Make Your Own (Almost Birthday) Hummus
June 6, 2011

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Hey all!

Thanks for such nice remarks about the camera debacle on Saturday. I’m glad that you enjoyed what leftover photos I did get, and that you’ll give the recipes a try. I’m proud of them!

Today was my first day as a student at a brand new place:

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And tomorrow is the start of my twenty-ninth year, so it feels like the right time for new beginnings.

The day itself began with a smoothie of banana, frozen dark cherries, cinnamon, and dark cherry juice that was leftover from the big party this weekend. A little sweet, but the cherry + cinnamon combo was great, and I think I’ll put the finishing touches on this one and share the recipe soon!

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Soon it was off to campus for me. I admit, I was a little nervous: Columbia is really the only experience I have of university life, and the more I see of other schools, the more I realize how unrepresentative it was. Don’t get me wrong: I loved Columbia, and I loved the student body, but I loved the school precisely because it was so very unlike your typical collegiate environment. It was quirky and urbane; the student body was full of eccentrics (along with some non-eccentrics, of course, but I think the most idiosyncratic among us flocked to the English department). Few of us knew anything about Greek life, or even about campus socializing. And sports? Forget it.

Georgetown looks a whole lot more like the university campuses of movies: it’s gothic and spread out over rolling hills. A large track field is nestled into one corner, while little quads dot the rest of campus. There are baseball caps and lots of team t-shirts and lots of support for the Hoyas, a team name that is derived from the Latin chant of “Hoya Saxa!” (“what rocks!!”).

Um, ok. Sure.

The Latin phrase that really speaks to me, if I’m to be honest, isn’t that one, but rather “cura personalis,” which means “care for the entire person.” This is the motto of Georgetown University Teaching Hospital, an institution I’ll be tied to closely, physically and ideologically, during my time as a post-bacc here. I don’t think any phrase could better sum up the approach I hope I’ll take to health care one day. Many of us feel that one of the shortcomings of contemporary allopathic medicine is its tendency to be overly specialized; to treat particular symptoms, rather than a living, breathing individual. I love that the GUH slogan prioritizes the whole person, rather than the illness as an abstract.

I also love the architecture of the place. Check it out!

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I’m excited to be here.

After a few hours of chem lab, in which we were told that skirts, dresses, sandals, and shorts would be off limit all summer (I can feel the sweat now), I made my way to the library to check out some books. My friend Laura reminded me, when I became a student again, that the nicest thing about student life is all of the free resources. She was right: I cannot wait to start reading for free again (ah, publishing industry perks, how I miss you!).

I returned back to my hobbit house after class for some unpacking, and soon enough it was time for a pre-bday dinner with M. We’d settled on Middle Eastern fare, because no special day is special for me without copious amounts of hummus:

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Lucky for me, Lebanese Taverna has a “make your own hummus” option, where you choose a flavor, topping, and dippers. I went with classic hummus, tomatoes on top, and veggie sticks and rice crackers as my dippers. I also got some very delicious grape leaves, stuffed with rice and pistachios:

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And a fattoush salad, full of cucumbers, tomato, onions (icks), pita, and red wine vinaigrette:

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Loved it.

In all, a good start to a new semester—and, very nearly, to a new year. Things will be even better in less than a day, when I get to see Chloe right here in the district. Till then, have a good night!

xo

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    52 Comments
  1. Congrats on everything!! Happiest of birthdays, fellow Gemini! The year ahead will be amazing as you explore your new city. And NYC is just a 4 hour trek away on a good traffic day!

  2. awww…im SOOOOO soso happy for you. you sound utterly joyous in these posts. congrats on a successful move to a new city, new school, and new life. and of course cheers to being a year older.
    xxx

  3. Happy Birthday Gena! So many changes… Yay to new beginnings! Hope you have a wonderful year 🙂

  4. Happy birthday dear friend! Georgetown really is beautiful, and I’m so glad you’re getting to experience a different kind of university. Plus, there really is nothing like a good university library.

    Hope you’re having a wonderful day. xo.

  5. happy bday gena!
    I am so excited for you; Georgetown is a great school, and I know you will be a star pupil. 🙂
    Sounds like a fantastic bday dinner as well; hummus will always remain one of my favorite foods.

  6. Welcome to DC!!! Georgetown’s campus is quite beautiful indeed.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your camera issue 🙁 the food you had left did look quite delicious though! 😀 you inspire me to do more in my kitchen.

    and last, but not certainly not least, happy birthday!!!

  7. Happy birthday, Gena!! Hope you’ve had a fabulous day in your new city – blessings for the year to come!

  8. Happy birthday!! It looks like your new university is really spectacular. I’m jealous!! I wish I could transfer, I’m at a university I love in a city I despise. Alas, stuck here for 6 years. You dinner looks divine, Mediterranean food is a favorite of mine!! Good luck getting settled, and I hope you don’t die of heat in chem lab!

  9. happy birthday!

    a thought: is wearing leggings under a skirt/dress compliant with the lab rules? because you could pull them on inside, take them off when you leave, and have a summer-friendly outfit on the rest of the day…

    also a non blog/food-related question: if you have a chance, would you mind sharing what you thought of the postbac program at Columbia? I’m thinking about going, but not sure – it’s between there and Hunter, which is waayyy cheaper, so I’m wondering if the resources/campus community/etc. at Columbia is worth the price difference…

    • Molly,

      I’d strongly suggest Hunter, if for no other reason that the CU program is so unbelievably big. Email me if you have more questions through my contact form!

      G

  10. Looks so delicious! Georgetown looks gorgeous! Can’t wait to visit.

    I totally understand the strangeness of a new university, I can’t imagine leaving NYU. It’s scary how much a part of me it is! Although a VP actually suggested that if I get another degree, I do it somewhere else!

  11. I love buildings like that. UW has a fair amount and lucky Chris gets to work in one of them. Feels so collegiate. Enjoy Georgetown! And the hummus.

  12. Yay, I’m glad you had a good first day of classes! The campus looks absolutely gorgeous. I hope you have a fabulous birthday and have a fun time with M!!!

  13. The Georgetown campus is gorgeous! Sounds like you are getting settled in – enjoy it! I miss school already, and I have to go back in the fall!

  14. Happy Birthday!

    Yep, Georgetown looks a whole lot like BC. It gives me nostalgia! Beware the monks and polo shirts (not necessarily describing the same person…).

    Your b-day party sounded epic, even if you lost the photos. It’s the memories that count, and you have plenty of great ones from this year. 🙂 xo

  15. Happy that you’ve settled in alright! It definitely does sound very different from Columbia, haha. I’m trekking through Europe by hostels right now and I keep meeting other recent grads and they get terribly confused when I try to explain to them that we did not really care about sports and that I usually spent four plus hours in the library every day, lol.

    I hope that you have a wonderful relationship with Georgetown!

  16. Gorgeous pics, the campus looks wonderful! The hummus sounds amazing and thanks for the inspiration on using the jar of grape leaves sitting in my pantry. So glad you’re adventure in a new school is off to a good start, but the dress code sounds like my job and it’s tough in triple-digit heat!

  17. They let you use your own photo for your ID! That is the sign of an excellent school. The hummus looks so good. Very excited for you to have a college campus experience!

  18. LOVE Lebanese Taverna. You also might consider hitting up Teaism in Dupont or Penn Quarter, as they have some pretty good vegan options as well. Beautiful setting, too.

  19. Because bananas are still at least $2.50 each here in Australia, my current favourite smoothie has been frozen cherries and blueberries with spinach and vanilla sunwarrior. I look forward to your cherry smoothie recipe and a day when I can make it without breaking the bank!

    Congratulations on surviving your first day, too! I might have to tell my dear friend from UVA who is doing his masters at Georgetown to keep an eye out for you 😀

  20. Happy Birthday:):)

    All i wanted to eat of my b-day was a humungo hummus platter too!! And even though its 5 am, i am really craving some now!!

    I would have thought that the NYC public library would have had every book out there! I love going to libraries:) No matter where i am, i always feel at home in one!

  21. I hear you about the medical field focusing so narrowly on patient’s illness. When my Dad fell ill, he had so many different doctors come in every single day to investigate a tiny compartmentalized part of his body. The blood doctor would say one thing, the heart doctor would say another, the dietitian would say something else, and pretty soon we were just a confused mess who didn’t know which one was right. I wished at the time they would stop approaching his illness like that, but didn’t know what to do about it.

    I am so thankful that there are schools moving toward a more holistic approach to medicine. And I am thankful that you are right there at the forefront! You are amazing, a VERY Happy Birthday to you! Hope it’s phenomenal!! <3

  22. Georgetown has such a pretty campus! It reminds me a little bit of Oxford with it’s very antique, classic, almost gothic architecture!
    And, a place that let’s you make your own hummus sounds too good to be true! Please tell them to open another location here in San Diego like.. yesterday! 🙂

  23. Good luck settling into your new school. It can be so strange getting used to a completely different institutional setup. I went from a very old, traditional and hallowed school in England to a west coast US school–quite the culture shock!

    Happy birthday again!

  24. I love Mediterranean food– especially how veggie friendly it is! How fun that you got to create your own special hummus 🙂
    Happy, happy early birthday to you, sweet Gena! Hope it’s wonderful and filled with what you love =)

  25. I love Middle Eastern food. Hummus will never get old. I’ve been meaning to make your hemp hummus forever. I think it’s still at the top of my “to-make” list, which I’ve been continuously adding to, yet failing to follow.

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday tomorrow filled with plenty of delicious vegan treats! I wish I could bake you something yummy and birthday-ish.

    By the way, I feel you on the student perks. I recently discovered that the library at my culinary school (which is an art institute, and therefore also caters to video production students, animation students, etc.) has an impressive movie rental section. Bring on the FREE one-week rentals! I’ve been checking out cookbooks, culinary magazines, and movies all the time. It’s so great! Oh, and Georgetown looks beautiful! I can’t wait to hear about how you like it!

  26. I’m so excited that it’s cherry season, because I can make my favorite smoothie: cherry-pineapple. It’s delicious!

    Have fun & enjoy your days as a student! Soon all you’ll have are memories and student loans. 🙂

  27. Enjoy the scenery, it is a beautiful campus! I remember Lebanese Taverna! 🙂 And happy almost-birthday! I turned 27 on Friday. I think June is the best birthday month!

  28. Happy Birthday!!! Georgetown is beautiful. I actually just flew back from DC tonight. I’m there for business a lot – will have to check out the restaurant. Make-your-own hummus sounds like perfection.

  29. Oh I just had this great comment typed up and 99% of the time on your blog I copy them first b/c your blog always “eats” my comments…and I didnt. And it got eaten.

    Gist of my comment is that I am so happy for this post b/c you sound much more relaxed and like the stress of the move, the bday, the 1st day of school, that it’s all past now and you can breathe and I can hear the calmness in your post.

    And I love the make your own hummus option!

    Happy Bday (again!)

    🙂

  30. AHHH Georgetown is absolutely beautiful. I applied there, but unfortunately did not get in. Undergrad studies these days are so competitive!! But you are a lucky gal, keep putting up pictures of the gooorgeous campus!