Alpna invited us to her annual "A Phony Christmas" dinner, held last Saturday. Those not in the know will never understand how fabulous it is to receive this invitation. I bragged about it to coworkers even. Three words: Homemade Indian Food. Homemade, by Alpna's very skilled and loving hands. She even created a menu so we knew what we were eating. It will be out of sequence but I'm going to hit you with the food photos first. The meal was truly the star of the show. Every bit was delicious. She plated the appetizer plate, and then the first course. And the final dessert course. In between, everyone was welcome to plate their own secondary courses -- two types of rice, two types of soup! And I have never made my love of soup a secret. Heavenly.
Upon arrival, we helped her assemble some plates. We had drinks. And patiently waited to eat. Well, except for Miles. I guess when you're that cute, you get to do whatever you want. He started in on his jar of orange food (butternut squash?) right when he got there. Then, he had a sippy cup of water to wash it all down. Then, he had a bottle of milk. Poor guy, he should have conked right out after all that eating. It was past his bed time. But there was too much activity and noise for him I think. He was pretty mellow for most of it but the parents ended up having to whisk him away before dessert. Little Maggie was almost forgotten in the hubbub. She is such a good dog though. She nervously trotted in a circle for a few seconds, but then always sat and just gazed at the door whenever Page and Jennie were outside. She never tried to run out.
During dinner, we made plans for a group trip up to Arrowhead. Sergio told his hilarious skiing story. Phet told one of his friend who slid all the way down a diamond run on his stomach. "Help! I can't stop! Why me!?" Oh my goodness that was funny. We met Sejal and True. She is a nurse in a lock down mental facility. He is a charter plane pilot for the rich and sometimes famous. They each had awesome stories. Talking crazed people off the roof, or tales of in-flight passenger debauchery. Oh, and then Rebecca and Omar regaled us with a cringeworthy story about Pavarotti. I will NOT detail here. But trust me, there was a lot of "ewww...Oh no he didn't...ugh...ow, I'll never get that image out of my mind" exclaimed at the end.
Then, we all went outside to see Jennie, Page, Miles and Maggie off. It was also an excuse to stand up and stretch our legs a bit to make room for the dessert. Amy was feeling ill and quarantined herself to a corner of the room for much of the night. See her peeking above Omar's shoulder? (Hope you feel better Amy!)
Alpna and Hitesh hosted the dinner in the Meeting Room of their hotel. You can see Jennie coming back for Maggie in the middle photo below.
So we all way over ate. Or maybe that was just me. Considering the sheer amount of food Alpna prepared, I think we made good progress. She started cooking at 8:30 AM! There was a ton of rice left and plate fulls of other stuff. We helped clean up a bit and she sent us home with Tupperware filled with the magical deliciousness. YES!
THANK YOU Alpna!!! The meal was amazing! You must hold a master class in cooking.
Seriously. Rebecca, we need to convince her.