Monday, 23 December 2013

I love it when a plan comes together

To be more precise, I love it when Plans A & B are dead in the water, but you just about manage to pull off Plan C...

We've decided to do a quiet Christmas day this year - just the four of us. We figure that little E has earnt the right to stay in the comfort of his own home, opening stacks of presents and proceeding to play with them for hours and hours.

However, we didn't want to miss out on family & friends completely, so we invited a few over to celebrate "Christmas Day" with us on Sunday. The plan was that I'd cook a full Christmas lunch, we'd then open a few pressies and I'd do a "nibbly" tea.

The day started well. K manfully headed down to the supermarket to brave the throngs of angry shoppers and pick up the meat. I attempted to tidy up the house which proved to be more of a challenge than I'd anticipated. For every one thing I put away, the boys got three out. So by the time I'd been tidying for 30 minutes the lounge carpet was no longer visible and the boys had moved on to making mess in other rooms!

Being the nurturing type of Mum that I am (ahem), I caved in pretty quickly and sat them in front of the TV to at least try and stem the flow of toys, tinsel and teddies that were hitting the floor at such an alarming rate.

K swept in from the shop, battered & bruised, but bearing the food and we got to work, singing the obligatory Xmas songs (me with perhaps a little more gusto than K!).

The guests arrived, the wine started flowing and with 15 minutes to go on the mains I plated up the starters, ready to head in the dining room. (I don't mind admitting that I was feeling a little bit smug at this point). That was when the oven made a spluttering noise, followed by a whirring sound best described as a car battery dying, and then the whole thing went quiet and the lights on it died.

I think I stared in abject horror for a while, then plastered a smile on my face, took in the starters and asked K if I could have a word - and could he bring the wine with him. Of course, within seconds everyone knew what had happened and we spent the next 10 minutes wondering if there was enough heat left in the oven to finish cooking the meat & veg. Turns out the meat was done until it was medium/rare (beef - so perfect), the potatoes & parsnips were cooked but not crunchy (can't have everything) and the pigs-in-blankets appeared good to go. All in all - not a complete disaster.

Some hours later and a number of bottles down, I served up cold meats & cheeses for tea and no one seemed to lament the lack of any warm food.

It looks as though we may have found a company that can fit a new oven on Christmas Eve, weather permitting. This would be brilliant, but to be honest, neither K or I think it's the end of the world if we end up enjoying a sandwich for our Christmas meal. After all, we got what we wanted this year - all four of us still very much alive and kicking.

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