Sunday, March 18, 2012

No one Died

We all survived the night and quite honestly, I am more than a little pleasantly surprised.  I had take-out on speed dial just in case.

I had spent 2 weeks researching the menu and another full day gathering the ingredients.  I was good to go.  My kitchen looked like I was ready to do battle - which I was.  I felt like I was facing down my own personal Waterloo.  The kitchen, and in particular, the stove, and I have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship.  The stove knows I am afraid of it and the fridge constantly moves things around and by the time I find them, the fridge has made them turn rotten.

I am afraid I did not inherit my mother's skill set in the kitchen.  She and I could open the same fridge and she would see a seven course meal while all I would see would be condiments and rotten fruit.

This time things would be different.  My menu was planned and according to the pictures, it looked pretty good.  I had an entree, a vegtable, rice and salad.  I thought I was good to go.  However, it was pointed out to me that I needed an appetizer.  I did not have time to do the research and shopping.  I did the only thing any rational person in this postion would do.  I ran down to 7-11 and bought chips, dip, jelly beans and ju-jubes.  What's not to love about a junk food appetizer plate?  If dinner failed, who would be able to be mad at me if they were on a sugar high?

First, I needed to prepare the chicken bundles.  I pulled out the chicken breasts and realized they did not look like the picture.  I figured out that I was supposed to smash the breast down flat before I stuffed it and rolled it up.  I was in the zone - what to do...... I needed something to smash the chicken flat.  I had just the tool.  See attached:

This hammer is actually only 5 inches long with the diameter of the head being less than an inch.  It took a very long time to pound down 7 chicken breasts.  Plus, a couple of them tore and I ended up with chicken meat all over the place.  Did anyone else know that you should use the bottom of a fyring pan to flatten meat?  My hammer took about an hour.  

I set the table with all the stuff I rarely get to use.  Lots of wedding gift glassware.  I would be hard pressed to tell you which wedding, but I got to use it.

I was ready for my guests after 5 hours of prep-work (the recipe said it should only have taken me 60 minutes total - not sure what happened here).  I kept my apron on so everyone would see I actually did the work myself.  One of my guests took a photo before we ate.  As you can see, I don't take the best photo but in my defense, I had been testing wine all afternoon.

We had a lovely evening.  No smoke alarms.  No speed dialing take-out and no quick road trips to emergency.  Simply amazing really.  I have lovely friends who left me very little by way of leftovers.  I think that is a very good sign.

These women must have brought some good luck into my home as well.  I was supposed to have been on a flight to Toronto today with 2 stops in Winnipeg and Regina on the way back.  I am tired and wanted to just stay in one place for a while so it was with heavy heart and lead feet that I got up early, packed my bag, unloaded the dishwasher and put away my laundry in an attempt to be all prepared for the taxi to pick me up and take me back to the airport where I am sure everyone in security can now address me on a first name basis.

I had just gotten into the cab when I happen to notice a text from a friend who advised me that a bunch of Air Canada flights had been cancelled and maybe I would get lucky and be able to stay home.  Well, just then, I got an email from the airline to tell me that I was indeed cancelled and they could not get me on another flight.  Yeehaa!  I frightened my cabbie when I yelled out.  I was going home to cancel my whole trip.  Finally, something good happened in my favor.  While I am normally not a big fan of Air Canada, today, they are my best friends.

I am now home for the week.  Might be a disappointment to my staff though.  I have a feeling they like it when I am out of the office.  I think they have parties and eat chocolate while I am away.  Well, surprise to them tomorrow!

Anyway, this gives me more time to shop for my daughter.  It is her birthday on Friday and I am having a hard time figuring out what to get her this year.  She is at that tough age - you know the one - between teenager and grandmother.  These are tough years.

I bought her something already but while in line at Costco, I had a conversation with a woman who has a daughter roughly the same age and she assured me that my current decision was incorrect.  Since I have no mind of my own and am easily swayed by public opinion and live in constant fear of the ridicule of strangers, I returned the item.  Can't say what it is in case I change my mind and go back for it.  I am back at square one.  Anyone with any ideas for a just shy of middle aged woman with 3 children who just got her Realtor's license, is a soccer (well, lacrosse), Kia driving mom who doesn't like my taste in clothes, I am all ears and welcome any suggestions.

Since I have a free afternoon and evening, I will sign off now to go and finish off all the wonderful desserts everyone brought last night.  I am an adult and I can eat whatever I want for dinner.

Stay tuned

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dis-invited by a 6 year old

My ego has taken a pounding of late and I have been busy trying to pick up the pieces of my shattered psyche.

It seems my clumsiness has been picked up by my grandchildren and they are now concerned for my safety.

Rae, my favorite wee 6 year old granddaughter had her birthday on Saturday.  I have not missed a grandchild's birthday since inception.  However, if Rae's plan came to fruition this would have been the first.

Scene - 1 week prior

Rae - "Hi NannaGramma - its me"
NannaGramma - "me who?"
R - "oh nanna, you are so silly.  It's Raejay"
NG - "Well, hello Rayjay.  It's so good to hear from you.  What makes you call me this fine evening?"
R - "Its my birthday soon"
NG - "I know.  What would you like for your birthday?"
R - "stuff.  I need all sorts of things"
NG - "I will keep that in mind.  What are your plans for the big day?"
R - "I am having a gymnastics party.  It's going to be lots of fun."
NG - "That sounds like a good time.  I can hardly wait"
R- " Well, Nanna, I don't think that will be a good idea."
NG - "What do you mean Rae?"
R - "I don't want you to get hurt so I think it is best for you to just bring my present to my house"
NG - "What do you mean Rae?
R - "We will be doing back flips and cartwheels and you might break some bones again when you have to do the back flips.  I think you shouldn't come to the party."

So, the gist of the whole thing was that my grandchild thinks I am too feeble to handle a 6 year old birthday party.  I was devastated - the kids now think I am a complete clumsy gibble goof. I hit the lowest point - I had been disinvited from a 6 year olds birthday party.   From this point forward they will no longer believe I have the ability to change traffic lights with my brain or think it possible that I can communicate with the ducks in the park.   Thankfully, my daughter allowed me to attend but I had to stay off the gym floor.  Probably for the best.  Chances were very good that I would have tripped and fallen into the foam pit, and end up having a piece of foam lodged in between my butt cheeks so far it would have required surgery to remove.

Well, now that I have recovered from the party and another road trip - I am having a wee dinner party AND I am cooking - BY MYSELF.  I have been planning this for a month.  I have two new recipes of things I have never tried but the pictures look good.  The only thing I ask of my guests is that their health insurance is paid up and that they sign a waiver upon entering my home that I am not responsible for possible side-effects.  However, as a guest favour, I will provide a ride to emergency for stomach pumping should it be required.

I will keep you posted - the dinner party is just 2 sleeps away.