HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


Well, that was nuts - Holidays2009

  • k

I just have to get this off my chest.

Started fixing a standing rib roast, using the Alton Brown dry age method with a low-slow cook followed by high temp "crusting." All was going according to plan. Had beets roasting. Preparing some pre-blanched broccoli. And some potatoes, "roastie" style.

Oh, wait, mom ... did you remember that son's GF doesn't care for rare beef. Can you fix some chicken?

No problem. Got a couple breasts out of the freezer, started thawing and pan-roasting them. (I have three ovens, so rarely run out of oven space, thank goodness!) We're still hours ahead of eating, so I'm feeling pretty good.

All of a sudden, sister shows up. She's been visiting with friends and now has invited herself to supper. She eats beef, so no issues there. But she's brought an international friend, who they inform me is a vegetarian.

Good grief. So now, while I'm checking on the beef, the chicken, the potatoes, I pull some chopped spinach from the freezer, a box of UHT type tofu, and some leftover jasmine rice from the fridge. And make a vegetarian stirfry with dark soy as a seasoning (at least I remembered not to put oyster sauce - my go-to sauce - into a vegetarian dish).

At this point, timing is shot to heck. At least DH was on hand to slice the beef roast, which turned out a bit too rare, I thought, but tasted good.

By the time all the food was hitting the table, and people were sitting down to eat, I had no idea what was done, not done ... and not sure I cared! Had another martini. Then remembered the potatoes were still warming in an oven. Whew!

OK. Now that's off my chest! I guess the moral of the story is, DON'T PANIC. At the same time, not sure I want to be put to that kind of a test anytime soon. Thanks CHers for listening!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Congratulations for being so fast on your feet. Don't know that I could have made everybody that happy. And yes - "Don't Panic" is one of my favorite kitchen tips.

    1. Wow k_d, sounds like a fun holiday at your house! At least you had the martini (which is a required pre and post cooking drink for *this* cook).

      May your New Year be full of uninvited guests and your freezer full of last minute fixes for them. You were well prepared.

      2 Replies
      1. re: iluvcookies

        Thanks, cookies ... I think.

        Today's my anniversary, so it's home-cooked lobster tonight - an old tradition. And I guess I can also serve cold roast beef with it.

        1. re: k_d

          Happy Anniversary! Enjoy the lobster (wish I could,allergies :( and you can have yummy roast beef sandwiches for lunch!

          You can send your sister's friend over to my place, I have plenty of leftover carrots and green beans. No one eats them when I have ham, potato latkes, pecan bars, and petit fours. And a cheese plate.

      2. I think your sister needs a talking to. That's atrocious form.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Dcfoodblog

          DC, we've been talking to her ever since she was born. And talking. And talking. If it's any consolation, she did bring me about 12 dozen eggs.

          1. re: k_d

            12 dozen????!!!! What will you do w/so many eggs?

            1. re: nomadchowwoman

              LOL! I guess I've got an angel food cake in my future. Or 10. (And I *hate* angel food cake!)

              1. re: k_d

                How about a nice flan or creme caramel - that should take care of a dozen?

                1. re: NE_Elaine

                  Or, you can freeze them? The whites and the yolks separately, I believe.

                  Awesome job with your meal, by the way. I would have freaked out.


        2. Great job, k-d! that was an awful lot of last minute irons on the fire, but sounds like you made a lot of people happy, which is usually what makes those of us who cook for others happy too:) Happy anniversary to you as well.

          1. It was good of you to cater to the last-minute 'special needs' guests... personally my response for both would have been - there are plenty of vegetable side-dishes for them to eat! And if necessary I'd drag out some extra veggies of some kind to make sure there were enough. You really went above and beyond the call for them! A last-minute unexpected guest doesn't get any special consideration other than do we have something that won't poison them!

            1. I'm glad you're nicer than me. <eg>

              IF people want to come eat my food that I've lovingly prepared, then they can just EAT IT or not eat it but I'll be damned if I'm going to start running a restaurant.

              Yes, I'll accommodate special needs if I'm told in advance. Yes, I'm not insensitive to vegetarians, etc., but I think it's just incredibly rude to expect a hostess to completely alter their plans to suit your special, spoiled little needs.

              Deal with it, I say.

              1. I'm going out on a limb here. But I think some sort of assertiveness training might be in order. Even your nearest and dearest should not be allowed to treat your home as though it were a gourmet drive-through window.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mandycat

                  Oh, no. If I didn't want to do it, I wouldn't. And had I not had the tofu, the frozen vege, etc., they would have had to make do. But y'know, I looked in that fridge and I was like, Hm. Tofu. I can make something outta that. And it probably didn't take but 2 mins of microwave time to thaw the spinach and another 12-15 on the stove to stirfry everything together. A good pantry helps, as well as a lot of experience tossing things together and knowing what tastes good. Plus, it was Christmastime. What the heck.

                  1. re: k_d

                    and that is the Christmas spirit. so much more graceful than running out of the house into the snow and darkness screaming like a banchee. good for you k_d

                2. Yep, don't panic, and bring your towel. Roll it up and smack 'em on the ass with if you have to.
                  I am kidding, of course, sounds like you handled it with aplomb. Happy New Year!