I was the first one out of bed this morning, and started early on cleaning the potatoes to be baked. Eaddie came in from a night outside with the cat, and I made her and myself a couple breakfast croissants. Then I got the potatoes baking in the oven so I could shower and get ready for everyone else to show up.
Kevin and Julie were the first to arrive. Dad brought over the bacon for the potatoes, but had to go back to get Mom. Noah showed up out of nowhere, which was a little bit of a surprise in spite of the fact that we were expecting him.
I had a lot of trouble with the potatoes because they weren’t completely baked through, and I had to put them back into the oven after they had cooled off a bit. When I finally did get around to starting the grill, I couldn’t figure out why the coals wouldn’t light. We all just kind of assumed it was the humidity from the rain, but over an hour later, multiple attempts at lighting more oily rags, and even a guest appearance from the leaf blower, I realized the blower fan was blocked by the bag of charcoal I had under the grill. Once I removed that, the temperature shot up from 140 up to 500 degrees pretty quickly.
Everyone had already given up and started eating salads, but I got the steaks and eventually the vegetables onto the grill once it was hot enough, and everything turned out pretty good. I got lucky with the grates being close enough that I didn’t even have to use a special pan with the squash and zucchini. I lost a couple asparagus, but retrieved some of them later. The steaks cooked a lot faster than I expected, so they went beyond the medium rare I was targeting. I guess the thermometer lied, because I definitely found a cooler spot in the one I measured.
Everyone enjoyed the food, we had a nice fire in the fireplace, and everyone but Mom participated in the cookie decorating tradition. It was a lot of fun, but I only get through a couple of cookies before I’m done, especially after a long day of cooking.
After the cookies, people started filing out. Eaddie talked about pulling an all-nighter to try and catch Santa Claus, but Summer went straight to bed. Eaddie spent a little time with the cat, but it was loud and rainy, and we found the leak in the roof over the bathroom, so she ended up coming inside. I had been tired for hours, with smoke-filled eyes, so it wasn’t long before I made it to bed too.
Kidnap Mr. Sandy Claws!