Christmas Dinner In November

With people starting to prepare to celebrate Halloween in late August, and Christmas cards on sale in September, we thought we would jump on the ‘earlier is better’ bandwagon, by enjoying a Christmas meal on Friday the 15th of November.

The decision was prompted by having to de-ice a freezer in the shed. The drawers had frozen solid, and I broke the front off of one of them with a near superhuman effort to try to get it to slide. That left me with no option but to get up the next morning, and attempt to deal with a wall of ice that would not be out of place in the South Pole.

When the freezer saw me approach with a plastic scraper, it must have laughed out loud, and said “Do your worst, chump”, in freezer-speak.
Undaunted, I returned with this, usually used to scrape weeds from between patio cracks.

Solid steel, with a sharp point at one end, and a serrated edge at the back.

Ten minutes later, and I had just enough ice to chill a gin and tonic. More importantly, kneeling on the damp stone floor had all but crippled my knees. Technology was required, in the form of a hair-drier. After another twenty minutes, I had managed to free one of the three drawers, but the other two were grinning happily at me, knowing my task was hopeless. Unable to tolerate kneeling or crouching any longer, I utilised an old baby car-seat, now too small for our grandson. I barely managed to fit my bum-cheeks into it, but at least I could now stretch my legs.

Round three began with a change of tactic, concentrating on the edges of the drawers. That shifted another drawer fifteen minutes later, but I had to have a short break for fear of burning out the hair-drier. Energy renewed, and drier cooled, I set about drawer three like a man possessed, feeling ridiculously pleased as it (albeit reluctantly) slid free. Any moment of triumph I enjoyed was short-lived. Inside the now empty chamber was ice as thick as my wrist, covering every surface.

To cut a long story a bit short, I was sat there for another two hours, heating and chipping, scraping and heating. When I had finally cleaned the thing up, and was about to replace the drawers, I realised I couldn’t stand up. The backs of my legs had seized up from being perched on the baby car-seat, and I eventually had to ‘fall over’ onto my side, before dragging myself up by clinging to the side of a workbench.

The culprit that had jammed the final drawer in so solidly turned out to be a long-forgotten frozen turkey. It was left over from last year, as we had gone to a restaurant on the 25th. There was no chance that I was going to put the jumbo fowl back to do the same again, so it was decided to thaw it out, and cook it.

The thawing took two full days, and the bird was cooked on Friday, along with sausage meat, stuffing, roast parsnips, roast potatoes, and carrots.

So that is how we came to eat Christmas dinner in November.

84 thoughts on “Christmas Dinner In November

  1. As a three freezer family, two chest freezers and a mini one above the fridge, I have mastered the art of defrosting. A bowl of boiling water placed in the bottom and the lid closed and left for 15 minutes, then the hairdryer and a wooden spatula. No baby seats are abused in the defrost our freezers, especially now I have the image of one wedged onto your posterior πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to have laughed at your pain and discomfort but the image of you stuck in a child car seat having to roll over to get yourself upright had me laughing out loud. Glad you enjoyed your Christmas dinner in October. This year we have been invited to our son’s for Christmas dinner – first time ever. He feels very grown up about it – we feel old. But looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I could lecture you regarding the damage you could do to a freezer not defrosting it properly etc etc but I did just want to say that is a cool tool! I loved your description of the dedication to the task in hand, regardless of the freezer abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Samantha. That freezer is eight years old now, so if it survives the winter, I will consider it has earned its keep, and perhaps get a new one. πŸ™‚
      That patio scraper is great value. Very strong, with many useful applications. πŸ™‚
      It is German. Made by Wolf-Garten, and widely available.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I rarely laugh aloud, but I did reading this one. I also realized that my freezer is due for a defrost. At least it is so cold outside that I could put stuff outdoors and let the thing defrost itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ha! Sorry about the muscles seizing. That’s very painful. The dinner sounds amazing. I love parsnips. They are underappreciated around here. They add a distinct flavor to the classic roasted carrots and potatoes. I sometimes add roasted turnips as well. Roasted root vegetables are delicious, healthy comfort food. Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Back a few years ago, we had a grocery store in the neighborhood that advertise a service whereby they would cook a turkey and all the trimmings for a set fee of a few dollars. This was very convenient to have an entire meal prepared by professionals for a reasonable fee. — So, I took advantage of the offer for both Christmas and Thanksgiving and enjoyed a wonderful meal on both occasions … meals prepared by chefs … the good stuff, don’t you know … Lol.

    The rub came when I found that I enjoyed these meals so much that I started putting in an order for this complete pre-prepared meal package on a weekly basis.

    It wasn’t long before the store manager hailed me one day when I was visiting the store and informed me that the kitchen staff was getting very tired of fixing a whole turkey for me every night.

    I replied to the store manager, “Well if your kitchen staff is that damned lazy, then just cancel my standing order and further, if they don’t appreciate their jobs, you, as a manager, should probably consider firing their lazy arses before they anger some really prominent customer of yours.

    Having become somewhat more financially stable now than I was back in those days, I go to a local upscale restaurant for all my holiday meals and so far, none of them have ever registered a complaint because I patronize them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. When our sons left home we gave our chest freezer to our local butcher, and bought a smaller one. The last boy left 13 years ago, and the ice is a few inches thick inside the freezer now. I know I should clean it, but…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This was so funny Pete, though I know not funny for you. πŸ˜…
    I agree with Sue though about (not) eating it after almost a year! Hope there are no comebacks.
    We have a frost free upright FF which recently has been icing up and then melting instead of what it should do, but we can’t see any blockage. The trouble is these things are not designed any more for the user to maintain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never known any ‘frost free’ device to ever be frost free, Jude.
      As for the turkey, it was fine. Frozen solid, carefully defrosted, and cooked properly.
      Best wishes, Pete. x


    1. The setting knob is just a small plastic screw, and is on the halfway point between the numbers 1 and 3. But it is not really supposed to be used in an outbuilding, David. We don’t have room for it inside though.
      Best wishes, Pete.


  9. I also have a chest freezer, but it’s small enough to fit in my compact kitchen, which is lucky really, because it couldn’t go anywhere else, and it would be really hard to manage without it. It’s about due for a defrost though, so my cunning plan is to wait until we get sufficiently cold weather (no guarantee, I know) so I can switch it off and deposit the contents in the coal & wood store while I wait for the miracle of thermal physics to have its effect πŸ˜‰ Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having the freezer in the shed outside tends to make me ‘forget’ about it.
      But in a rare fit of honesty, I have to confess that I wasn’t much better when I had one in the kitchen. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. That’s a familiar tale. Pete.

    We used to have a large chest freezer in the garage. It was meant to be used for food we wanted to keep to eat at a later date, but it soon became a repository for food that we couldn’t bear to discard immediately, but which we wanted to throw out a couple of years later. Sold it, in end.

    Enjoy your turkey sandwiches!

    Liked by 1 person

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