Is everyone surviving the polar vortex? I hope some of my readers live in warm places because IT IS FREEZING here in Indianapolis! The windchill is supposed to be -30 tomorrow, so I went ahead and canceled all of my work commitments and now plan to sleep in and talk Husband into watching Disney movies with me. In general, though, this winter already seems SO LONG! Like how is it still January? I’m pretty sure I’ve lived at least three January’s in the past month. But enough complaining about the weather already because I’m not THAT old yet, but I have been trying to come up with fun things to do to keep me from being a total homebody in the midst of this long, cold winter. And one of those fun winter things to do is celebrate Galentine’s Day!
I’m hopeful that most people know about Galentine’s Day by now, but just in case someone missed the boat, it’s a millennial holiday that started from one of my favorite TV characters of ALL TIME, Leslie Knope, on the show Parks and Recreation. Leslie plans a celebration every February 13th as a time for “ladies celebrating ladies” and intentionally spends time with her girlfriends to celebrate the female friendships in her life. This holiday has become HUGE with so many Galentine’s Day events popping up in Indianapolis that I can’t even keep track; we have themed parties for making wreaths, arranging flowers, baking pastries, pouring candles, painting nails, doing sun salutations, and WAY MORE. Last year for Galentine’s Day, I went to hear Michelle Obama speak with a friend and the year before that, I went to a wine and chocolate event with another friend, so you can see that I take the holiday very seriously. I honestly think I like Galentine’s Day more than Valentine’s Day now because I celebrate Husband all the time, but I don’t always get to intentionally celebrate the amazing women who I admire and adore.
I was thankful that Next Door Eatery is on top of the Galentine’s Day trend and invited me and a couple girlfriends to visit to celebrate the holiday. Lucky for me, Next Door is literally five blocks away from my house in the SoBro neighborhood AND they encourage affordable, sustainable, and nutritious food options. In the spirit of the holiday, my friends and I started out with festive beverage options that included the Strawberry Lemon Fizz (strawberry purée, agave, lemon & sparkling water), which is perfect for me because I’m doing Dry January, and The Pink Drink (citrus vodka, pomegranate, lemon & pineapple). I really enjoyed the Fizz because it was so refreshing and also made me feel like I was still having the fun of drinking alcohol, even though it didn’t contain any alcohol.
After our drinks arrived, my friends and I shared a variety of small plates that were perfect for passing around including Garlic and Parmesan Smashers (fingerling potatoes, garlic butter & parsley), Calamari Fritto Misto (zucchini, pepperoncini, lemon & house Sriracha aioli), Buffalo Chicken Bites (Miller Amish chicken, celery, house buffalo sauce & blue cheese), Kale & Apple Salad (baby kale, sunflower seeds, feta & house cider vinaigrette), and the Ancho Chile Chicken Bowl (brown rice, black beans, corn, fresh pico de gallo, tortilla strips, lime crema & cilantro). I love sharing food because then I get to try a whole bunch of different flavors without feeling overstuffed. After all the amazingness of our meal, we shared Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free!) with vanilla and chocolate ice-cream. My belly was SO full after this, but my heart was also full because my friends and I were able to catch up, laugh, and make a conscious effort to celebrate our friendship.
Life can get so busy that I don’t always step back and tell my friends how much I appreciate their example of awesomeness. I have been very blessed with amazing female friendships and even though Galentine’s Day is a bit of a cheesy holiday, I’m thankful for any excuse to spend more time with my amazing friends. I hope my Galentine’s Day lunch inspired you to plan your own celebration with friends and no lie, I’m seriously ordering Next Door delivery right now because they have this amazing burger with 1/2 beef and 1/2 mushrooms that I am really craving and I decided that I need it to get through tonight’s pile of grading.
I’d love to hear your Galentine’s Day plans this year! I’ll need inspiration for future events!