Friday, March 4, 2016

Making it Official!

American-flag fruit pizza
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by college-types around the country with bar hopping. It's also almost Spring Break, when the undergrads (and some of the grads) get out of town for home, or the beach. Some years St. Patrick's Day falls during Spring Break, to the disappointment of the owners of the bars in our town. So a couple years ago they decided to create a new holiday, the sole purpose of which is to make racist jokes about Native Americans and to get sloppy drunk, preferably paying said bar owners for the privilege of drinking beer and throwing it up again on the sidewalk. This "unofficial" St. Patrick's Day has become an annual headache for instructors, the university administration, the local police, and departments who occasionally make the mistake of scheduling recruiting events for the same Friday/weekend when it seems like the entire population of 18-25-year-olds for a 2- or 3-hour radius dons green clothes and descends on Campus Town to drink. It's actually not entirely a laughing matter, as some years there have been deaths from traffic accidents.

Anyway, you needed that backstory to understand the party we held this year on "Unofficial." Some of our closest friends are in our Bible study, a motley crew of graduate students and like-minded folks who get together on Tuesday nights to talk about faith and other times to hang out and enjoy each other. One of them recently got her green card approved after a looong process, so to celebrate, we held an "Official" party for her. It involved wearing green, mint-chocolate-chip cookies, margaritas, and apple pie, because America. Of course we played Apples to Apples--green card, anyone?

For an entree we had chaat, an Indian street food. There are a variety of recipes, but this one involves chips, potato, chickpeas, yogurt, onion, tomato, tamarind chutney, and masala powder. Here's my bowl before I stirred it up into deliciousness. Cheers to being one step closer to citizenship!

p.s.--It's a total in-joke, but for posterity's sake I thought I would record the group decision on which nine states would be included in our perfect republic. You see, the flag on the fruit pizza above only has nine stars, so we debated the merits and finally decided to keep California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin. Sorry, Ohio. Maybe you can become South Canada.

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