A couple weekends ago, Chris and I were hosting a dinner for our parish. In an effort to get people to mingle and get to know each other, and build a sense of community, our priest has been scheduling these small dinners, hosted by parishioners, for a while now. We attended one months ago and met some great new people, and felt it should be our turn to host one.
7 people RSVP’d, plus Chris and I, equals 9.
We had 8 chairs.
After some serious MacGyvering, we were able to turn a wooden wine rack/box into a small, makeshift seat. I had to straddle it like a horse, but hey, it worked.
Since this was the largest dinner party we’ve hosted, we planned out every detail. We were going to make Brown Sugar and Balsamic Glazed pork tenderloin, roasted garlic & balsamic asparagus, sautéed green beans and carrots, and crispy roasted potatoes.
We even made a checklist including the time when each part of the meal needed to be cooked.
45 minutes before the guests arrived, the potatoes were in the oven, the pork was marinating, and the veggies were prepped and ready.
People began to trickle in, but due to a road closure from some police cars and fire trucks, they arrived a little later than planned.
I waited to put the pork in until everyone was just about there since it was only going to take 30-40 minutes in the oven, and we had plenty of wine and appetizers to keep everyone occupied.
I put the pork in, the potatoes were almost done, and the asparagus waited 10 minutes to also join the party in the oven.
Then, the power went out.
For two and a half hours.
We waited 10 minutes or so to see if it was going to come back on, but we also knew we had to act fast because we had half-cooked pork in the oven.
So in a last-ditch effort to save the night, we lit a bunch of candles, fired up the grill, and put the pork – pan and all – on the grill. Luckily the potatoes were pretty much done, so they only saw the grill (also still on the pan) for a few minutes at the end to heat up. We pulled out the asparagus that had been roasting for all of 5 minutes, and instead lit a match, turned on the gas stove, and sautéed them. The green beans and carrots were completely scrapped.
In the end, everything turned out ok. The pork was tender, but thankfully it’s a forgiving cut of meat. The potatoes were good. I’ll admit, the asparagus was pretty mediocre, almost verging on not good, but it was better than nothing. So we all sat around the candlelit table, ate dinner an hour and a half later than planned, and drank wine and laughed and chatted and enjoyed the night.
It just goes to show that no matter how much you plan and plan, there are some things that are just out of your control!
Also, I consider it nothing short of a miracle that none of the china was broken in all the dark madness.