Last Monday felt like Christmas morning…for more reasons than one. I was absolutely exhausted after staying up until 3:30 am finishing up a draft of my first dissertation chapter. I also received a present in the form of a box of “rescued” organic produce from Hungry Harvest, a produce delivery service based in Maryland that has expanded to serve the Triangle area. My box included a variety of goodies from apples and oranges to kale and summer squash. This company’s mission to reduce food waste is admirable, and it is cost-effective, as the price of these boxes save customers money they would spend on “prettier” fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. I honestly do not understand how stores throw away produce like this, as my box full of less-desirable items was a sight for sore eyes. I admire Hungry Harvest’s efforts to save these delicious treats, and I was so excited to brainstorm recipes involving the contents of my box.
Hey, y’all! It’s been a minute since I’ve written a post. Actually, it’s been almost 2 months…eek. To say I’ve been busy would be an understatement. I recently started working part-time at one of my favorite breweries as part of their event staff. I also just finished up teaching a six week summer class (after teaching a six week online class at the beginning of the summer). Normally, I would still be procrastinating on my dissertation during this busy season, but I actually have been hard at work collecting *good* data. Of course the moment I finished collecting survey respondents, my computer crashed. Thus, I have not been able to write a blog post because I had to use a loaner laptop for 20 days. Last week, I received my laptop (with a new hard drive) back from ITS.
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.
Spring is in the air here in North Carolina! As I discussed in a recent post, the semester ended the first week of May, and I am loving this season of life…for the most part! While I and other college and graduate students may think it’s summertime, the current weather forecast has reminded us that summer is not due for another few weeks. The only time I appreciate rain is at night when I’m trying to fall asleep (I sleep terribly, and rain seems to help me relax), so this week full of showers has not been my favorite. I have slept more soundly, though, which caused me to leave my house on Saturday morning to go to the local farmers’ market, an uncharacteristic activity if you know me.
Instagram is my preferred social media site because I would rather spend the mornings scrolling through pictures of my friends (and let’s be real: their food!) than reading people’s arguments on Facebook. However, Instagram told me some news this week that made me feel less than ideal: it’s been 20 years since the Spice Girls released their cinematic masterpiece, Spice World. I’ve always joked that I’m a 70-year-old lady at heart because I could spend all day watching The Golden Girls, and my dream car is a white pearl Cadillac DeVille. But, the news of this anniversary made me truly feel old. I believe my first CD was the Spice Girls’ first album, Spice, and I actually enjoyed their movie when it premiered, which signifies my maturity level at that time. Instead of continuing to reminisce about my elementary school days and discuss the treasure that is 90s music, I decided to spice up my life (and now yours, too!) with a new pizza sauce recipe.