Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

"The Year Dan Saved Christmas"

No, I didn’t pick the title, it was said by my friend Cortney. Having already traveled back to Texas in December and having seen my family I didn’t feel that traveling twice would be good for me, besides, I don’t have any more vacation days left. So, my friend Cort invited me to her mom’s house in Marin. Not having anything else to do and generally having a great time when Cort is involved I agreed to go. Saturday morning rolls around and I’m up early because I was going to take some friends to the airport. Cort calls and tells me that (a) her mom’s flight is delayed some six hours (yeah, booo) and (b) she has to be in Marin at noon to pick up her mom’s dog, George, from the kennel. I didn’t mind going along and hanging out all day so she came over and picked me up at eleven after I had done the airport drop off. Little did we know what was in store for us at the kennel. Now, George is quite an energetic pup and he’s also a show dog, so he’s not been snipped. It seems George was in the kennel for a refresher course in behavior. He did really well and even thought the trainers explanations seemed to go on for ever everything she said made a lot of sense. Why does George jump up on people? Because you touch him and he wants that. Anyway, George was a perfect dog on the way home and we let him out in the yard and he went nuts with the running and the jumping and the leaping through the air (there were even parts where he looked like he should have been in the Matrix). Cort and I were a bit hungry so we left George at the house and went in search of food. Now, it being Christmas everything was closed…except the Rite-Aid. Not only was this Rite-Aid open, it was stocked to the hilt with alcohol. Cort and I got some cookies, hot pockets, vodka, kalua, and half-and-half. Back at the house we made white russians and ate snacks since her mom wouldn’t be getting home until at least eight that evening. A good time was had and both of us got a bit drunk much to our amusement. So, we’re at the house and we’ve pulled the roast out of the freezer that’s supposed to be for dinner. As anyone that cooks can tell you, a roast will be barely defrosted in time for dinner if you just pulled it out. Cort and I did our best in trying to defrost it, but only the outside got that way. Fortunately Michael had brought a ham back with him from his trip. With Cort’s mom delayed and dinner not on it’s way we started to prepare some food. I don’t know why, but I took over what was going on with some suggestions from Cort’s mom over the phone (like where stuff was). So, I put the ham in the oven to heat, started some red potatoes to boil, put some pre-made butternut squash soup on to heat, and then stewed some carrots in a pan with beef broth and worcestershire sauce. The soup seemed kind of thin so I left that on to reduce and it came out much better. The carrots and potatoes cooked for a while and once the carrots were tender and had soaked in some of the flavors they were done. The ham was hot and ready to bake rolls only took about 10 minutes once we knew we were ready to eat. I’m really surprised that I was able to pull enough stuff together to have a decent Christmas dinner for us. It appeared everyone liked it and nothing tasted bad (not that it was too complex at all). The title comes from Cort telling me later that this was going to be a memorable Christmas dinner like the “year grandmas set the table on fire” this would be the “year dan saved christmas dinner.” I’m honored I guess. It was a lot of fun and I’d do it again soon for sure, although I passed on an invitation to go over again today because I just wanted to chill around the house and goto bed early since I have to work in the morning (boo hoo me).