Since it looks like I have celebrated myself out of yet another night of sleep, I may as well fess up. I have been doing some heavy celebrating (read: drinking). I have waited for this for six long years and now I get to celebrate. The reason for my newly acquired perma-hangover? Box checking. Yep. I got my box checked.
Snicker away, I’ll wait…. Done? Ok.
At my school, to getting one’s box checked means, among other things, receiving an actual check in an actual little box on a form that says that the student may begin writing his or her dissertation. This means that... drumroll please! I am going to graduate as early as this fall, depending on when I manage to stop drinking, finish whatever experiments I have left, and begin writing. So that’s my news! In another month I will likely begin writing full time, leaving way more opportunity for eating, cooking, and writing about eating and cooking, which I am absolutely thrilled about. That, and getting a PhD ain’t so bad either. (as a future PhD I feel it acceptable to use ain’t… hope they can’t strip my title from me).
The most recent form of celebration was kindly thrown my Melissa, who grilled on her porch (hot commodity, that, in Boston – not only a porch, but one with a grill on it. Grills are illegal most everywhere). Melissa made the most unbelievable southwest marinated chicken breast – after marinating for an entire day, it was just about the most tender and moist chicken breast imaginablet. There was also plain old grilled chicken breast, doused in a barbeque sauce I have been meaning to try for over a year. It may be the best barbeque sauce I have had to date – it was thin, vinegary, spicy, and not at all sweet. I need to find other uses for the gallon of it I now have sitting in my fridge. Suggestions? I have no grill, illegal or otherwise.
Melissa also made grilled asparagus dressed with an herby vinaigrette and the most genius baked potato I have ever had. This put all other baked potatoes to shame (I hope they are hanging their heads low as I type this). The potato was sliced and layered with onions, pepper, salt, and butter, wrapped in foil and plopped on the grill. The potato steamed till it was done but the best part… oh the best part was on the bottom, where the potato got a really crisp and chewy crust. I may be ruined for all other baked potatoes forever.
Thank you, Melissa!
I should also mention that this celebration involved copious amounts of wine. I don’t feel so good. Again. I have given myself the rest of the weekend to bop around, but then it’s back to lab… for a little while longer.
P.S. I expound on the box checking experience in greater detail here, if anyone is interested.