I had company over for dinner last night. People that I like very much, and wanted to impress.
Fire in the fireplace
Candles all over the place, lit and glowing
Christmas tree up and decked to the nines
Holiday decor on everything that doesn't move
In every room
Festive red table cloth on table
Golden flatware laid out (more on this in a minute)
Table set with every dish possible
Several appetizers laid out
Meal in oven, set to finish when company arrived
Christmas music playing
Snow falling outside... (this wasn't my doing, but it was a lovely touch)
Now. Let's backtrack a little bit, so that you can get the whole picture.
Scarlett is not a fabulous cook.
Far from it.
So I called Cecilia who is a fabulous cook. She walked me through a recipe over the phone, it went like this:
C: lay the chicken breasts flat in a well greased pan
C: spoon the bread/nut/olive oil mixture over half of each breast
C: fold the breast over and skewer it closed
C: no... wait, let's keep this simple, nevermind that, just spoon it over the chicken
....at this point, I sniff in stubbornness and look down my nose and think to myself, I can do that. I have bamboo skewers, God knows why, but I do. How hard can it be to skewer chicken shut. Closed. Whatever.
I prepare the chicken later on... to begin, I pull the -foot long and then some- bamboo skewers out and look from them to the shallow baking pan and think... um... these are too long.
I can break this bamboo into short little pieces and have splinters in the chicken and probably my fingers or... hmm... TOOTHPICKS! I can use toothpicks... they are short skewers! I was quite pleased with myself, I thought I was very clever for thinking of this.
Necessity is the mother of invention, no?
I baked the chicken and was on the phone with another friend who was walking me through "what the heck order does the flatware go in on the table... forks here.. no there... and OH NO I forgot to take the chicken out of the oven," my friend is laughing at me, she says "it's only been 10 minutes more, just baste it, it will be ok."
I pull the chicken out and gasp - NO! - and panic and start whimpering near tears... 'what?' she says... 'what's wrong with it?'
The toothpicks I used were colored toothpicks... their color bled into the chicken, so I had blue... green... red... yellow... pink... and turquoise holes in the chicken. Easter egg chicken.
And of course, my company was expected 15 minutes from then. My friend on the phone just roared laughing at me. She said, Scarlett... that's edible food coloring, it has to be because people put toothpicks in their mouths and food... it's ok. Just explain the chicken to your company.
So... it was ok. My company laughed and ate it all and no one died that I know of yet.