Steady hand in kitchen helps calm holiday nerves

Over the years the Betterhalf has faced some challenges during the holiday seasons as she planned holiday meals for relatives and guests. What to serve and how many people are coming seem to be her biggest obstacles to resolve. However, this year a new obstacle to overcome confronted her.
But, first we should explain a little background for our most recent holiday dining.
Since the death of her sister she has invited her brother-in-law and sons to dine with us at Thanksgiving and at Christmas. Locations were alternated by celebrating Thanksgiving at one home followed a few weeks later by the other family hosting the Christmas dinner at the other’s home.
We were supposed to celebrate Thanksgiving with the brother-in-law and sons at his home this year. The brother-in-law called and announced he had already bought the turkey and trimmings. A conflict occurred and we were unable to participate in a joint celebration.
He then said since his family could not devour a 20 pound turkey he would furnish his big bird for the later Christmas celebration at our home. They agreed to meet at a lunch in Lincoln where the Betterhalf picked up the bird.
Four days before the planned Christmas dinner the Betterhalf dutifully transferred the bagged package from our freezer in the garage to our kitchen refrigerator to begin the thawing process. The night prior to Christmas day she took the bag from the frig and was going began a slow night bake of the bird. As she removed the package from inside the brown kraft bag she found there was no bird, but there was a nicely clear plastic wrapped large ham.
A quick call to the brother-in-law clarified the situation. He had mistakenly grabbed the wrong package from his own freezer and never looked in the brown bag. Obviously the Betterhalf never looked in the bag either when she brought it home.
As usual the Betterhalf handled the situation tastefully. She cooked the ham Christmas morn. We all ate our fill at a great, enjoyable Christmas dinner featuring the ham and vowed to get together for a good turkey dinner at our home again in a few weeks.
Not only is it great to be married to a good cook, but to one who can handle any crisis!
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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