The Last Best Milkshake

I've discovered the best milkshake on earth, but I'm afraid you'll never have one. I could reveal all of the details – that it's real strawberry and frozen yogurt, made by Freshens – but it wouldn't matter.You still wouldn't be me, sitting in the cafeteria of George Washington University Hospital, just after your mother came out of brain surgery.

People often associate events or periods in their life with certain foods. Home cooks and professional chefs spend great effort trying to recreate grandma's roast chicken or mama's ravioli. Not only are the dishes delicious, but they conjure fond sentiments and memories. There's much attention given to these nostalgic meals (just look at how Anton Ego is converted in Ratatouille). But what is rarely mentioned are ordinary foods that are made remarkable by experience.Such meals are wonderful in the way soggy airport pizza is wonderful after you've been flying for hours, subsisting on peanuts.

This milkshake falls into that category of amazing, ordinary food. On another day it would just be a milkshake, albeit a pretty good one. But under the circumstances, it was the best milkshake of my life. After weeks of excruciating headaches, my normally healthy mother had a brain aneurysm removed. It could have proved fatal if left to grow. I've been extremely fortunate to have a full-time mom who is always my first call for advice, help or just wonderful company. She is my mom, my dearest friend and the constant in my life. The prospect of losing her to either a serious affliction or serious surgery was terrifying. But she has a tough will for someone so sweet, and made it through. Although the future held more tests and treatments, the present seemed stable for the first time in days. The milkshake was sweet, and cold, and perfect.

These extra-ordinary food moments are rare, and I've only experienced a handful. I was eating a Thomas' cinnamon raisin bagel when the news came that I got in early-admission to Middlebury College. No bagel, not even the fresh ones from H&H on 80th, has tasted as wonderful since. Rosemary Chicken Lean Cuisines were divine for a time, only because I was working my first kitchen job in St. John. I'd come home blissfully happy and exhausted, with just enough energy to unwrap and microwave. And then there was a slimy, monstrous Carnegie Deli corned beef sandwich that I remember fondly. It was 3 am, I was 20 and completely in love with a boy and New York for the first time.

And now there's this milkshake. It was like a great book – I was sorry to finish it. But unlike my mother's salad dressing (which I still can't replicate), I'm happy to never eat it again. I pray the restless hours in hospitals – even ones that can turn sick patients healthy and average milkshakes extraordinary – are over.

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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
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            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
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            Baker College is the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. Our mission is to prepare you for meaningful employment.

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            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
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            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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            Sullivan University is a private institution of higher learning dedicated to providing educational enrichment opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of its students. The institution offers career-focused curricula with increasing rigor from the certificate through diploma, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree levels. Throughout those curricula, the university seeks to promote the development of critical thinking, effective verbal and written communication, computer literacy, and teamwork as well as an appreciation for life-long learning, cultural diversity and the expression of professionalism in all activities. At the graduate level, the university also seeks to promote a culture of research.

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