Here you see my last seven Christmas cookies, who have been waiting frigidly since December 23, 2015. Their sister cookies went into the oven and came out again on that Wednesday afternoon. When these were arrayed on the baking sheet, my oven door stuck shut.
Fortunately, no cookies were trapped inside the oven. Also fortunately, my two pumpkin pies were already baked. Unfortunately, we expected sixteen guests the next day, some of whom expected to eat home-baked turkey. The turkey was defrosting glacially in the refrigerator, but how was it going to get cooked?
I explained the problem to my husband and son, who proceeded to do exactly what I had been doing. They pulled on the oven door, which opened a few inches on the right but remained immovable on the left. In my secret heart, I knew that the door had been catching on that left side for months, needing an extra little oomph to open. I had been ignoring that little oomph.
During the next few hours of negotiation and planning (even into the next day after the guests arrived), somebody or other would now and then stop by the stove and give the door a yank, hoping that he or she would be the one to pull it open. No go.
We called Sears. We called appliance companies. Repair persons offered us appointments in January. What to do? Call the family? Change the date? Throw ourselves on the mercy of friends or neighbors and steal their valuable holiday-oven space? Then we thought of the HoneyBaked option. HoneyBaked Ham was open. HoneyBaked Ham still had inventory. My husband drove to their store (getting lost because of its new location), waited in a long line, and like an ancient hunter-gatherer brought home two kinds of meat, turkey and ham. Improving on the ancient hunter-gatherer, he brought meats home thoroughly cooked.
I already had another meat option underway. Because my brother-in-law Ed likes two kinds of meat at dinner, I generally prepare something besides turkey. In recent years, it’s been a pork roast in the Crock Pot, tossed in with a bag of sauerkraut and left alone for twelve to fourteen hours. That means this Christmas we exceeded Ed’s fondest dreams: we served three meats. And this is from a vegetarian cook.
The stove saga stretches on in an even less interesting way. Suffice it to say that the repairman fixed the oven door on Wednesday, January 13. He replaced the left door hinge.
Today I defrosted the remaining cookie batter, opened and closed the oven successfully, and now have seven homemade Oreo cookies. The recipe’s at the Smitten Kitchen website. The cookies are fussy but fun to make, and they taste very good, even after being frozen for almost a month.