Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Christmas Cooking/Baking (not recipes) (10/16/08)
TITLE: The Christmas Dinner
By Anne Harrell
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Christmas for my family is a big deal. Since on Christmas day we are constantly on the road traveling to grandparents, we make Christmas Eve our family Christmas. One of our most funniest memories when it came to one of our Christmas dinners was about three years ago when my oldest son who is autistic loves to cook wanted to fix the dinner his self. He watches cooking shows and can tell you all about the spices that is used in cooking and how different dishes are suppose to be cooked. He sees all these unusual ways of cooking dishes. This one Christmas Mark decided he was going to fix dinner for us.
Mark wanted to fix Christmas dinner for us all by his self; he didn¡¦t want the help from anybody. The rest of us weren¡¦t sure that we wanted Mark to cook for us because of some of the bizarre items he adds to dishes. My daughter begged us to let¡¦s buy extra in case Mark did something too strange in the dressing especially we can dump his out and have the dressing fixed the way we all like it. To keep from hurting my son¡¦s feelings my husband said no about buying extra that we would eat what Mark fixes for us. We can for one time suck it up and eat what is put before us. ¡§Be thankful that you have food,¡¨ Mark Sr. said. ¡§There are people that wish they could have food fixed for them.¡¨ The rest of us grumbled but finally followed through.
The most I had to do with the dinner was I just paid for the items that Mark used to fix dinner. I had taken Mark to the store two days before Christmas Eve to get the turkey and all it trimmings along with the ingredients to go in the different dishes and deserts. Some of the items on Mark¡¦s grocery list included oysters, fresh sage, stuffing, ham hocks, collard greens, dried red hot peppers, sweet onions, pint of chicken livers, celery, white potatoes, pineapple, marshmallows, mushrooms, apples, sweet milk, milk chocolate chips, pumpkin pie mix, pie shells, and a few other items he wanted to use to make dinner.
Christmas Eve morning Mark got up early to start fixing his dinner so that everything would be done before three in the afternoon for dinner. The aroma of the sage and other spices on the turkey was seeping throughout the house giving a holiday smell awaking us all to the sweet smell of the turkey and its fixings. The turkey had been cooking for about two and half hours will he pulled the turkey out of the oven to add his stuffing inside the turkey. In a bowl, I notice that he had chopped up finely the pint of oyster, he had chopped up the livers, and turkey gibbets in another bowl the onions, apples, and celery were finely chopped in another bowl. Mark begins to mix oysters, livers, giblets, celery, onions, and apples into the heavy sage dressing and placed into the turkey.
Keeping quite of all the ingredients that I saw Mark mix into the dressing, as we all sat down for dinner, I anxiously awaited to see if anybody would notice, what the special components were that Mark used in the dressing. It didn¡¦t take long for my daughter when she took a fork full of dressing to see something that looked odd to her. She quickly jumped up from the table looking for the pint of oysters and livers that were in the refrigerator. When she couldn¡¦t find them, she became very upset with her dad for making us all eat the stuffing that little Mark had made. It taught big Mark to think twice over what he allows little Mark to make for now on. Big Mark is not one for eating oysters„othis was one time even he had to suck it up and eat the oyster drenched dressing. As the holiday season is coming back on us again this is one story we have laughed about for years and to this day we still have not let little Mark fix the dressing anymore. Mark does a wonderful job cooking the turkey but the dressing is left to me for now.
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