afternoon and whipped up some tofu ricotta (sans basil this time because I didn't feel like going to the store for it).

On the left there is fresh tomatoes and baby spinach, with a few white onion bits left from the other one. On the right is yellow peppers and white onions.

Nom nom nom nom. These pizzas are good. I had some concerns about them, mainly because I let the dough sit after the second kneading for about 3 hours instead of the 2 that I'd planned. Because I fell asleep, which also meant that I was kind of groggy and unenthusiastic when I went to stretch the dough and put on toppings and stuff. So it was all thick in some places and kept getting holes in other places, and I just couldn't seem to get it to work. But it did turn out kind of fine. Slap some toppings on, whatever.

I did do them one at a time this time, but I think the oven wasn't really hot enough when I put in the peppers and onions one, so that one did come out a bit doughy and I just couldn't deal with leaving it in any longer because the excess cornmeal was burning and smoking, setting off my fire alarm nonstop.

This is my set-up to make the fire alarm stop -- I generally just wave a towel at it (after opening all the windows and cranking my AC up to get more air moving around) but I just couldn't stand there the whole time, so I found my old fan in my roommate's room and employed an old trick.

Anyway, the tomato and spinach pizza turned out spectacular (this is what I always order if I'm getting a pie from a pizza shop) and the peppers and onions pizza is very tasty but probably needs a couple minutes in the toaster oven to reach its full potential.

And maybe there will be more posting this weekend/next week. I do have a lot of food (grains and stuff mostly) that needs to be cooked or thrown away so I should get to work on that. It's just hard to figure out how to put it all together, when everything is kind of unrelated. But I'm also hoping to bake some bread. Maybe I'll bake loads of bread and give it out as gifts, so I don't have to worry about these last 4 packets of yeast that are still sitting in my fridge. We'll see how ambitious I manage to be in between packing up my whole life to go into storage and tying up loose ends at school and journal. I can't believe this major era of my life is really ending!

Tonight's plans:Dirty vodka martini, Mad Men. If I could be smoking a cigarette and wearing a retro housewife get-up too you know I would be. This show, well, I keep giving it one more try and I guess I do like it, but I do sometime suspect that the point is just to give writers the chance to come up with snappy sexist and anti-Semitic one-liners. But the wardrobe and hair (and drinks) are pretty awe-inspiring.

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