Our priest and the Bishop went across the driveway to the church for the Confirmation Mass. We went over our options; either bring everything that required a stove back to our house or over to the church hall and use the kitchen there. Of course we chose the latter. My husband helped carry the hens and steak and vegetables and some of the other things. He was able to light the trusty gas oven and went back to the rectory to bring the rest over: across the driveway, up a flight of stairs, through the front door and up another stairs to the kitchen and then back again. I prepared the vegetables and finally put the hens in to bake. My accomplice kept returning to the rectory as I realized we had forgotten something else while I continued to work.
Everything would work out. I kept thinking: …do not lose your inner peace for anything… The excitement of preparing a perfect meal returned and I had no time to fret. The marinara sauce slowly heated on the stove top, the broccoli rabe ready, the hens basted several times and browning. Then I realized the Mass must have ended; it was after 6:00. Leaving my husband to watch the food cooking and put on a pot of water for the pasta, I rushed back to the rectory to set the first course on the table and cut the bread. When I went through the door the Bishop, another priest and our assistant priest were sitting quietly in the living room. I said a quick hello on my way to the kitchen, grabbed the mozzarella dish, and sliced the bread. Our priest came in the door and he took over from there.
The next course was pasta and it was already boiling so I poured the marinade over the sirloin steak and began sautéing the mushrooms. The hens were not quite done yet. After draining the pasta we carried that and the hot sauce to the rectory. The guest had devoured the first course and we dished out generous portions of the second, set out the salad and dressing, and returned to the church kitchen. I placed the julienne carrots in the oven. The pan fried steak recipe was new to me but sounded great and once finished looked picture perfect. Thank God things were going well. I felt relieved as we arrived at the rectory with the steak. My husband went back to get the hens and again for the vegetables.
Father came over to me and said he was the only one having a Cornish hen; the others wanted the steak however the bishop wanted it well done almost blackened. I grimaced and he added the other two priests were fine with that. So as I commenced halving one hen, my helper brought the steak back to the oven. I would need to reheat the hen a bit in the microwave along with the vegetables. The steak arrived for the second time and I sliced it and finally served the last hot course. Whew! No time to rest before desert. Father offered to add plates to the table for us but we had much more to do with two kitchens to clean and boxes to pack up. I put on the coffee and asked about desert, the procecco with berries and sherbert. No one wanted that but a parishioner brought a delicious almond cake at some point which two priests would have with coffee. My husband and I had a piece of the cake with coffee as we worked. Never tasted anything so good.
Stay tuned for the conclusion!