Post-disaster Happy Times at the Pruitt House
On Christmas Eve, my husband and I always prepare a special dinner for my father-in-law and any of my family that might be visiting. This year, my husband and I decided to keep it simple (HA!) by cutting down on the dishes we would make since there would just be three of us. The menu consisted of a cranberry salsa appetizer (delicious!!!), roast prime rib with horseradish crust, potato gratin in a rosemary crust, roasted green beans, and a cream cheese pound cake with whipped cream and strawberries for dessert.
I got up early and made the pound cake, so it would have plenty of time to cool. I used a sunflower pan and was going to pretend it was a poinsettia for Christmas. It came out perfectly.
When my husband got up, we were synchronized cleaning and menu prepping like you wouldn't believe! We've had enough practice that we can work super efficiently with very little communication. That morning, I even thought what a great team we make and how lucky I am.
We had made a preparation schedule of when to begin assembling each dish and what time they needed to go in the oven in order to have everything on the table at 7:00 pm for dinner. We were a little ahead of schedule when we started working on the potato gratin by rolling out the crusts, shredding the cheese, and chopping the rosemary.
I got out my new (never-been-used) Pampered Chef springform pan for the potatoes. It has a glass bottom for more attractive oven-to-table presentation (just my style). I decided I should flip the glass in the pan, so that the smooth side was inside the pan and the textured side would be face down. Standing in the center of the kitchen, I loosened the springform just a little, and the glass dropped to the floor. DISASTER BEGINS!!!
This holiday disaster literally took the cake! My sunflower/poinsettia cake, still sitting on its cooling rack, was sprinkled with glass shards and had to be trashed, along with the rolled pie crusts for the potato gratin and the freshly shredded cheese. All food in the kitchen was contaminated. I didn't even get to taste the pound cake before it went in the garbage.
We stayed cool and calm and agreed that since we were about an hour ahead of schedule, my husband would have time to run to Target for more pie crusts, a new springform pan with a METAL BOTTOM, and more cheese. As I began cleaning alone, I started to realize the scope of the disaster was WAY WORSE than our initial assessment, as I found glass in more and more places. Every surface had to have its contents removed and wiped down. It took sweeping the floor three times and vacuuming once to feel pretty good about the safety of the floor.
By the time my husband got back from Target on the craziest shopping day of the year (it wasn't a quick trip like we thought), I still had lots of decontaminating to go, and now, we were behind schedule. As you can imagine, I was feeling pretty exhausted and discouraged. The loss of our Christmas Eve dessert was particularly disappointing to me. I even suggested we just forget cooking all together and go out to eat that night instead. Ultimately, we decided to have mashed potatoes instead of the potato gratin, since I could make those pretty easily while the prime rib was in the oven. We put out some Pepperidge Farms Christmas cookies with our cranberry salsa appetizer for munching, deciding that would be good enough for dessert, too.
The mental and physical exhaustion continued to impact me as we continued preparing the food, though. For example, I spilled a whole cup of sugar for the cranberry salsa down the counter top and onto the floor (later, I realized I had a bunch of sugar in the pocket of my apron from the episode, too, which is pretty funny). This caused me to start playing it ultra safe....I was too worried to pull out any of the China pieces for the dinner in case I might drop them, so we just used serving pieces that were easily accessible. I didn't have time to iron my tablecloth either. As a result, our table was a little mismatchy and plain looking.
When it was time to sit down to eat, all of the days dysfunction melted right away, as my husband and I decided not to mention what had happened at all to my father-in-law. The food was all delicious! My husband, Roger, did a wonderful job with the prime rib.
I'm sure this will go down in our family's history as a funny Christmas Eve, but as for right now, I'm still a little tender from the disaster. We did get a super special surprise the next morning: a WHITE CHRISTMAS! It really helped make things feel all better for Christmas day. We live in Alabama, so that's super rare for us to get snow at all. Here's our house covered in snow.
Have you have had any big holiday disasters at your house? Any entertaining disasters in general? I would love to hear about them! Let's have group therapy! ( ;