Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Dinner

When we saw the turkeys in the frozen section of the grocery store, we thought how nice it would be to cook one--however, we didn't want to cook a turkey for just the two of us. We talked to President and Sister Jordan and Brother and Sister Day to see if they would join us for a Christmas dinner on Monday, December 23 and they could.  Great!  So we bought a 6 kilo turkey--or about 13 pounds.

Monday morning finally came and we began preparing the food to go with the turkey.  Sherryl blended the fresh cranberry and fresh oranges for the family's traditional cranberry sauce and Paul was busy preparing our traditional yams and apples for our dinner.  A few days before, we had made our traditional banana slush so it was ready.  We lit our stove to heat some water and were on a roll. We prepared the turkey for the oven and when 10 a.m. arrived, we tried to light the oven--it didn't light.  We tried to light the gas burner again--it didn't light.  We went to the propane tank and were out of propane!

About 9:50 a.m. Paul called the propane people and she said they would be here in an hour and a half. That would still work because we had planned a little extra time to cook the turkey.  We asked the price of the propane and she said 7 pesos per liter and we have an 80 liter tank.  Hmm  We didn’t have enough cash on hand for the propane and needed to go get some.  We had an hour.  So we did a fast 12 minute walk to Soriana  to get 6000 pesos from our own checking account at the ATM.  Since we wanted rolls for our Christmas dinner, we picked a bag of rolls and headed back home but remembered we wanted to buy some honey as Christmas gifts for the Days and for the Jordans.  While walking back home, we decided to try a short cut from the main road to our road.  We ducked under a fence and walked to the house that sells cheese and honey.  We made our purchases and were back just before 11 a.m.  <whew> So we waited.  Brother Day had told us that the propane people were always on time and Brother Fuhriman wrote that they would arrive about an hour after we called them.  So we waited and waited and waited.  Paul called again about noon and was told they should have been there and are on their way.  We decided to pray for help that they would come soon.  Sherryl pealed the potatoes and got them into the pot of water to be ready to cook and we waited.   The scripture from Daniel 3:18 came to mind:  "...but if not..."  What would we do if the Lord choose not to hurry the propane men and cover our back since we hadn't thought to check the propane and call before the tank was totally empty?

When there simply wasn't time enough to cook the turkey for a 2 p.m. meal, we realized that we needed a plan.  What would we then do?  Plan A:  Since we expected the propane men to arrive before long, we thought to change our dinner from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. We called the Days and Jordans to move dinner to 4 p.m. and neither answered their phone.  Plan B:  Our new plan turned out to be that Paul go to Chedraui to get rotisserie chicken and Sherryl would make a 7 layer dip since we had refried beans, cheese and avocados--in case we couldn't cook potatoes.  Paul could get the few missing ingredients and hurried out the door. We would have visitors arriving for dinner in less than an hour.

Sherryl set the table for 6 and that's where the Lord came to our aid--with creative ideas. Sherryl realized the electric crock pot would work so she put the potatoes in the crock pot and turned it on high.  She began to make the 7 layer dip that turned out to be more like 5 layer dip.  About 1:50 p.m. the doorbell rang and it was the propane men.  Hooray! They drug their 100+  foot hose back to the tank and as soon as he turned the propane on, Sherryl lit the stove and it worked! Hooray!  She dumped the potatoes from the crock pot into a pan.  There wasn't time for yams to cook in the oven so she put them in the microwave.  Paul came home with the rotisserie chicken.  Sherryl noticed the yams and apples weren’t looking right in the microwave and needed to be covered.  She put a crock pot bag cooking bag over them and pushed those buttons again.

Paul washed the fruit and veggies and then started dicing the tomatoes to put on the dip--then the door bell rang and the Days were here.  We tried to be sociable as we finished things in the kitchen.  Before long President Jordan arrived and visited with the Days.  Paul was cutting up the chicken.  Sherryl whipped the potatoes and made gravy from two packages of turkey gravy mix.  Sister Jordan arrived with fruit salad with apples and pecans.  Our dinner was chicken; potatoes and gravy; yams and apples; cranberry sauce; papaya; rolls;  5 layer dip and chips; and a fruit salad.  Sister Day had made some carrot pudding like Paul’s mom used to make where you steam it in a can for a long time with yummy caramel sauce.

And guess what.....

Not only did we have a wonderful Christmas dinner, we had a story to tell of how it all came together as strains of Anne Murray singing Christmas songs gently played in the background!!  The uncooked turkey waits patiently in the fridge in a cooking bag.  Like they say around here, we will take care of it manana.

And the next day . . . 24th

With the oven working - we cooked the turkey and invited the other missionary couple, the Days, over for dinner.  The turkey turned out great and we were able to use a few of the left-overs from yesterday, plus the Days brought over a large dish of flan.  Paul has been looking forward to having flan for a long time, and this was no disappointment with whole strawberries and whipped cream on top.   Then with the Days, with 65° weather, we watched the movie "White Christmas."

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