I had a wonderful opportunity last week to sample an entirely different way of eating: college campus cuisine! It was completely unexpected, because I was supposed to be hiking on the Appalachian Trail eating gorp and some dehydrated meals and maybe some tuna or peanut butter!
At the very last minute, my daughter got sick, and I made a same-day decision to scrap the backpacking trip (my friends still went, and it was great!) and to fly up to Northampton, MA (aka NoHo) where she is a student at Smith College, to help her get well, get through finals, and get off to Israel, where, I am happy to report, she is right now!
Smith College is a woman's college, and a wonderful, small, liberal arts school, BUT it is also the alma mater of JULIA CHILD and every year they celebrate Julia Child Day with super special meals in the dining halls. I can NOT imagine what this is like, because every meal I had was super special and super delicious.
What a difference from my college eating and the mystery meat breaded in who-knows-what, iceberg lettuce, and white bread smeared with margarine thinned out with crisco.
Pecan-crusted tofu Mushroom sauce
For each meal, we could go online and check out which of the many dining halls (small & intimate, like classy restaurants) we preferred: everything from vegan fare (vegan chocolate cake is delicious!) to Asian to Mediterranean to wonderful salad bars to comfort food like pot pies and homemade mac n cheese. Lots of fresh vegetables, cooked properly, GOOD coffee, juices and even soy milk!
Truly, it was a bit like being on a cruise for healthy eaters.
When my daughter got well, I took a LOOONG bike ride on the NoHo Bike Trail & discovered this adorable authentic diner.
The people were extremely friendly, but I didn't eat; after all the good food all week, I couldn't handle cheese poppers, fried onion rings, french fries, and all of the other fried foods on the menu. I had a beer, which was great!
There are tons of little cafes and trendy places to eat in and around No Ho. I peeked into several, just making notes for ideas for the Hen. But the food at Smith dining halls was so fabulous, I didn't need to eat out! And.. don't worry. We won't be going vegan! But as a devoted foodie, I loved the new flavors and the respect and care for food I experienced. I didn't see a MacDonald's anywhere.