Sunday, March 20, 2011

Post-Birthday, I'm Back!

Craziness! I can't believe it has been over a week since I have updated! I just got so into being home, then it was my birthday, and then I had to make the trip back to Boston. It was a fun filled week and the good news is that means I have lots to say!

Let's begin with my sister making it safely to France! As soon as my dad got to the train station to pick me up my sister called his cell phone to let him know she had made it to her host family's house. It was truly perfect timing because I got to talk to her! When my dad and I finally got home I got to mom, my brother, and my dog! I haven't seen my dog or my brother since I moved to Boston a few months ago and my mom since she visited me a couple weeks before, so it was all very exciting. My dad and I spent the afternoon doing the weekly grocery shopping and chatting, and I made fried udon noodles with cabbage for dinner. It was delicious and even my older brother enjoyed it (he's a skeptical eater). It was a perfect first evening home, and my dog got to lick my plate when I was done so everybody was happy.

The next night I recreated Olivia Wilde's vegan bolognese recipe, and this was a big hit (especially with my parents). I tried it the first night on some fresh spaghetti squash and then a different night I spooned it on some actual pasta like a real human would. Spicy and full of awesome.

Onto the rest of the week! As some of you may know, it was my birthday on Thursday so now I am old. Twenty one! I hope you guys can believe it, because I am still having trouble wrapping my mind around the whole thing. I spent Tuesday night and Wednesday morning making chocolate vegan cupcakes and coconut frosting. They were absolutely delicious, and I used some green food dye to tie in the whole 'St. Patrick's Day' theme. 

My original intent was to find a vegan cake at the Whole Foods near my nana's house, but they didn't have any! They did have a larger produce section than the one I frequent in Boston, but I wasn't terribly impressed with their bakery section. Win some and lose some, I suppose. This led to the creation of my own birthday treat. I love cake, but having an entire cake sitting in our kitchen is never a good idea. 

The perfect idea was then suggested: bake a batch of cupcakes, set aside four for our family on my birthday, and bring the rest to my mom's school and feed her class! It was fan-tab-ulous. Only thing was, I made six more cupcakes than I needed and this resulted in their immediate consumption. I have no self control and ended up with a serious sugar-hangover. Though I did get to see my friend Steve, so that made the whole thing incident fade into the background a bit.

Cut to my birthday! I don't mean to make this moment all about me, but it kind of is, right?
So this is me...using my dad's shoulder as a birthday snack. If you thought my turning twenty one was going to signify my debut into adulthood you are going to be sorely disappointed. So we spent the first part of the afternoon after returning from my mom's school lounging, taking pictures, and discussing how I am now decrepit.

Now once you look past the fact that I am so pale I look dead, this is actually a cute picture! That's my mom on the right, and my daddy on the left. Aren't we cute? I am totally wearing my sister's prom dress, but I will attempt to justify this by explaining that I couldn't bring any clothes home with me since I took the train.

Since I know you're all here to read about me getting drunk on my birthday. I'm not sorry to report that drunk isn't quite the word I would use. Pleasantly incapacitated might be more appropriate. According to my family, it is incredibly difficult to tell if I am drunk or just being myself. I can't tell if that is good or bad. We went to P.F. Chang's for dinner, as that is definitely one of my favorite restaurants.

 Chris (my brother), me, and my dad in front of the restaurant.

I tried the stuffed lettuce wraps for the first time. I didn't used to be a tofu person, but the chefs there have really turned me to the dark side. It is spicy, flavorful, and totally delicious. Plus, anything wrapped in lettuce automatically gets five points. Interestingly enough, this was my brother's first experience with P.F. Chang's. I am happy to report he enjoyed it, and also that I ordered a Mai Tai for my first drink.

Me, still deathly pale, consuming my first [legal] alcoholic beverage!

The party continued after we left Chang's. We relocated to a bar near my house called 'the Ancient Mariner'. It's a small place and has been around since before I was born! It was there that I came to meet my new favorite drink: the whiskey sour. Ohhhh my goodness. I love sweet and tart, and this drink definitely didn't let me down. I had a few...maybe more but it was so worth it. It was honestly the most fun way I could have spent my birthday. It has been brought to my attention that most people wish to spend their twenty first birthday passed out in an alley, but I'm fairly certain my family is about 500 billion times more fun than that. Boyfriend couldn't make the party (he wasn't on vacation so he had to stay in Boston) and my sister was still in France, but aside from that this was definitely one of my better birthdays.

We made our way back home after a while and then popped open a bottle of Nihonshu (Japanese sake) my dad got me for my birthday. We sipped on this while I opened my presents! My parents and sister got me a book called 'Clean Food'. I know, perfect. My parents also made me a photo album with pictures from every birthday I've ever had. It was the best! I'm glad I enjoyed the night so much, because I hear that it all goes downhill after twenty one. 

As I'm writing this I feel the need to address the above saying for a quick minute: isn't going downhill better than going uphill? I don't mean to shine a spotlight on my natural laziness, but really... That expression seems so misplaced.

My last night home we went to the Applebee's bar for a few drinks before going to see the new movie Paul. I tried my first non-virgin piƱa colada. Consensus: seriously sugary, very delicious. Due to the extreme sugary nature of the drink, for my next drink I traveled a slightly lighter route with a 'Hurricane'. It was rum mixed with pineapple juice, sweet & sour mix, orange juice, and grenadine. Eughmygod so good! Very strong, though. I have to say, Paul definitely lit up the evening. It was witty and had great references, so comic book reading dorks (me) and anyone born before 1990 would definitely enjoy it.

So I'm back in Boston now. The morning following the trip to the movies was filled with whirlwind packing and squeezing in a breakfast with my friend Chelsea. I hadn't seen her since Christmas break, so it was really fun. After a prolonged farewell, Chris and I headed for Boston. I quickly unpacked the goodies my mom sent me and hopped on the subway to see boyfriend. It was a joyful reunion, filled with dinner at Panera, a pit stop at Newbury Comics, lots of hugging, and a walk outside featuring the biggest moon seen from earth in twenty years. It was SERIOUSLY huge and gorgeous, everyone! I hope you all got to see it... Thankfully the night was devoid of anything alcoholic. I'm not a big drinker to begin with, but I think I'm boozed out for at least a week :)

When I got back to my apartment this morning I munched on some kale and mochi for breakfast (still feeling the aftereffects of all the drinking/sugar) and then walked to Whole Foods to restock on some perishables. I needed apples, garbanzo beans, edamame, and some arame (for those of you unfamiliar, it is a sea vegetable). The second I got back from Whole Foods? Created a sizeable tub of edamame hummus. Is hummus not the best thing ever? I don't ever forget that I like it, but I do forget just exactly how much I enjoy it. I always make mine a little extra garlicky and throwing some edamames in there gives it a really interesting and fresh flavor. I meant to go to school to update this blog and to do some work, but it was already three o'clock and apparently the shuttle to the school closes earlier on Sundays than usual, so it didn't end up being worth the trip. The good news? I had that extra time to make this update extra long! Will be updating on a more regular schedule now that vacation is over, so fear not. This is not the end.

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