Birthweek 2004: Indian Celebration Dinner

As you are probably well aware, this week marks the beginning of Adam and Lauren’s Birthweek. No, this is not some strange feminist mating ritual: it is the beginning of the celebration that is the Quarter Century Anniversary of Adam and Lauren’s birth.

Here’s a brief synposis of the story: Adam and Lauren met in college. They realized that they had the same birthday (February 18). “Ah!” they said. “We have the same birthday! How odd!” Several years later, Lauren’s parents took Adam to dinner. “Which hospital were you born in, Adam?” they asked. “South Nassau County,” he answered. “Oh my!” shouted Lauren’s father. “By Jove!” shouted Lauren’s mother. And then it was established: we were born in the same hospital three hours apart and didn’t meet until college. Hence, we are known as The Psychic Twins.

The Psychic Twins will be celebrating their birthday all week (though this psychic twin prefers to celebrate all month) with a 31-course dinner Wednesday night at Blaise (report to follow) and a soiree Friday night with food, fun and Janet Jackson breast cupcakes.

Tonight, though, our friends Josh and Katy–who cannot attend our Friday soiree–took us to a birthday dinner at

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Indian food is not my speciality. In fact, Indian food was completely absent from my childhood. To explain this phenomenon, here is a quote from my mother when I told her what I had for dinner: “Ew.”

Which is not to say that I’m completely devoid of Indian culture. My entire freshman hall at Emory undergrad was Indian. My vocabularly increased ten-fold that year learning everyone’s name: Sunil, Varthen, Ankur, Shivani, Payal, Hetal, Vikhas, Ravi, and so on. My mom’s head would spin every time I told her who I was going out with: “Shiva-who? Sun-y-what?”

But food was another matter. It seemed so exotic, so foreign. We all went out one night for Indian food and all I remember is choking on something very hot. Again, Indian food is not my speciality.

Tonight’s dinner though was very enjoyable. It was nice to go with people who enjoy and understand what they are having. For example, we started with this:

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It was very good: filled with potatoes and onions inside. I liked the sweet brown dipping sauce.

Then they brought out my entree:

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It was eggplant baked with breadcrumbs and some kind of sauce and cilantro. I really liked it. But what I really liked was the nan (sp?). Without the nan, the meal would have been just good, but the nan kept it real. Here is Katy eating her nan:

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Of course, there were the obligatory nan jokes. Well, obligatory in that only I made them.

Josh said: “It’s really amazing how they make nan.”

“Whoah Josh,” I said. “That was a nan-sequiter.”

Everyone groaned.

Then they brought out Lauren’s entree. Look at Lauren’s entree. How crazy is this?

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That thing was ginormous! It looked like a Subway 12-inch sub except thinner, better and without Jared in the commercial.

Lauren let me taste hers and it was very good.

Here we are eating our food:

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I got tired about halfway through mine. Then Katy dropped out. But Lauren and Josh kept going.

“So good!” said Lauren.

“Mmm!” said Josh.

I mentioned Thomas Keller’s theory of diminishing returns and how the best bite is usually the first and then it’s all downhill from there. Josh and Lauren were unimpressed.

“I don’t believe that,” said Josh. “This is so delicious. Look how delicious this is!”

He scraped more food out of his bowl as Katy looked on:

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Finally, all the food was consumed and the check was brought. Josh and Katy paid and Lauren and Adam said: “Thank you.”

Our Indian meal was over and I left with the knowledge that when it came to Indian food, I would no longer be nan-plussed.

[I can’t tell if was a good ending. I’m so nan-commital!]

Ok I’ll stop.

2 comments

  1. My birthday is the 18th also. Although I was not born in South Nassau hospital, but in the Red Bank, NJ hospital. I’m also an e-gullet forum reader. Happy birthday Lauren and Adam!

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