Even though I’m neither Chinese nor due for a birthday for another seven or so months, I celebrated both the Chinese New Year and my birthday yesterday. Well, not technically just my birthday. I celebrated your birthday too. Mine and yours and the rest of humanity’s because yesterday was the Human Birthday, or the seventh day of the first month of the Chinese calendar (Chinese New Year having been last week), when according to Chinese customs, it’s everyone’s birthday!
In case you’re wondering how or why I know all of this, it’s because one of my coworkers is Chinese. When on the Chinese New Year he told us about our upcoming collective birthday, we decided the only logical thing to do was have an office birthday party, complete with a birthday cake, which one of our other coworkers was so awesome as to get from Momofuku Milk Bar. (My company takes birthdays pretty seriously, but birthday cakes even more so.)
Our birthday treat was a banana cake given the full Momofuku treatment, meaning it was made bigger, crazier, and even more delicious than the original concept. Layers of moist, sweet banana cake layered with thick hazelnut crunch spread, globs of cool, yellow banana cream and giandujia fudge (aka gianduia) amounted to one of the most sinfully sweet, over-the-top, caloric birthday cakes I’ve had possibly ever. But you know what? That’s ok, because it was my birthday, and yours and everyone elses!
Earlier in the day, while making a morning run to my favorite doughnut place, Doughnut Plant in the Lower East Side, I spotted a limited-time Chinese New Year doughnut, a moist, soft ginger doughnut glazed with a glossy, sweet coat and chunks of candied ginger. Sweet but with that slight spicy zest of ginger, it was enough to make me decide I’m celebrating the Chinese new year every year from now on.
Two new years celebrations and double the birthday cake. This year can’t be anything but awesome.