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This time I am ready and able to host the family for dinner. I have experience. Last year I wanted to be responsible for actually cooking the festive dinner. I checked out all of the cook books in the pantry including "the Joy of Cooking", "Better Homes and Gardens" and "Pressure Cooking is Pleasure Cooking." After due diligence and fear I abandoned the pressure cooker not wanting to have an explosion in the kitchen.

I decided on a chicken dinner, French fries, fresh salad and for desert a decadent chocolate cake. I went to Foodland to check out the specials.

There were instructions that needed following: you cook the bird at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, cool, cut into appropriate quarters enough to feed four people.

Piece of cake I thought until the day of reckoning. I discovered too late that I had neglected to defrost the bird. I was really desperate and decided to place the chicken in a roasting pan on the heating vent hoping that it would defrost.

After six hours there was a very small puddle of water in the bottom of the pan but for the most part I still had a frozen bird to thaw I placed the chicken in the oven and turned up the temperature to 450. The skin turned to brown and then black and if by magic the bird had geysers of water erupting in my oven. After an hour or so I took the pathetic looking shriveled chicken out of the oven and explored the interior. How was I to know that there were raw giblets in plastic bags that had melted in the cavity of the corpse?.

I tried to eat a charred wing to see if it could still fly and be somewhat edible. Sad, I was a dismal failure. The chicken had given it's life to mankind in the faint hope that we would do no harm in the cooking.

What to do? The family was coming home expecting a great meal cooked by me; an -aspiring- gourmet chef. I called Foodland and asked for Sherri in the Deli to reserve a no spice" Naked Barbeque Chicken". The store had an abundance of rolls and even a decadent chocolate cake.

No fuss, no muss, heck, with a little ingenuity and lots of good luck Foodland and I were able to save the day.

Merry Christmas Happy New Year

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com