Friday, August 30, 2019

barfday party

I hadn't wanted a birthday party, but one came to me, anyway. It turned out to be pretty fun, as office parties go. Here are some pics.

Finally: a closeup of the moqueca, now stocked with seafood and boiling away happily:

We were supposed to start the party at 1 p.m. As usual, the Westerners were on time, but the Koreans took their sweet time. I turned off the gas burner a few times to keep the seafood from overcooking. At one point, I sampled the stew to see whether the seafood had been overcooked, and the texture was exactly perfect. But the final partygoer didn't show up until 1:30 p.m., and even with the stew's residual heat, the scallops were overcooked by the time I served everything. I think I'm going to just leave scallops out of this if I ever make it again.

Below, a wide shot of our long and narrow break room, which normally doesn't fill up with teachers until around 3 p.m. We've got little containers of Korean side dishes (banchan) sitting on the far table; the moqueca and galbi (Korean short ribs, boxed up and not visible, just like the rice) are in the foreground:

Korean short ribs, exposed:

I had requested a Korean saeng-cream cake, which is made with fresh cream and fruits. I'm not normally a fan of Korean cakes and cookies, which tend to be dry, dull, poor imitations of their Western inspirations, but Koreans do saeng-cream cakes very well, and I generally like them a lot. My former boss came by and brought a legitimate chocolate cake from the Stone Mill bakery in the Mido Building, where I used to work. You'll see that cake in a second, but meanwhile, here's the saeng-cream cake from Napoleon Bakery:

The aforementioned chocolate cake from my former boss:

The two Korean ladies who came didn't want to be photographed, so they took a picture of "the original team." On the far left is Filipino-American A.L., a coworker; I'm next; to my left is Louisiana native M.L., our immediate supervisor; on your extreme right is M.M., my former boss, now growing out a satanic-looking goatee. He goes through facial-hair phases.

A good time was had by all. The food got high praise, including another "you should start a restaurant" remark, and comments about being "in a food coma" were tossed around—I haven't heard that in months, ever since I stopped cooking monthly luncheons for the team in order to save money and pay down the last of my scholastic debt. There was much laughter, joking, and friendly ribbing of the now officially old man, yours truly. I'd say "Here's to another fifty," but I'll just be happy to live to sixty. Heh. Trivia: one of the Korean ladies, who's new to our company and is working as a teacher coordinator, is the one who asked me to hold that fucking cake for the camera. If I don't look entirely happy in that shot, that may be one reason why: I felt very corny.

1 comment:

John Mac said...

Happy 50th birthday! I hope to hell you stick around for more than 10 additional years. Trust me, life after 60 is, well, better than nothing!

The food looks delicious! You should open a restaurant :)