Can you recall a Christmas holiday when things went awry?
Well, it happened to me this year. My family and I had just returned from a cruise in late December and ate way too much, so the last thing on our mind was to have another big feast. However, two days before Christmas, my sister and I decided on an impromptu get-together. We planned our menu (the usual suspects were ham, turkey with cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy, pumpkin pie and something refreshing - Jello cheesecake. For hors d'ouvres, we decided on deviled eggs and black-eyed pea salsa) for 13 and went shopping. Oh my, what a zoo!
On Christmas eve, we started to make butter cookies and gingerbread cookies, only to realize that we did not have cookie cutters. I went hunting for them in my neighborhood stores with a mere two hours before they shut down for the holidays. Of course I couldn't find any. So we improvised. Needless to say, the cookies were not photogenic.
The next day was Christmas Day. We got up bright and early to start cooking. Our 15-lb turkey was in the oven for almost 3 hours (with 45 mins more to go) when lo and behold, the power went out. This cannot be happening. It had rained during the night, and we could see dark clouds from the back of the house, but nothing ominous to warrant a blackout. Was every household cooking up a storm, draining the power grid? Hard to believe. So, we waited, and waited. And waited some more. Thirty minutes later, still no power. With guests arriving in two hours, we were starting to be concerned. We have a half-cooked turkey and a ham that has yet to be heated through. Many thoughts crossed our minds. We initiated plan B, which was to move the turkey outside and cook it on the BBQ grill. It was a tad windy, but warm, in the high 60s. Merely fifteen minutes on the grill and the power came back on. We turned around and moved everything back to the oven and the stovetop.
Meantime, I had started to peel the hard-boiled eggs. Apparently, I had either boiled it too long or did not soak them in cold-enough water because the shells would not peel off without ripping the egg white. The solution? I saved the eggs for another meal. Thank goodness the black-eyed pea salsa was a winner!
In spite of the panic, everything turned out delicious. We hope your Christmas holiday was memorable (in a good way) and exciting as well. To joy and peace!
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