Yes, that’s me on the left, doing my best Harry Potter imitation. Another June, another round of graduations, only this time, I was up on stage (FINALLY! HOORAY!). Though I had finished my Ph.D. last September and “officially” graduated in November, I returned to Cambridge, MA last weekend to walk in my long-awaited graduation ceremony. I debated the merits of the cross-country trip. Given the demands of work and the timing of Dylan’s Ph.D. graduation ceremony (very conveniently scheduled in Pasadena, CA the very next morning), it would literally be a 36 hour jaunt from LA to Boston and back. In the end, the promise of seeing friends and family won out. And in all seriousness, finally getting a chance to wear those rockin’ robes was no small incentive. The velvet tam, the satin hood- when else can you get away with wearing such ridiculously over-the-top attire? Fabulous! So the shoulder pads were worthy of a linebacker and the sleeves were so long that we had to pin them up in order to allow my hands to peek out…it was a kick anyway and I only wish I had been able to prance around in them all afternoon rather than jetting off to the airport immediately after graduation. C’est la vie!
Another factor luring me back to Cambridge? Veggie Planet, my favorite Harvard Square eatery. I’ve yammered on and on in the past about my beloved Veggie Planet cookbooks (Entertaining for a Veggie Planet and Vegetarian Planet), so much so that you might think I was on commission, but these days I rarely have the opportunity to go straight to the source for their terrific cheap, quick, all-natural vegetarian and vegan pizzas. I took the red eye to Boston, arriving at 4:50 am and by noon I was happily perusing the menu at Veggie Planet with Dylan, Amanda, and our long-lost friend Zarin, who recently returned from a year of following chimps in Uganda. With so many favorite pizzas, it was hard to choose, even when given the option of splitting it into two half pizzas of different flavors was presented (see photos below). A little peanutted out, I passed on my usual favorite, Thai Peanut Curry, and skipped over another favorite, Dinner for Henry (a delightful butternut squash, goat cheese combo) as well, figuring that I could make it myself using the recipe in Entertaining for a Veggie Planet. In the end, I went with the ever-popular Caesar on a Cheesy Crouton (a delicious pizza crust with a thin layer of cheese topped with a vegetarian caesar salad) and the Blonde on Blonde (their version of a white pizza). As always, the food was delicious, the environment mellow, and with my husband and two old friends in tow, I couldn’t imagine a better return to my old stomping grounds.
Dinner for Henry (butternut squash and goat cheese)
Caesar on a Cheesy Crouton and Blonde on Blonde (white pizza)
Veggie Planet: 47 Palmer Street (Harvard Square); Cambridge, MA 02138; (617) 661-1513