Alex in Transit(ion)

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sodium and sustainability.

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Oh hey! I know I took an unexpected hiatus but to all of my comrades in grad school, you know how it goes. There’s so much reading and projects that you wonder:

  1. Can you keep up with the reading?
  2. Alright, you’ve done the reading, but does that mean you can understand the material?
  3. Oh yeah! While you’re answering those two questions, you also have papers to write and tests to take. 


I’m very happy with my performance and I’m pulling straight A’s but I have a midterm coming  up in less than two weeks. I haven’t taken a test since the GRE in December 2011 so I am crossing my fingers that I will keep up the good work. It’s great getting to know everybody more. One of my colleagues who plans to complete our program in 4 consecutive semesters, while working full time, told me that during the weekends he wakes up at 8AM and does homework until 8PM. He says it’s hell but it will be worth it for him. He’s also made me realize that this is going to be my easiest semester because next semester, I will be taking a lot of quantitative research classes. Next semester I plan to take:

  • Political Economy and Public Administration (required)
  • Analytical Methods (required)
  • Public Budgeting Systems (required)
  • Administrative Transparency (concentration)

I haven’t stopped cooking though and ahh I’m so pumped because today was the first time I made my own homemade broth! Last January, I made soup for the first time and I was SO proud of myself for making such a healthy and delicious meal…until I realized it wasn’t so healthy. I realized that there was so much sodium in it that every time I ate the soup I cringed. It was such a shame that I couldn’t enjoy my soup that I worked so hard to make without fearing that I was one step closer to hypertension with each spoonful. I decided to make my own broth by saving up a gallon of vegetable scraps. Then the job assignment came up and I knew that I’d have to hold these plans until grad school started. 


Beginning to simmer for a hour…


And now, we strain. This is probably the most arduous part of the process. I used cheesecloth for the first five minutes, then I realized that my sieve did an excellent job. Don’t worry, I did let it cool a bit before I started straining. One of these days, I hope to get some glass storage containers so I don’t have to wait to strain. Maybe I’ll get a nice Pyrex set for my birthday! Isn’t the color incredible? You would think it’s a beef stock, but it’s really the color of the vegetables! 



Finally. A gallon of homemade broth. It does have a very strong vegetable taste, so I think that when I use it, I will put one teaspoon of sugar and one teaspoon of salt to make it more flavorful. It’s just so great knowing that I had complete control over this process, it’s sustainable, and I don’t have to worry about risking a heart attack because there’s barely any sodium in it. 

I do want to try to make a clear vegetable broth. It looks like I may have to separate my scraps and keep the light colored veggies away from the dark colored ones. I will be making a Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup this week and I’m a litttttlllleee afraid about what the color is going to be like. 

As for this week’s grocery list, there won’t be one because I have a lot of the ingredients on hand. I think the world of Kate from and truly believe she has changed my diet for the better. The greatest thing about her recipes is that they yield so much. Since I was sick for most of this week, I stuck to sleep and take out because I was too lazy to cook, but I just made the Vegetarian West African Peanut Soup this afternoon and it is ready for dinner tomorrow night. Then I will make the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup and I am really excited for the end of the week because I’ll find out what this Black Beans and Quinoa with Chipotle Raspberry Sauce dish tastes like. I would never think that black beans and raspberries would ever go together, but it looks like I’ll find out! 



Author: Alex

Hello! My name is Alex but you can call me Alexandra if you're feeling fancy. Here you'll find my adventures about exploring my new city of Hoboken, NJ, scurrying over the Hudson River to NYC, my bicycle excursions, and how I'm learning to embrace in medias res.

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