Wednesday, October 13, 2010

International Brad Day

For the past few birthdays, I've referred to the event as International Brad Day. To me this seems like a fun way to diffuse the awkwardness that sometimes comes with (a) what does a person bring to a birthday party for someone who doesn't drink and (b) it removes birthday from the equation so there are none of those unwanted jokes-about-aging cards that I have no need for in my life. It also creates a curiosity amongst people that don't realize it's my birthday as to what this day is I've devised to throw a party in my own honor. Oh, and it's fun.

In past years, I have celebrated my birthday with all-out dessert bashes. And since I've been in Chicago, I've started throwing pot luck dinners at my house, which have all the appeal of a normal party but the downhome-ness of a family gathering. They have been huge successes. I decided that this year, I wanted to do something adult: throw a legitimate dinner party.

What is legitimate? Well, I wore a button-up shirt, which is a rarity in this unemployed phase. But, more importantly, I invited 6 guests to join me and my epicurean girlfriend for a multi-course home-cooked meal served on non-disposable dishes with real silverware and enough seating to accommodate all the guests. This was our menu:
  • pumpkin hummus (with fresh pita from my local Mediterranean market)
  • curried pumpkin soup (with veggies from my local Mexican market)
  • date honey chicken and cous cous (the date honey was from my main squeeze's recent trip to Israel)
  • date honey ice cream with pumpkin spice granola on top (the granola made by Chicago company, Milk & Honey)
  • pumpkin bread pudding
As you see, dessert was quite the production. Boren's special lady friend--who so adores me referring to her like this--said it was easily the dessert that excited her the most in recent memory. She then asked me to make this autumnal treat for her birthday in February. Knowing that she is a more well-rounded foodie, I was quite flattered. Everyone else concurred that while the entire meal was outstanding, the dessert was the best.

The evening was superb. And the work that went into putting together a meal with so many different parts gave me new appreciation for my mom and all the dinners she planned for our family growing up or for dinner parties I had been to where everything had to come together at the correct time. And while two of us had to sit on the couch for lack of chairs, and I had to borrow some of plates and spoons, and I had to wash everyone's soup bowls before they could have dessert, I sort of felt like a real adult.

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