What the Dickens 2, Or More Tales from Hell's Kitchen - Advent Calendar, Grab Bag

(Copyright (c) 2011 Cynthia Shenette)

"Do you know the Poulterer's, in the next street but one, at the corner?" Scrooge inquired.

"I should hope I did," replied the lad.

"An intelligent boy!'' said Scrooge. "A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they've sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there? Not the little prize Turkey; the big one?"

"What, the one as big as me?" returned the boy.

Bigger isn't always better, especially when it involves a turkey.  I learned this the hard way.

Yes, Gentle Reader, It's Holiday Time Again!

Due to the popularity of last year's holiday post, What the Dickens, Or How to Blow Up a Duck, I have decided to return to Christmas Past to share more holiday tales of food preparation gone wrong.

I realize that whenever you do Part 2 of something it never seems to live up to the audience's expectations  of Part 1.  Even when Part 2 is good it never quite achieves the same level of greatness as Part 1.  So, Gentle Reader, with that said it's time to lower your expectations and once again journey with me back in time as I try to shamelessly capitalize on the popularity of the initial post to Christmas Past...

Christmas 1985, Or How to Lose Your Cookies

Several friends and I had a brilliant idea!  Let's have a Christmas cookie baking party!  I was dating this guy at the time who offered to host the party at his apartment.  Each of us brought a cookie ingredient (flour, sugar, eggs) and a recipe for batch of cookies.  The plan was to make a huge batch of cookies which we would all share.  One friend who was a bartender thought it would be fun to mix up a couple of pitchers of Blue Hawaiians to liven things up a little.

Well it didn't take long for my friends and I to realize that we really hadn't thought through the logistics of our cookie baking activity.  A small apartment, multiple batches of cookies, one oven, limited counter space, and a large batch of Blue Hawaiians were not exactly the ingredients for success.  We were quickly overwhelmed by dirty dishes, empty cookie sheets, full cookie sheets, cookie dough, and all of the already baked cookies.  There were cookies everywhere--cookies on the counters, cookies on the table, cookies on top of the refrigerator!  To put it in perspective think Lucy and Ethel in the candy factory with peanut butter blossoms instead of bonbons.

As the evening wore on my friends and I were getting desperate (plus I suspect the Blue Hawaiians were starting to kick in).  What to do, what to do?  An idea!  Why couldn't we rest some of the hot cookies still on cookie sheets on a window sill to cool?  They would be out of the way and cool off at the same time.  Did I mention my boyfriend's apartment was in a three-decker?  Yep, you guessed it.  The cookies fell out the window.  I don't remember how many flights.  Let's just say the cookie incident kind of foreshadowed my relationship with the boyfriend (which was also out the window) a few weeks later.

Christmas 2010, Or You'll Shoot Your Eye Out Kid

My husband and son LOVE cranberry sauce.  So do I, so every year I make home-made cranberry-orange relish.  My son is somewhat spoiled and won't eat the stuff from the can which is fine with me.  I'm always looking for ways to remove high fructose corn syrup from our diets.  I'm happy to make my own which only contains three simple ingredients--cranberries, oranges, and sugar.  How can you go wrong with only three ingredients?

I've come to think of kitchen appliances as power tools for the kitchen.  A food processor is not for the faint of heart.  I hadn't really thought too much about it until last year's mishap.  I pulled out my food processor (which I rarely use I might add) put the cranberries in, put the cover on, and turned the power on.  Unfortunately I forgot one thing.  You know that cap that goes over the little tube you feed stuff into?  I forgot to put that on.  Oops. The result--a rapid-fire cranberry machine gun shooting cranberries all over the kitchen!  My cranberries could have given Ralphie's Red Ryder BB Gun a run for it's money any day.

Thanksgiving 1989, Or More Problems With Poultry

Now, Gentle Reader, I know you are asking, "So what happened with the turkey?"  I kind of alluded to what I have come to think of as "the unfortunate flaming turkey incident" at the end of my duck story.  To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what happened other than the turkey was really big and Mom was using one of those cooking bags again.  Clearly we learned nothing from the exploding duck episode.  All I know is Mom opened the oven door, and flames shot out!  Still being the nervous type, I went for the kitchen fire extinguisher, again.  Mom, still not being the nervous type, told me to put away the fire extinguisher, again. She closed the oven door, and the flames went out.  After the fire was out Mom said in a calm voice, "Once you cut off the oxygen the fire will go out."  Good to know.  The turkey was fine, but I wasn't doing so well, again.  And yes, we did have that turkey for dinner.

Do you have a Christmas tale of culinary chaos? A souffle that flopped? A fondue that didn't?  Do you fear Christmas Dinner Yet to Come?  Feel free to leave a comment. After all, misery loves company.  Now I'm off to Home Depot to buy safety goggles.  I need to make cranberry sauce...

God Bless Us, Everyone

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Susan Clark said...

Feel free to shamelessly capitalize any time you wish. This was delightful - from a safe distance.

Michelle Goodrum said...

You tell the best stories! Thanks for giving me several great chuckles today!!

Cheryl Cayemberg said...

Oh that was too funny! Another wonderful post! :)