It’s a good thing we didn’t have company come for Christmas dinner this year. I ruined the meal.
It all began when I over-trimmed the fat from the beef rib roast. Fat is good for some things, like keeping the meat moist while it cooks. Oops.
Then there was the salad. I was born in the wrong era. I’m really a 1950s housewife living in a millennial world. Every holiday meal in our house comes with a congealed salad of some kind. The kids usually get to pick the flavor. This year, with my head elsewhere, I forgot to buy the ingredients for a congealed salad.
That’s when you stand in front of the cupboard and just stare are the cans as if with enough mental telepathy they would transform into exactly what you needed for your favorite salad. No go. So I improvised. The congealed salad turned out okay, but nothing to write home about. The flavors were too subtle to stand up to mashed rutabaga, turnips and potatoes; Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar, onions and garlic; and roast beef with a horseradish sauce.
But the pièce de résistance was my steamed pudding. How many years have I been making steamed pudding for Christmas dessert? And what happens this year? I burnt it. Not just a little too brown around the edge. Nope, I had to do it regally. The entire bottom, which is actually the top when it’s inverted on a plate, was black. And hard. We’re talking charcoal hard. And the sides too. I’ll bet I cut off more than half of my pudding. The whiskey sauce couldn’t cut through the ashy flavor. Neither could the port.
But my kids were angels. They all remarked at how good it was. And they all finished their pieces. Miracles do happen. Especially at Christmas.