01 January 2009

2008: The Lost Stories

I'd like to start 2009 by revisiting the past, specifically the last week of 2008. So much happened since I first touched beef. It all went by in a blur, and I did not have a minute to share it. But I did take plenty of pictures. I've uploaded and captioned, and am ready to bring you up to speed.

Christmas Eve 2008 (ii)

I spent Tuesday (Christmas Eve Eve) night doing prep work. I had grand plans for my dinner presentation and I refused to get overwhelmed. I did as much as I could before my bed time and spent Christmas Eve morning sharing my plan with everyone at work. I also asked for suggestions - everyone from moms to vegetarians had a chance to opine. After work I searched high and low for dinner buns, because Jesse likes buns. I tried to find the brand his mother uses, but they were not at the grocery store. That left me with too many options. I opted for Chinatown and hoped for the best.

I took my simmering rump roast out of the fridge, mixed the gravy, and plopped it in the oven. All was going as planned, until Jesse called to say he was getting out of work two hours early. That only gave me an hour to finish the roast, make the garlic butter, chicken, potatoes, peas, and cookie bars. It also gave me no hope of preparing the spread and having the rump laid out as a centerpiece surprise. For lack of a better word, I was crestfallen. In those times I text Kate.

Kate suggested I ask Jesse to be late.

I did.

He said he was going to get wine and that it might take three hours for him to do so.

The party was back on, minus the panic. I made my garlic butter, mashed my potatoes and kept the kitchen tidy in the interim. I also watched the rump very closely. After an hour and 20 minutes, it started looking tough, which was exactly what I was told to avoid. I took it out and started cutting into it. Everything I saw was brown. It was supposed to be pink. I cut deeper, more brown. I stabbed the middle (the rump dribbled in protest) and saw a tinge of pink. I considered the rump a failure and got to the making of the chicken.

There was no elaborate display for Jesse, but he was still surprised at my efforts. He said the rump was garlicky but otherwise good. I was back on top. The rolls were a bust. One was sweet and Jesse ended up eating part of the wrapper. The other was actually filled with some pork concoction. Dinner and dessert were both fantastic though. We tore through presents while we were still nibbling. Then, as Jesse crawled into bed, he said "now I know why we always open presents after we clean up the food. There's just no incentive." I had forgotten about that rule, and he had let me. but he was right. There was no incentive, and we took a nap.

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