Monday 20 November 2017

Cooking Christmas dinner for the in-laws is causing me bother

By Justine O'Mahony

Justine O'Mahony.
Justine O'Mahony.

Due to circumstances beyond my control I have been volunteered to cook Christmas dinner this year.

This is not good for a number of reasons, the first one being that everyone knows I'm a s**** cook! I have never cooked a turkey in my life and it's not something that would feature high on my bucket list. I wouldn't care if I never saw a slice of turkey, although I might make an exception if it was between two slices of bread, accompanied by melted brie and a dollop of cranberry sauce.

The in-laws however take their Christmas dinner very seriously. There's more discussion about the Christmas dinner than there is on any other subject throughout the year. And I must concede that the Mother in Law does a great job. Sure why wouldn't she? She spends feckin hours in the kitchen the day before and the day itself making certain everything is perfect.

This year it's my turn and I suspect the in laws are in for a rude awakening! First of all it's not my thing to spend all day in the kitchen prodding a bird. I'm more of a social butterfly, good at topping up glasses and passing around the prawn parcels. I said as much at the family meeting we convened to plan the event. Yes we did have a family meeting to discuss Christmas dinner. In fact there may even have been minutes taken!

Funnily enough everyone instantly agreed that maybe the responsibility of cooking the turkey should go to someone else! Himself and The Brother stepped forward and proceeded to talk weights and times as if it was a scientific experiment.

Wanting to be helpful, I suggested we buy everything else already prepared. I was met with a stony silence. 'We. Are. Not. Buying. Prepared. Food. For. Christmas. Day,' Himself shot back.

'Why not?' I asked. 'Have you any idea how long it takes to peel and chop a carrot? Never mind de-leafing Brussels sprouts.'

Of course he wouldn't have a clue because he doesn't eat any bloody veg, so I really couldn't see the validity of his argument, but he would not be swayed.

'We are going to do this right. That means peeling and chopping all the FRESH veg the day before like my mother does.'

There it was: 'Like my mother does,' I was waiting for that.

There isn't a hope of us doing it as good as his mother does, we'll be lucky if we don't poison anyone. Still in the interests of safety they decided it would be better if I did no cooking at all (yaaaay!) and I have been put on drinks duty instead (double yaaaaaaay!)

This will mean that I will make sure everyone is suitably locked by the time we sit down for dinner so no-one will know if it's rubbish or not! A happy outcome for everyone.

I was actually starting to look forward to it until I was informed that the cooks don't clean up -that apparently is the job of the drinks waitress.

My nails will be ruined!

Wexford People

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