You would think from my Christmas post that we had a cozy, uneventful family Christmas. How nice. In reality, we nearly suffered 3rd-degree burns, lost T-Rex, flooded the kitchen, and burned ourselves and the house up in a ball of flame. I’m thankful that we’ve all survived December 25th without major injuries.
It was a Christmas of close calls. Ann got up during the night, half asleep, to check on her pumpkin pie. She grabbed the oven rack with her bare hand, and I think if I hadn’t run to the freezer for ice right away it would have been a really nasty burn.
After breakfast, when Mom ran the kitchen sink garbage disposer, a geyser of gooky, coffee-ground-filled water spewed up from the other drain all over the clean dishes. We found her screaming, unsure what to do. We got everything turned off before it overflowed onto the floor, stuffed a garbage bag down the disposal drain, held it down with a plate, and plunged the other drain until it cleared.
While cooking dinner a series of debates took place over which cookbook, roasting bag, or website contained the proper directions for roasting a duck. Considering that none of us had ever roasted a duck, we managed to form remarkably strong opinions on the matter anyway. Somehow we ended up with a properly cooked bird, even if the oven got a little greasy in the process.
In the final sprint toward setting the table, my task was to cook the chard. I had placed a wok full of oil on the stove in preparation. Both Mom and Ann were in the kitchen getting everything else finished. At some point they needed to boil water, but turned on the burner with my wok by mistake. When the smoke alarm went off, we panicked thinking it was the duck, and pulled it out. Meanwhile the smoke just got thicker. Finally someone realized it was the wok. I grabbed it, and pulled off the lid. A ball of fire burst out of the pan and onto the stove. I ran for the back door, making another fireball on the way. In the back yard I dumped the wok in the snow. Ann was prepared in the kitchen with the fire extinguisher, but it wasn’t necessary.
Everyone showed up for dinner but T-Rex, who had disappeared earlier in the day. It was a great meal, but we felt worried about our cat. After eating Ann went out in search of him without her phone, and of course he came back and then she was missing. By the time she got back, after much fence climbing and ditch walking, we were all exhausted and grateful to be alive.
Peace on Earth.