Saturday, March 31, 2012

fitting into the city of squares

Morning, sunshines. Today I've got yet another Plates from Around the World guest to welcome: Miss Mackenzie. This lovely lady is one of those wonderfully unique and warm souls that forever inspires me with her eloquent words and artistic eye. Like myself, she has found a new home away from home, and has done it so with such grace. I hope you enjoy her guest post as much as I do!

I think there's an art to feeling at home with strangers. If there's anything I've learned by moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts it would be that very lesson. When Danielle approached me to write a "Plates From Around the World" post I couldn't help but remember how I spent my most favorite Valentine's night eating "hippie" food in a cozy dining table at a little co-op in Cambridge with mostly strangers.
I joke to my friends that I go to school at Emerson for academic reasons, but I go to Harvard for social reasons. Emerson isn't  predominantly nerdy, so for the girl who thought it'd be fun to take pre-calculus one summer so she could take calculus her senior year of high school, I get along with Harvard kids really well. For the girl who lives directly between MIT and Harvard, I definitely find Cambridge to be my home of sorts This is why I was beyond pumped to spend my Valentine's night with one of my favorite smarty-pants Harvardians, Jane, at Dudley Co-op.
We got there early and were immediately submerged in beet-cutting, potato-mashing, and for me, secret Earth Balance butter-eating. I never said I was ladylike. Here I was, elbow to elbow to mostly strangers, making edamame-orange salad, a leek soup, and freshly baked bread, getting delightfully messy with the reddish ink of beet juice staining my palms. 
There's something about mismatched mugs, your favorite poems littering the walls, and smiling faces that can make you feel so at home with strangers. I spent the last year prancing around the U.S. and I found a little nugget of home when all three of those things were in tact. Cozy San Francisco hostels are teeming with mugs brought by forgetful travelers, and their streets oddly had some favorite Ferlinghetti poems embedded in the concrete. Chicago is home to the smiliest of people I've ever encountered. Cambridge has only solidified this theory of mine. 
We feasted on roasted beets, fresh-baked bread, leek soup, and a salad of edamame and orange that I legitimately dreamt about for at least a week and a half.  We dined, as college students are wont to do, under a canopy of old CDs and knick-knacks. I knew only two people there, but by the end of the night I had one of the most beautiful food babies, a successful single-ladies Valentine's day for the third time in a row, and I might have snuck out a few more pieces of bread. And Jane and her other outdoorsy friend might have had a mock utility knife-fight that I then felt compelled to document. Once again, I never said I was ladylike. Not in the slightest.

Do you not just want to run away to Cambridge and dine with this eclectic crew right now? I know I do. Especially Mackenzie. And I'd invite Holly too because she's the one that virtually first introduced us. What a blast we would have, no April's Fools required. In other aspirational topics, if you'd like to contribute to the Plates from Around the World series, please email me your favorite foodie place along with a description and photos. Now, go off and enjoy your weekend. You've most certainly earned it.


  1. yayay! i'm so honored to be a guest post on your lovely blog, lady! sending you lots of love!

  2. @Mackenzie: I'm so honored to host you! Same to you, dear.


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