Sunday, 1 May 2011

The One About the Different Christmas Dinner ...

Since last months Storytelling Sunday, I decided to have a little nosy on Sian's blog to find out where the original idea for it came from.  Well, because it started with Christmas stories, I've decided to share a Christmas story this month (I know its May, but I can't possibly wait till December to share this story as it has been going round and round in my head all week!).

So... a couple of Christmas's ago, when I still lived at Mum's Christmas lunch was going to be for Mum, my sister C, my brother R, C's partner S (not the one she recently married by the way) and myself.  It was the first time my mother had cooked a turkey, and understandably she was a little nervous about it.  The turkey (which was quite large to feed us all, and to feed us again the day after with some salad) was taken out of the freezer the night before and put in the fridge overnight to defrost.  (Mum had decided to buy a frozen turkey well in advance from the local supermarket rather than having to battle the crowds on Christmas Eve to pick up a fresh one).  On Christmas morning I came down to find Mum mopping the kitchen floor as the defrosting of the turkey had caused the fridge to flood (Mum has always been an early riser, and as I was home for Christmas from Uni, I was still in sleeping in mode - yes even on Christmas Day!).  So the turkey went into the oven slightly later than planned due to the floods.  It didn't matter, it just meant Christmas lunch a little later on, and who minds really, waiting till later for their dinner???

Mrs Beeton's cookbook was consulted and the time the turkey to be in the oven was calculated based on the size of the turkey.  Very sensible I think.  So the rest of the dinner was cooked according to the turkey finishing time.  About quarter of an hour before said turkey was due to be cooked we took it out of the oven to have a look at it.  To cut into it and check the colour of the juices, as you're supposed to do.  The juices, did not run clear.  So we cut a bit deeper into the turkey.  It turned out the middle of it was still properly pink (quite possibly the turkey had not defrosted properly in the oven over night.  Who knows.)  So with the rest of the dinner practically ready a decision had to be made.  Mum has never liked cooking, whereas whilst at Uni I seemed to have developed an enjoyment for it.  Plus that day I was quite level headed and not prone to panic (nowadays I am prone to panic - the other day I got into a complete state because I couldn't find the battery charger for my DSLR), so I took over, (not the whole cooking - I've never actually cooked a roast dinner myself, just the problem with the turkey).  It was decided that we could not eat the turkey with the rest of the dinner because we ran the risk of giving everyone food poisoning, and if we continued to cook it, it would take too long to cook and the rest of the meal ruined.  So I started rooting through the freezer, and luckily Mum is one of those people that buys things on special offer and puts them in the freezer for another day (now that I live with M and am in charge of the meal planning I do it too!)  I found sausages, lots of them.  Enough of them to feed us all.  So using a trick I'd learnt at uni to defrost things quickly, I submerged them all in a bowl of boiling water, they were all still in their freezer bags (I'm sure that plenty of readers would be horrified by this, I know my Mum was, but it works!)  Then I cooked them.  That year was Christmas dinner with a twist, Christmas dinner without the turkey but with sausages instead!  And it's one that I will never forget!!!

For other Stories head over to Sian's blog.

16 comments:

Sian said...

LOL! I love Christmas at any time of year, so this story went down a treat with me today. It's such a good tale - it reminds me of the time my mum thought she would go upmarket and give us duck on Christmas Day. When she took it out of the bag it smelt so strongly she threw it straight on the fire. It was ham for us that year..

Thank you for joining in Storytelling Sunday Gem. It was a pleasure to read.

Wanda said...

Improvisation has saved more than one dinner at my house too. Turkey dinners are especially demanding...I actually make a schedule of when different things have to start cooking in order to match up with when the turkey will be done. Even then it doesn't always work out!

alexa said...

Brilliant! Job well done! Level-headedness and ingenuity won the day ... :)

scrappyjacky said...

Great show of initiative!! Hope you still enjoyed the turkey the next day.

Gail said...

Great Christmas story Gem. Hmmm, I'll have to remember to have a quick thawing standby in the freezer for days like that.

JO SOWERBY said...

what a brilliant story. turkeys can be pesky things to get right but i bet the sausages were perfect. love ur blog too,
Jo xxx

Miriam said...

I liked the christmas story on May day! I remember delayed Christmas dinners and legless turkeys when I was a child. This was a great story and very funny :)

angelfish said...

What a great story of an unforgettable Christmas dinner!

Becky said...

Great story - I can see why you didn't want to wait until December to share it! Glad that you found the sausages and didn't eat a suspect turkey!

Alison said...

I bet there are lots of us have similar stories....glad you were there to save the day!
Alison xx

furrypig said...

well that will always be a Christmas to remember and it reminded me of the first time I cooked a meal for hubby, when we were first going out. I had it all planned a lovely pork en croute only I had forgotten to defrost the pork! Whoops I think we probably had sausages too!

debs14 said...

Thank goodness you were there to save the day! I bet your mum never bought a frozen turkey again!

Maria Ontiveros said...

Great story - my favorite line is "I found sausages . . . lots of them."
Such a great image.
Rinda

Jimjams said...

Fab little tale and you obviously all survived with PLENTY of turkey for Boxing Day. It reminds me of the year we used over oven timer to start the huge turkey off ... only I misunderstood how it worked and discovered it wasn't start-time + cooking-time, it was end-time - cooking-time ... when we came down to breakfast and the smell of nearly done turkey!!!

Tracy said...

I have never been brave enough to do a turkey, mainly because of stories like this. My gran used to cook the turkey the day before and then heat it up on Christmas day

S said...

Great story, I think every family has a least one holiday story where the turkey didn't cooperate. Good job on keeping your head!