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25

Oh no – I’m old!  But at least I got to celebrate turning 25 twice.

Celebration #1:

On the Wednesday of my last week in Boston, I took E out for dinner at Oleana, where we enjoyed a parade of yummy dishes: several mezes to start – Spiced Carrot Purée & Dukkah, Spinach Falafel, Octopus and Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Sultan’s Delight; an entree of lamb; and dessert of Baked Alaska.  After dinner, we headed back to E’s apartment, where I thought E would simply drop me off.  We knocked on the door, which J comes and unlocks…but does not bother opening for us.  Meanwhile, E is taking out her camera…  At this point, I still do not suspect anything out of the ordinary – silly me!  I push open the door, getting ready to chastise J for his rudeness in not actually opening the door for us.  All of a sudden, I hear camera shutters going off, see colorful balloons covering the floor, and notice a beautiful cake on the kitchen table.  Surprise!  Pretty sure I had a goofy smile the rest of the night – especially when J broke out star-shaped glasses lit up by mini glow sticks.  (Apparently E wanted to get a pinata, but J stopped her.)  After a beautiful rendition of “Happy Birthday,” I made a wish and cut the cake – a beautiful and delicious passionfruit creation from the Danish Pastry House.

Star candles! With glitter!

Thanks E and J!

Celebration #2:

My birthday fell on a Friday this year, and Fridays mean a journey on Metro-North from New Haven to New York.  J had asked me a few days prior whether I would prefer a birthday meal on Friday or Saturday.  I specified Saturday, as two hours on the train are not exactly an optimal appetizer.

So instead, J made a simple and tasty dish of noodles for me.  Linguine with Parmesan and TJ’s seafood mix (shrimp, scallops, and squid).  Maybe not exactly what comes to mind when one thinks of Chinese noodles, but noodles nonetheless.

While I was washing dishes, J came up from behind and slipped this on me.

The next day, J made me leave the apartment for the afternoon while he cooked.  I met with a friend for tea and, around 7 pm, came back huuungry!  However, even all the stomach room I had saved wasn’t enough for the amount of food that J was preparing to serve.  We ended up saving the second and third courses for Sunday evening.  I wish I had taken a picture of the menu that J had drafted on an 8×11 piece of paper.  Twas quite complicated.

Amuse - fried shrimp heads with sauteed shrimp

Uni on buttered bread

Roasted cauliflower and root vegetables

Crispy halibut (poached in shrimp stock) in a shrimp sauce

Sunday, we had birthday dinner part 2.  Well, at this point, it was more just a normal dinner.

Mushrooms galore.

Mushroom soup!

Braised short ribs

And now I’m 25.  Getting old, getting old.

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