Today has been a great day.
Firstly, I woke up with a headache, which most people would consider a downer, but I like to think of it as a little souvenir from all the fun I had last night! 😉 It’s been a while lol. The great thing about my body is that whenever I have a headache, I can usually cure it with some food.
French toast with PB&J…and a smashed grilled banana. Worked like a charm, ohhh yes indeed.
Secondly, it’s a beautifully sunny day outside, and I went for a fantastic run/walk around the city. On this perfectly crisp autumn afternoon, there were tons of gorgeous boats out on the harbor. I think I will miss this city ❤
Thirdly, my big brother graduates from Brown University today!!!!
He’s definitely one of my role models. I’ve always looked up to him, basking in his genius 😉 He now has a degree in Computational Biology (whatever that is), and he has worked his butt off the get it. So yes, I get bragging rights!
I really wish I could have been there, but also not really, because who wants to sit through a graduation ceremony? I do wish I could be there for the celebrations, of course. And to give him a bug hug and tell him how proud I am of him! Congratulations, David! YOU DID IT. (PS – we can celebrate when you arrive in less than 2 weeks!!!!)
Fourthly, I had a quick chat with my dear friend Tara!
She has been studying abroad in Ireland, and she gave me some great advice:
“Enjoy your last few weeks…seriously, make EVERYTHING count. It goes sosooso fast, I cant believe I wont be going back to Galway.”
It was so good to hear from her, made even better with the promise of a proper Skype sesh in the near future! It’s been ages!
Fifthly, I finished my Maori Leadership Presentation!
The photo of Bill Clinton doing the hongi definitely enhances my slideshow. I’m glad I found it. Even my note cards are ready! I’m all set to go for Wednesday. I’m only slightly stressed because I haven’t heard much from the other two members of my group…so cross your fingers for me!
Sixthly, I made a great dinner! I’ve been craving chili for a while now, so I thought it would be a perfect Sunday night meal on a beautiful autumn day like today.
New Zealand Chili
**note – there is nothing “New Zealand-y about this recipe. I just made it in NZ lol
First, I started by sauteing a chopped onion, carrot, and three cloves of garlic in a large pot.
I wasn’t sure what to do about seasonings, so I am really glad that I found this in the “International” section. I added some to the veggies.
Soon, I added some sausage which frankly, we are trying to get rid of. They are sort of cheap and disgusting. I figured cooking them in the chili would make them less appealing…
Things began to go a bit downhill from here. The sausage was revoltingly greasy, so much so that I even had to pour some of it out. Then, I got nervous because at the store I couldn’t find a can of crushed tomatoes (what I usually use as a base). I got this tomato paste, and with some water it ended up working well.
Then, when I went open up the can of diced tomatoes, it was basically half crushed tomatoes and half diced tomatoes. DOH! I just added a few spoonfuls of the chunks. But now I have tons leftover! Perhaps I’ll be making another pot soon.
I added a can of mixed beans, plus more chili seasoning and even some cayenne pepper, to taste. It ended up being a pretty decent pot of chili!
The perfect meal 🙂
The only un-fun thing that happened today was that Alex
left 😦 These past two weeks were quite the roller-coaster for me, and they FLEW by, to say the least. It was great to have Alex here because of all the fun stuff we did, but I am so so so thankful that he was here when I got the news about my Nanny
. He served as the perfect distraction and did a great job at cheering me up 🙂 Plus, it was just so nice to have a close friend with us: he was the little bit of home that I needed. We are going to miss you, Alex!
But really the most important thing he did for me was renew my love of New Zealand. With my homesickness and boredom, I sort of lost sight of how lucky I am to be here. But seeing everything new again through his eyes makes me so excited for my last month here! I am definitely going to follow Tara’s advice…I LOVE NEW ZEALAND!
What is your favorite ingredient in chili?