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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Birthday Surprises and Farmers’ Market Goodies

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My nephew signed his name for the very first time on my birthday card.

 

Last Thursday was my 33rd birthday. It feels a little odd to be writing that, not because I’m getting older but because (with all the yoga I’ve been doing) I feel like I’m getting younger! I’m continually amazing myself with all the cool poses I can do now that I didn’t have the strength, balance, or flexibility for when I was a child. I took a wonderful Jivamukti class that morning with Nina Hayes, fellow MSVA grad and one of my new favorite yoga teachers. (I’m also taking her Mexican cooking class tomorrow night! So stoked for that.)

That night I went with a bunch of friends to my favorite Boston restaurant, Veggie Galaxy. My two favorite things on the menu are the vegan mac (with nutritional yeast and turmeric, breadcrumbs, eggplant, leeks, and peas)—it’s not gooey like “the real thing,” but I do like to point out that “comfort food” is actually way more comforting when you know no animals were abused in the making of it.

 

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The other thing I usually order is a frappe made with coconut ice cream—chocolate banana is my favorite flavor. “Out of this world,” as my grandmother would say. I ordered one instead of cake for dessert, and look how it arrived!

 

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Sam’s idea. The milkshake was thick enough to keep the candle afloat! This, of course, was the very brightest highlight in a day full of highlights.

 

milkshake candle

Photo by Shannon. (I finished my Pomegranate sweater in time! Haven’t blocked it yet though.)

Every birthday serves as a benchmark. What did I set out to accomplish over the past year, and to what extent have I been successful? How have I grown? How have I changed? What would I love to do next? Am I a better person than I was a year ago? This introspective process felt more relevant than ever given how much things have changed for me since my 32nd birthday. Just before I moved to Boston, I laid out a very clear picture of what I wanted my new life to look like, and it will surprise no one to hear that my life doesn’t look much like the one I’d imagined.

But I love this life, with all its uncertainties and “fine for nows.” If some mysterious stranger offered to trade this life for the one I’d imagined, I would absolutely decline. You might say going out to dinner with my Boston friends was a celebration not just of my birthday, but of that imaginary choice. I can’t even tell you how grateful I feel for the friends I’ve made here.

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Birthdays are too important to keep to one day; I intend to celebrate for the rest of the month! (Have I ever shared my philosophy on birthdays, by the way? I’ve always been big on celebrating them because we are SO BLESSED to be able to do so. I went to high school with several people who will never celebrate their 30th or 25th or even 21st birthdays. It isn’t a day for wishing you could turn back the clock; it’s a day of gratitude for all the time you’ve been given.)

Anyway, since we’re talking about tasty vegan food, I thought I’d share a couple of surprising items I picked up at the Roslindale Farmers’ Market last Friday. The first is a teeny-bit-spicy relish-slash-dip adapted from an old Creole recipe:

 

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I think I’ll serve this with gourmet crackers at Thanksgiving. The second item (the real surprise) was carrot granola (!) from A.k.a. Marvelicious, which is as local as local gets (they’re based in Jamaica Plain):

 

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My Little Sister and I tried a couple of samples, including their pumpkin pie, which was fantastic. I was skeptical about the carrot granola, but it’s actually really good. I’m saving it for Thanksgiving weekend, when I’ll be doing all my own cooking for once.

Speaking of farmers’ markets, here’s a photo I took after a browse at Copley Square several weeks ago (I meant to blog this, and forgot). You might as well caption it “You know you’re a hippie when…”

 

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I showed Alex the contents of my bag—dinosaur kale for juicing, dehydrated flaxseed crackers, and a knitting project using hemp (for crying out loud), all in a reusable market bag—and asked, “Am I a hippie or a hipster?” He confirmed that I’m a hippie, because hipsters are apparently way dirtier than hippies. At least according to Alex.

 

3 Comments to Birthday Surprises and Farmers’ Market Goodies

  1. November 20, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Happy Birthday dear Camille! I’m so glad you had a wonderful celebration. Thinking of you SO much – lots and lots of love!

  2. Mamacita,'s Gravatar Mamacita,
    November 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Your birthday frappe looks yummy! And so sweet to see Quinn’s card and signature again…

  3. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    November 21, 2013 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    Hehe I asked myself the same question whether hipster was the better word 😉

    Great thoughts to keep in mind throughout the entire year!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.