Half an hour after we started trying to get a car we were finally in one, and on the corner of Vanderbilt and Atlantic (or so) we saw some guy on a bike, in the rain ... with rain gear on.
And then we realized he was delivering pizzas.
On his bike. In the rain. On Christmas eve.
I mean, shades of Bob Cratchit! Suddenly it was obvious my life could be so much worse at that very moment. I think even the cabbie was feeling good about things.
When we got to thedivas, food was a-cooking and folks were happy to see us (but fortunately not bitching about us being so late like I thought we deserved). My stuffing was popped in the oven for its final baking. When it came out, Ben effusively praised it, which just pleased me to no end. So just in case anyone wants some hints on making stuffing when you don't really have the fixings, here's the recipe I followed (rather, here are the ingredients I used - I made it all up). It serves about four.
Fry an onion in some butter. Add the meat from about three full sized sausages (I used two spicy Italian and one regular - the spices were important because I didn't have enough around the house to really add flavor to the stuffing). Add about six chopped celery stalks (the leaves are useful, be sure to use them) and half an apple. Add three tablespoons bacon fat and two more tablespoons butter (to make things nice and rich). Add some appropriate spices, such as thyme, sage (this one's really tasty), parsley, and of course salt and pepper. (I had to do what I could with what I had, and all I really had was parsley, salt, and pepper. The sausage really took care of it for me.)
When everything looks cooked down, add in a loaf of good bread that has been mostly decrusted, cubed, and allowed to dry (I cheated and used the oven for a bit). Stir this into the celery mix so the buttery grease gets into the bread; then add chicken broth/stock (I cheated and used bullion cubes) to soften up the bread a little. There should not be any liquid remaining in the pan. (I used about one cup of liquid total for this recipe.)
Put in a lightly buttered pan, pack down a little, toss a few pats of butter on top, and bake at 350 until it's a little crunchy on top.
Anyway, I was really happy that after all of those years of slaving over Thanksgiving dinner I was able to make a dressing totally freehand. WOO HOO! I should get a special merit badge.
Afterward we played Carcasonne: the Discovery, which J won by a long shot. Then we BSed about individual freedoms in other parts of the world, whether or not it's practically criminal to be a Christian, genetically inheritable liver disease, and everything else, which was great. With luck we may try Agricola Friday night.
Okay, well, Merry Christmas to all, and let's all be happy the days are getting longer already.