Cooking for the Bishop: Part 3

I began plotting my course for preparing for the dinner.  Father was helpful showing me around the new kitchen, offering any way he might help and answering my questions. The appliances were new and a bit larger than the regular size. Everything looked pristine including counters and floor. He had used the stovetop to prepare many plastic containers of food neatly arranged in the freezer. He had not even used the oven yet and I was concerned I might mess up the stove. I made a mental note to bring pots and pans and utensils.

Planning and timing were the key to success and I went over exactly what time each step would occur. I pictured the work in my mind and wrote the whole thing out on paper. After shopping my confidence grew; after all I had made dinners for my son, his wife and nine children often, including a similar number of dishes. I packed up boxes and boxes of everything I would need and prepared what I could ahead of time at home. When we arrived at the rectory, my husband helped unload and bring it all up two flights of stairs. He stowed away the boxes as I unpacked. Our priest greeted us and as he went about the last minute details for the Confirmation Mass at 5:00 pm. The Bishop was downstairs getting ready as well.

The weather was nice and all was moving along smoothly.  I had already worried about losing electricity which did happen here in an area with trees everywhere. I began preparing the vegetables, I had added baked carrots and sautéed broccoli rabe to the now extensive menu. No problem! However when I went to start warming the marinara sauce, I panicked (the first time). It was left behind at home. I called my husband. No answer. I left a harried sounding message and talked to myself. I had to keep my head and recited a quote from my patron Saint Francis de Sales …do not lose your inner peace for anything… 

I hoped my husband checked the messages. I prepared the first course and the salad. And gasped in relieve when he appeared with the pot of sauce. I hugged him and told him to stay around just in case. The oven reached 425 and ready for the half dozen Cornish hens. Then I turned on the burner for the sauce and continued my prep. Having my mate in the kitchen made me more relaxed. My planning was paying off:  hens baking, sauce heating, table set. The steak would come later.  That’s when I noticed the sauce wasn’t heating and the hens weren’t baking The stove was off…off. “Go tell Father I have no stove!” (That was the second time I panicked.)

The bishop was downstairs, dressed and ready and heard my husband say the stove was off. No one knew where the breaker box was located but the three of them finally traced the wires to the Chapel. The breaker had blown. It was time for the Mass.

Yes, there is more!


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