Monday, July 11, 2011

My twenty-first birthday

I have moved in to my new place in College Station, TX!  It's been a very productive week and a half for me since my birthday, June the 30th.  I packed up my car and went to Jessica's wedding up in Blacksburg, VA and then drove 20 hrs (in 2 days) to Texas.  I found a nice apartment, moved in, went to IKEA to buy suh-weet Swedish furniture, started in the lab at school, had the furniture delivered, assembled half of it, and began my new social life!  Wow, recounting all that makes me a bit motion-sick.  Good thing I was in the thick of it and didn't realize what was happening!

First:  My birthday.  And what birthday is complete w/o cake.  I still remember being so stoked to pick out an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins for my pool party when I was little.  I almost always had a pool party, it is the perfect time of year for it.  This year was the first time I'd been at home for my birthday and in a nice kitchen with proximity to good ingredients since going away to college. So..
       I decided to try to make my first cheesecake!  I had all the ingredients already plus I knew my mom had a hard-to-come-by spring form pan since I remembered  neighbor friends borrowing it growing up.  Plus cheesecake is so good.  I used silken tofu and Veggie Gourmet "cream" cheese as the base, blended up all smooth, and made a crust with Wasa crackers and GrapeNuts.  

I made a plain vegan cheesecake and garnished it w/ mint and blueberries
Rachel is a cheesecake connoisseur so I had to impress her.

Dad was a fan.  Had to impress him too--he makes renowned desserts.

I liked the cake a lot.  And there were presents to open!
 Mom got a ton--maybe 5 dozen?--of peaches from the farmer's market, many of which she was taking on her and my dad's trip to Illinois.  But there were several ripe ones and I ate several and shared them with the Dressels.  They weren't organic (peaches rarely are b/c they are a pest-ridden crop) but if you smelled 60 of these suckers in your kitchen you wouldn't have cared either. 
Dozens of peaches to eat and share.
 For lunch, Rachel, Sarah, and Amelia took me out to a groovy place in Raleigh--
 It's a really fun place--Murals covering the walls, stuff like little biscuits with wings and groves of sunflowers.. And our waiter was a lovely person.
The 4 Dressel sisters.  What? Only 3?  Nah

It was cool to order a beer w/ lunch!  This was a Guinness w/ a shot of espresso
All smiles.  All the time.

Comp. biscuits w/ a good fruity apple butter.

Peach eating.  Great colors.
 After lunch we went to the NC Museum of Art to see the current Exhibitions.  We perused all of them, including the main one, 30 Americans, which was about defining/undefining african-american artists.

 In the evening after I had put more belongings into my car, we played Scattergories, and drank some Honey Basil (Bison) beer I had purchased at Whole Foods.
The Dressel sisters and I.  Last hurrah!
 My drive would have been totally wretched without this present from the Dressels!!  The 7th Harry Potter book was a little over 20 hours in audio and was so captivating!!!  I hadn't read it since 2007 and had forgotten a lot of the good details.  It made me laugh and cry, and most importantly, distracted me from distancing myself from everyone I know and love. 
Crucial gift!!  Totally homemade.  (Professionally recorded though) :D

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