Hey, y’all! What’s up? I haven’t written on this blog since my New Year Goals post. 2019 has already been a whirlwind of a year, and it’s only March. I’ve written several freelance food articles this year, but I haven’t been active on this site much. Y’all responded to my Insta Poll and voted for a life update instead of a recipe for this post, so I will do my best to try to fill in the gaps from these past few months. I’m going to write this post in list form mainly because I feel like it, but also because I think it may help me organize my thoughts a bit more efficiently and thus make for a better read.
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.
Keeping a planner and handwritten to-do list (as opposed to emailing myself multiple messages at 1 and 2 am) were two of my 2018 New Years Resolutions. I can’t tell you after managing these goals for three months how satisfying it is to check off an item on this list. I felt the same adrenaline rush after my friends visited, and I checked two places off my Triangle Biscuit Tour 2018 list. Granted, this to-do list isn’t directly helping me get any closer to that pesky PhD, but y’all, it’s allowing me to remain semi-sane during the tumultuous dissertation/job market stage of my program.
Although I was born in January, it is without a doubt my least favorite month of the year. I always am inspired by those who craft ambitious New Years Resolutions. However, the first of the year always ushers in an air of melancholy, with the short days and long nights. It also brings an anniversary that I never enjoy celebrating. My sister Callie passed away on January 27th, 2010, after courageously battling a malicious muscle cancer for two years. Thus, this month always proves challenging for my family and me, as we face our own fight against the inevitable wave of sadness that creeps up after Christmas. I breathe a huge sigh of relief when we reach February 1st, and regardless of whether or not the groundhog sees his shadow on the 2nd, I know spring and the sun will come eventually. Sorry to be a downer here, but I promise this post is full of positive vibes and fun…just keep reading!
Overall, this February in North Carolina has been fantastic. My friends visited me for a few days at the beginning of the month (Read about my staycation with them here); I’ve made some new friends (mostly through food-related gatherings); the weather has been warmer than average; and obviously, I’ve eaten some delicious food. I’m dedicating this post to my February foodie faves. Hope y’all enjoy! Comment below if you’d like to see more posts like these at the conclusion of every month.
This week was weird, but in a good way. I did not count down the days until the weekend, and I did not breathe a sigh of relief when I woke up Friday morning. If you’re thinking that I must have had a fabulous week in the windowless abyss that is Hamilton Hall (sidenote: if you don’t go to UNC, look it up online-I would bet *a small sum of money* that your office sucks less), you’d be incorrect. The cause for my appreciation of the workweek was my friends’ visit to Chapel Hill. They arrived early Tuesday morning (like 1:00 am early) and left this morning, and y’all, they drove 18 hours from Dallas just to hang out with me in the dead of winter. Friendship goals, amirite?
Just like any good staycationer, I used my friends’ visit as an opportunity to explore the Triangle food scene and begin my 2018 Triangle Biscuit Tour. This week, I had the pleasure of trying two delicious biscuits at Rise Carrboro and LaPlace Louisiana Cookery (in Hillsborough, so technically not the Triangle, but it’s close enough). We had a blast and made the most of our days together.
2016 was a whirlwind of a year to say the least. As a political science PhD student, I noticed how this last presidential election produced a more intense discourse among the mass public than prior races. I love a good argument, but some of the dialogue I observed in person and in the media left me feeling overwhelmed, concerned, and for the first time, truly afraid of how our country would fair if someone outside of my political party won. Thus, I found myself seeking alternative topics to discuss, even though I was elated that so many of my non-political science friends were paying close attention to current events and taking their decision more seriously than in the past.
However, I read about one 2016 dispute that provided me with feelings of excitement rather than anxiety. Apparently, Kevin Gillespie (a chef from Atlanta) and Jennifer V. Cole (a food writer and editor from Alabama) engaged in a contentious debate over the ultimate southern side: biscuits v. cornbread. Continue reading “Triangle Biscuit Tour 2018”