By Jennifer Bardsley
Every December I purchase the ultimate gift for myself. I buy a premade holiday dinner from PCC and turn it into a week of no cooking.
One hundred and ninteen dollars seems like a lot of money for just one meal. But I use my 10 percent off member coupon, so really it just comes out to be $107. That’s still pretty steep. Don’t worry, though. I have a fool-proof plan. This is one dinner that my family will never forget.
On the first night we eat ham, parmesan mixed vegetables, apple sage stuffing and cranberry sauce. My husband and I add a bottle of wine and the kids sip sparkling cider. I propose a toast.
“Here’s to living like it’s Christmas every day,” I say.
Cheers all around!
On night two, I bring out the hearty green salad and Essential Baking Company dinner rolls. The kids just eat the bread, lavishly spread with butter. But I’m looking at my husband across the table and we’re both thinking the same thing.
“Salad for dinner? Heck, yeah, we’re healthy!”
We clink our water glasses and smile.
For night three I use the leftover rolls, salad and ham to make little sandwiches. It feels very celebratory, like we’re eating off a party platter or something. The sandwiches are so small that my husband has to eat four of them, just to fill up. But that’s okay because there are lots of leftovers.
On night four, we have mashed potatoes mixed with chopped-up ham and parmesan vegetables. Eat your heart out, Betty Crocker! I’m taking these leftovers and making them do tricks. But my kids are saying, “Ham again, Mom?” The natives are getting restless.
By the time night five rolls around, I realize it’s time for the big guns. It’s a good thing I have a super-secret weapon I’ve been holding in reserve. Actually, I’ve been storing it in the freezer. Can you guess what it is?
Apple pie for dinner!
I bring it out and everyone cheers. Plus, I’m feeling really historical. Do you remember the Shakers? They used to eat apple pie for breakfast. So really this is just a history lesson. (Sort of.)
On night six, it’s time to face facts. We still have half a ham left. How could PCC say this ham serves 8 to 10 people? This ham could feed all of Edmonds! There’s so much ham in our refrigerator that I’m starting to oink.
My kids see me open up the fridge door and my son throws himself in front of it.
“I HATE HAM!,” he yells.
My daughter asks, “Can it be Thanksgiving?”
I look at them both and quickly revise my plans for a ham frittata. Actually, I’m feeling a bit sick, too.
But my husband is stoic.
“I’ll take some leftovers with me to work for lunch,” he offers.
He continues to battle the ham for five more days.
Christmas every day just isn’t for everyone. Maybe I should order the turkey dinner instead.
Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.blog.com.