Or, The Inner Workings of A College Graduate, Pt. II? Yeah, I’m sure I’m not the first one to make that joke! The last two days have been a whirlwind… I graduated yesterday (!) and have been having a really nice time seeing my family.
Yesterday we all went to brunch on campus before the commencement ceremony. I knew we were going to be there for a couple hours as we waited for all my family members to arrive, so I started off with fruit salad and a copious amount of coffee.
An hour or so later, I had a waffle (the only one I’ve hever had on campus, in all four years!) with plain yogurt and berries.
Right before I left, I grabbed a piece of carrot bread. Didn’t need it, but it was going to be a long day!
The proud mama:
My dad was prepared for every photo op.
My grandmother wanted my uncle’s tray to be photographed… he had a little bit of everything!
The graduation itself was really nice. We got to choose who we sat with, the speeches weren’t too long, and I didn’t fall on my face! (I didn’t end up wearing my new shoes 😦 ) The only bummer was it was cold and windy… there were a couple fur coats in the crowd. Our president pointed out that it was only fitting that our last official day in Minnesota should be spent in the cold! My high school graduation was blazingly hot, so I guess it evened out.
After the ceremony they set some dessert and coffee out for the reception; I was hungrier for real food, but I had a chocolate chip cookie.
“Graduation dinner” was another special one. We went to Cafe Brenda; I’d been looking forward to it for months!
We started off with some wine:
Cafe Brenda’s entire wine list is organic. I chose the Pinot Gris from Oregon from the table.
We ordered the Caspian (Two Dips — Asian Hummus Dip and a Sweet Red Pepper, Walnut, Pomegranate Dip. Served with Pita Bread, Vegetables and Olives) to share. The walnut pomegranate dip was so interesting. I have to recreate this!
We also got some shrimp quesadillas (Grilled Shrimp Tortilla with Sauteed Shrimp, Roasted Poblano Pepper, Tomatillo Sauce and Cheese. Served with a Coconut, Mint, Cilantro Salsa), which were so. freaking. good. (George and I decided we have to go to La Palapa in New York as soon as possible.)
My portion (plus a little more hummus):
I also had half a piece of cornbread.
For my entrée, I ordered the Ginger Glazed Mock Duck Salad.
Warm Organic Mock Duck in a Maple Glaze on a Bed of Mixed Greens, Chinese Noodles and Vegetables in a Peanut, Lemongrass Dressing. This was just what I didn’t know I wanted. So good! It was massive, though, and because I enjoyed my tasting rights and freeloaded from my parents’ meals, I probably ate about 2/3- 3/4.
My mom ordered a special cake and arranged with Brenda’s to plate it for us. The cake was beautiful, and came from one of Minneapolis’ best bakeries, Yum. It was called a patti cake (chocolate cake with buttercream frosting). Check out the server’s tattoo!
I’m not usually a buttercream fan, but this was amazing. It was sort of a cross between traditional buttercream and marshmallow fluff. The restaurant cut me the biggest piece, and as much as I wanted to, I honestly could not finish it without getting sick!
I left the restaurant completely bedazzled with new jewels.
I decided to stay overnight at my grandparents’ house since I don’t know the next time I’ll be out here again. I also didn’t have to worry about driving then, and happily left my car at home! I brought my exercise clothes so I could take advantage of their treadmill this morning. I only had a few minutes so I just ran a mile and did some floor exercises. (I forgot my heart rate monitor at home so I don’t have any stats for you, sorry!)
My grandmother arranged for a beautiful private brunch for us at the country club this morning.
The table was lovely.
My Granny ordered dishes “in my honor” that she knew I would like:
I filled my plate with fruit salad, dry green salad, a slice of artichoke and sundried tomato quiche, toast with jam, and some of the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had.
A small cinnamon roll:
More toast with strawberry jelly:
My dad and uncle were such a help to me today; we got everything all packed up and the car is completely loaded so tomorrow all I’ll have to do is shower and leave.
I finally threw away my bag of bar wrappers: this is the accumulation since October, minus the ones I’ve eaten outside of Minnesota. I read about a recycling program that collects used wrappers, but I think it’s now defunct. Too bad… look how many I have!
Cranky McCrankerstein came out this afternoon while I was packing, hauling, and not paying attention to my hunger. My dad and uncle took me to Whole Foods at 5, at which point it was all I could do not to stuff down my hot bar meal before checking out.
I had an avocado crack wrap for late my dinner/snack; there were a lot of other bitelets that didn’t make it onto the camera, but everything’s been pretty chaotic around the house. I had to eat this off a paper plate with a plastic knife because everything else is packed!
I went over to Sarah’s to say goodbye to some of my friends, and arrived armed with Holey Donuts. I had a Coconut Cream.
We’re all watching a cheesy 80s horror movie called Happy Birthday To Me. There’s a lot of strangling, screaming and slicing. I’ve been in sort of a sugar coma all week, so I have a feeling I won’t have any trouble falling asleep tonight. I’m meeting my dad and grandparents (everyone else went home) at Hell’s Kitchen for breakfast tomorrow, and then my dad and I are starting our long drive to New York. I’ve been wanting to go to this restaurant for over a year, so it’ll be a nice way to leave.
I hope you’re having a great night. Congratulations to all the graduates and their families!