Wei Better Orange Chicken

People often ask me how I manage to stay on top of my dissertation, teaching, etc. while spending lots of time cooking, eating out, and going to foodie events. I joke about procrastibaking, but the truth is running my Instagram account and writing on this blog help me add some needed structure to my days. I’m currently teaching online for the first summer school session and working on my dissertation, and I have no actual work schedule at the moment. I’ll soon resume teaching everyday in person, but until then, I have tried to establish a routine that allows me to maximize my efficiency and still maintain a healthy level of sanity.  I’ll occasionally work at night when I have writing to do. Otherwise, I mostly work during the day, so I can explore the Triangle food scene or cook a semi-elaborate dinner at night.

When a representative from Pei Wei reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try their new Wei Better Orange Chicken, I happily obliged, as I knew a trip to one of the locations in either Raleigh, Cary, or Apex would motivate me to check off items on my to-do list before 5 or 6 pm. While these cities are less than an hour drive from Carrboro, I always feel the need to make the most of my time outside the Durham/Chapel Hill area, so I asked my friends if they wanted to join me for dinner and drinks afterwards at a nearby brewery. They, too, were eager for an excuse to leave the UNC area.

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Charleston Weekend Recap

Hello, internet friends! It’s been a minute since I’ve written a blog post. The last few weeks of the spring semester were full of challenges, some expected and others unexpected, just like most semesters. Anyway, I try to minimize talk of graduate school in this space for two primary reasons: 1. This blog serves as my escape from the ivory tower life I’m living. 2. Grad school is an incredibly stressful experience for us grad students, but it’s a particularly boring subject for most people in the real world.

Prior to the shit show that defines the end of every semester, I managed to take a long weekend getaway to Charleston with two of my best gal pals. After I read John T. Edge’s The Potlikker Papers last summer, I vowed to visit Charleston at least once while I live in this part of the country. Edge explains that New Orleans and Charleston are the main Southern “foodie cities,” so I obviously had to experience them both. I was fortunate to present some research in the Big Easy in January of 2017, and I fell in love with the city. NOLA seems like a polarizing place, especially after Katrina, yet I loved every part of my trip from the rich cultural heritage of the city (e.g. street art, architecture, jazz music) to the delicious dishes and strong drinks I consumed while taking in the sights of this progressive place. While New Orleans is not a favorite among some groups, I had never heard of anyone who disliked Charleston. Thus, I could not wait to explore Charleston to enjoy more classic southern fare and see if the city lived up to the hype!

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