Winter Break: Part 1

Okay so to be honest, I was really not looking forward to being home for almost an entire month for winter break. It’s not that I don’t love my family or my house, I just don’t have much going on here anymore. With my four years of starting a life in Wilmington, I have lost some ties here in Cherry Hill because of time and distance. I expected to be doing a whole lot of nothing at home. And as much as I love some relaxation time, there’s only so much time I can spend on my couch. With that being said, this break has actually been a lot better than I expected so far. I’ve enjoyed my mom’s homemade baked goodies, snuggling with my dog, and sleeping in as late as I want in my comfy bed. All of these things are norms when it comes to being home on break, but I also have been trying to have a bit of a social life at home too…

It’s been a bit of a struggle being home during previous breaks because as I’ve said before, I’ve lost touch with some friends at home and end up hanging out more with my parents than I do with people my own age. I obviously do have SOME friends at home that I’m still really close to (hey Yael, Genevieve, and Allison), so I make it a point to see them and catch up. Other than that, I end up experiencing awkward run-ins with kids from high school and play the “should I acknowledge that we know each other” game very often. It’s hard to stay in hiding in Cherry Hill.

Anyway, this past week I’ve already seen Anchorman 2 (with its awesome and hilarious cameos), went to a holiday party with family and hung out with my cousins, “modeled” in a photo-shoot for my Genevieve, and hosted a spontaneous mini reunion with a group of girls I grew up playing basketball with (Paige, Kim, Yael, Genevieve). We ended up drinking wine, catching up, reminiscing, and watching some hilarious home videos dating all the way to elementary school. It really felt like I was back in third grade when I called Paige’s home phone number to invite her over (something I haven’t done in years)! It was really cool to see how even after a few years of being apart at different schools, we can all come back together like old times and just laugh about things. It was interesting to see how different each one of our college experiences is.

Coming up is the highly anticipated Gurkin Christmas Eve party where family and friends (lots of Jewish friends who don’t have much going on that night) come over our house to mingle, eat, and drink. I’m really excited to see everyone reunite tomorrow!

I’m happy to say that this break has gotten off to a great start. Hopefully I can keep adding in more plans with friends in to my schedule 🙂

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My Belated Thanksgiving Feast

Yesterday (11/25) I had the pleasure of hosting a belated Thanksgiving feast with some friends at my flat. I honestly was one of my favorite, most memorable nights here yet. Raleigh and I decided that we wanted to show some Brits (and an Australian, Eliza) how a real American Thanksgiving is done. Plus we just wanted some more Thanksgiving food too! So on Friday (11/23), Raleigh and I ventured to Asda and bought the makings of (almost) a FULL Thanksgiving feast. It was bit harder to find what we needed in an English grocery store, but we managed to get some alright version (or weird brand) of what we needed.

 

We planned to have people over here on Sunday night for dinner and spent almost the entire afternoon preparing (starting at 3 PM). I can’t take much credit for cooking the meal… Chef Raleigh did a fantastic job. I assigned myself the positions of chef’s assistant and DJ for the afternoon. We blasted Christmas music, jammed out, and prepared all the food for our friends to come over around 5:30.

My mom was so anxious to hear about our cooking experience in my kitchen, awaiting news of something going wrong with the meal . However, much to her dismay, Raleigh and I (mostly Raleigh) did a really good job and everything turned out to be DELICIOUS. Way better than the Roehampton mock-Thanksgiving dinner we went to the other night.

The meal consisted of:

A real roasted large turkey breast, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green bean casserole, and an appetizer of baguette bread with sliced apples and warm brie cheese.

Is your mouth watering yet? Well I haven’t even described dessert!

There were a total of seven of us who attempted to devour the huge meal: Me, Raleigh, Chelsea, Eliza, Sinead, Zack (Sinead’s boyfriend) and Mat (Chelsea’s boy). So overall, three Americans, two Brits, one Australian, and one Belgian. Quite the mix for a Thanksgiving feast, but at least we all came with big appetites! Note: there are SO many leftovers!

After seconds (and maybe thirds for some), we all reclined in our chairs feeling stuffed and happy. I made sure everyone was properly full because it’s not thanksgiving without feeling insanely stuffed yet still trying to shove food down your throat because it’s so good. We waited a little while, and obviously found some way to make room in our stomachs for dessert!

Eliza was kind enough to bring over two pies (an apple one, and a mixed berry one) with some vanilla ice cream, while Raleigh and I provided a nice big layered chocolate mousse cake (not as traditional, but Asda didn’t carry pumpkin pie in the store). Obviously I went for seconds on dessert because I’m a chocolate freak and couldn’t resist. After we all ate literally as much as we could, we decided to make the short walk to the Union (the campus bar) for a group trivia game that they hold on Sunday nights. Our group came in third and we won a redeemable free pizza and glass of wine at the pizzeria on campus! Pretty good prize I must say.

So that’s pretty much all about my belated Thanksgiving with friends. I will always look back on that night as one of my fondest memories here at Roehampton. The Christmas music, festive food, and colder weather really got me in the holiday spirit and I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for Christmas. It’s just around the corner… less than a month as of yesterday! That’s all for now… can’t wait to get to basketball practice tonight to attempt to not feel obese anymore haha!