It was a lovely Christmas! We picked up a $15 dollar tree from Home Depot – I love a good deal – and both the kid and the dog behaved admirably. I managed to decorate it and the house a little bit, hubby put up the outside lights and tada! – the Precious was suitably impressed. DH’s parents arrived with loads of presents, the most outstanding being a hand made rocking horse. And yes it was a hit! It’s huge and at first I thought the Precious might have been a little reticent but he checked it out, was lifted up for a test drive and he totally got into rocking it. I had tears in my eyes. I know. I’m a suck.
We also had DH’s aunt and uncle there who had flown in from Edmonton. They stayed at a local hotel up the street. More presents for the kid. He was pretty overwhelmed by all the activity and some teething pain so we had a few sleepless nights, but overall it went very well and everyone had a good time. We did picked names for a gift exchange and then we also had a Kris Kringle gift type of thing where you buy an inexpensive gift, we take turns choosing which package we want and we can steal someone’s present if we like it. I made out like a bandit with a luxurious cream coloured throw.
The one thing we did differently this year was that I had our Christmas dinner catered. Ah, shock! Horrors! A break from tradition! I saw a Groupon in my email for a Christmas turkey dinner from a high end hotel all boxed up with all the trimmings (for 6 – 8 people) for half price, so I snapped it up. It was a great price and I thought, great, no more hassles! Stress free! I’ll still make the candied yams and my MIL will stake make her roasted potatoes, but other than that, we’re off the hook with all the cooking! I chose to the Christmas Eve pickup without checking with anyone first. MIL and DH decided that no, I should have ordered it for Christmas Day pickup. Mmm, I would have preferred to know exactly what I was getting the day before but whatever. I was quite annoyed at the lack of enthusiasm for what I thought was a great idea. I think my MIL was worried that the meal wouldn’t be good, but the hotel restaurant had a great reputation.
I tried to change it but they wouldn’t as the deal was sold out (500 orders) and no changes could be made. Luckily, we know someone with pull who works at the hotel and she got it changed for us. There has never been such a calm Christmas Day at my house. No rushed thawing of a turkey in my bathtub, no hot oven for 6 hours in a row, blah, blah, blah. Hubby goes to pick up the turkey dinner, we follow the instructions it came with – 90 min in a 350 degree oven with the foil on it. We did that, took it out, put everything else in to warm up for 30 min – we’ve got it all set up, everyone is ready to eat and….. IT’S NOT COOKED. It looks cooked, but there’s still blood running out when you cut it. GREAT! Frankly, it could have stayed in the oven 2 hours and it still would not have cooked correctly at that temperature, it was a 15 pound turkey! The meat thermometer wouldn’t work because it was out of the oven too long so the correct temperature was not reading. Hubby starts muttering. Auntie and I put it back in the oven, confer with whispers and nodding (and chanting) that we need to turn up the heat, and leave the foil off. An hour goes by. Hubby is fuming. We take it out and….. IT’S STILL NOT COOKED!!! Hubby is now cursing. It was about 90% done but it’s got that rubbery texture to it, you know what I mean? So, we slice it anyway and stick it in the microwave cause everyone, including my mum, is ready to eat. That finally did it and miraculously, it did not dry out! In fact, it was delicious! Everything else was great. We even had a pumpkin pie with fresh whipped cream.
The next day we were walking by the hotel and my MIL had to go to the bathroom, so we stopped in and I saw our friend. I told her what had happened with the turkey and she said that a number of people had called with the same problem. Apparently we had just received the batch of turkeys that had been done in a bad oven or something. Rats! Oh, well, it all worked out well and I’d have to say I’d do it all again. However, I would finish cooking the turkey an hour before it was due to be served. If it gets dried out, well, that’s what gravy is for.
Courtesy of DH and the family, I even slept in and enjoyed a bit of peace and quiet. Perfect. Cocktail of the season was a lemon drop martini. I had a few (ahem!) and they were delicious! I went all out and bought Limoncello and rimmed the martini glasses in sugar. Of course, I paid for all this drinking and running around, though. A couple of days ago though I did get sick with a cold and had Neo Citran and Nyquil became my new cocktail. That throw came in handy as I huddled on the couch shivering.
I’m feeling much better, all’s quiet here and DH is off for a bit. But of course, with us, drama is never far…..