Friday, 2 January 2009

Turkey dinners

Okay, so I promised awhile ago I'd tell you about how I scored 4 turkey dinners this holiday season... or wait, I originally told you 3 dinners, didn't I? Well, as of New Year's day, it's now 4. Yup. I'm good! That or it's all the East Coaster's up here. Apparently they really have a thing for turkey dinners. They have them a couple times a month or something. Or they do when they're not up here and spending a fortune on food. So ya, um, you wanted to know about the dinners. Start at the beginning? Sure I can do that.
Let's see. I was invited to E's house for Christmas dinner a couple of weeks before Christmas. Knowing I was working nights the 24th, 25th and 26th, I hesitated and asked what time, scared of loosing sleep. Yup that's me, sleep before food and socializing. Sleep is very very important! Especially right after my first night shift, when I've been up at least 20 to 24 hours straight. So, um, the dinner... The dinner at E's was planned for 4pm on Christmas. Perfect, I could get almost 8 hours of sleep, and then go for a ready-made meal! I was all for it. Christmas Eve rolled around, and I was out walking the dog and realized how close I was to the house of someone I knew, so decided to stop and knock on her door, since she had encouraged me to do so anytime. I was welcomed in, shared lunch with K and family, hung out for a bit and was reminded of the Christmas Eve service that evening. I had to say I wasn't going because I had to work. Shortly after I returned home with the dog, I got a phonecall from work asking if I wanted to take call for the evening, since there were very few patients there at the time. I took call. How do you refuse call on Christmas Eve?
That meant I got to go to the Christmas Eve service, which was nice! There are a bunch of Filipinos at the church and they put on a skit and sang a few songs, and then the pastor had a short message. Afterwards I got invited back to K's house for some snacks. So I went over there along with a few others of their friends (all RCMP, some in uniform) and in the process got invited to their place for Christmas dinner the next day at 3pm. They already knew I had agreed to go to E's house at 4pm as they had been invited there as well, but told me I could come to their place and move on at 4pm (the two families live across the street from each other, literally) So I agreed on the condition that I didn't get called into work. I got a good night's sleep that night :D
As planned, I went to both dinners, the second one didn't start until almost 6pm because other invited guests were quite late. Which worked well because it gave me time to digest the small plate I had at the first dinner. Though a small plate is good at whetting the appetite, and I was pretty hungry by the time I finally dug into the second dinner. I had to leave that one early as well, since I needed to go get ready for work and feed the dog etc.
At work, part of our contract includes that the kitchen provides a meal for us when we work night shift. Which would be great if we had any kind of control over the contents of said meal. It sucks for those with allergies, because they often serve sandwiches with crab or char in them, and if you're allergic to seafood, you just don't get a meal that night. There's no consideration for likes/dislikes or allergies. You get what you get. Anyways, I had heard through the grapevine that that night they would be serving a turkey dinner. Sure enough, that's what showed up in the styrofoam containers in the fridge. Unfortunately, having had two high quality homemade turkey dinners that day already, this one paled in comparison. I heated it up and ate the turkey and a bit of the sub-standard mashed potatoes. As I was eating, one of the other nurses came past me and asked what I was doing. She then told me they had planned a potluck for that night. Having been on call the night before, I had no inkling of this plan and hadn't brought anything. Luckily, as is generally the case with potlucks, there was more than enough food, and that's from only 4 people contributing. Our two east-indian nurses brought butter rice and chicken curry. (Sooooo good. It's amazing when it's homecooked by people who know what they're doing.) One nurse brought spring rolls. And the security guard brought homemade lentil soup. Also pretty good.
All in all, ate too much in those 12 hours. But I enjoyed it!
Then to top it off, on New Years eve I was chatting with G, a nurse who's a friend of mine, and she was lamenting that there was no Turkey dinner on New Year's to go to. Apparently they "always" have turkey dinner on New Years in Newfoundland. So I said I had no plans, we should whip something up. Minutes later she tells me her boyfriend is pulling the frozen turkey out to thaw, and she'd get me more details the next day. So on Jan 1st, I called her up in the afternoon, and we made plans for dinner at their place at 7pm. I asked if I could bring anything and she said to bring dessert. I looked around the place, and the main thing I noted was that the girl I am housesitting for left me a big bowl of apples. As in there were about 20 apples when she left, and I had barely made a dent in the bowl. And the apples were starting to go a little bit soft. So I said I'd bring an apple pie. After promising the apple pie, I realized there were no pie plates here, nor was there any lard (remember my comments about the lack of butter. Not a house where much baking is done, obviously). So I packed up the apples and a few other things and headed off to my apartment to make an apple pie. Just as I was finishing my masterpiece, and about to add the spices... I realized I had left all my favorite spices back at the place where I'm housesitting. Yes, I'm brilliant! Luckily, the place where I was to have dinner was just across the hall, so I went running across and claimed a minor emergency, and stole their cinnamon. You CAN'T have an apple pie without cinnamon. 'Twould be a crime! Pie was saved, turned out excellent, if I do say so myself. I think I've developed a knack with pie crusts. Anyways, it was an amazing turkey dinner, G's boyfriend borrowed my oven like he did last time he made a turkey dinner, which slowed the pie's cooking, but that's okay. The whole troop from the fourth floor of our building was there for dinner. Sooo good. Did I say that already?
So there you go. Four turkey dinners in a week. Not bad.
Oh, and for anyone wondering how the no water situation worked out... It turns out the other condos all in a row with this one were empty. As in all the owners left on vacation, with no one to mind the place in their absence. So one of them ran out of heating fuel (or more accurately, the company that was supposed to fill the tank regularly neglected to fill that one), and ended up being more of a freezer than a house. From what I was told, there was a sink full of ice, and the whole place was sub-zero temperatures. So something in that condo split or broke, and that's what stopped the water from getting here, the water in the pipes freezing there. Luckily, once they were aware of the problem, the plumbers bypassed that place and I had running water again 3 hours after I started making phone calls. And I found out the next day at work that there were quite a few other places with frozen pipes the same day, just due to how cold it got outside.

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