5 Out-of-the-Box Solutions to Putting Out Holiday Hosting Fires
By: Russell Pinto Jr.
Murphy’s Law. We all know the famous adage – anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
I could go on and on about what you could do in advance to be prepared for holiday party hosting mishaps – such as ensuring you have a small fire extinguisher nearby for if/when Aunt Rhoda causes a stove-top grease fire while frying off her infamous shrimp, or making sure you’ve ample carpet stain removal solution just in case your lush, drunk cousin accidentally knocks over her glass of red wine on your new couch. (And you didn’t even want to invite her in the first place!)
It goes without saying, that you should always think ahead and plan for potential disasters. However, I’m here to offer you a possible, out-of-the-box solution to 5 mishaps that we can never truly plan for. You can thank me later.
1) Your oven doesn’t work.
If your oven suddenly doesn’t work, and you’ve nowhere to cook your turkey, ham or roast, don’t be *that* person that intrudes on your neighbor’s oven when your neighbor probably has their own meal to prepare. Instead, consider calling your local bakery, telling them your situation, and asking them if they’ve room in one of their ovens for your bird.
On the other hand, if your oven works just fine, and you’re just looking to outsource the bird-cooking to free up space in your oven, I know of some local bakeries that offer this service with advance reservations. It never hurts to ask yours.
2) Your roast is over-cooked/burnt
You measured every ingredient and then measured again. You followed the recipe to a T. Now you put your roast into the oven, and wait. A Christmas Story is on – for the 10th time that day, and the Triple Dog Dare scene is on. You know it! It’s when Flick & Schwartz argue over what would happen should someone stick their tongue to a frozen flag pole. You love that scene, so you watch it. You’re laughing, and before you know it, you remember your roast! You’re not laughing now. You run to the oven. It’s too late – your roast is burnt! It’s ruined! But, wait! Maybe it’s not. Before you toss it to the dog, cut off the burnt edges, place it into a dutch oven with some stock/water, and boil for about an hour to add back in some moisture. At that point, your hunk of meat should be well moistened, and you can slice or shred the meat in order to make a casserole or pot pie!
3) Your house stinks.
Ok, so sometimes the food that we’re about to consume, doesn’t smell as appetizing when it has permeated the carpet, curtains, and your clothes. Growing up in an Italian household, Christmas Eve was always the best and the worst. The Feast of the Seven Fish sounds absolutely delicious, but the reality of the situation is that fish smells. And when fish is cleaned, prepped, baked, broiled, fried and poached all day, it stinks.
Don’t be mortified! Before your guests arrive, simmer water, along with your favorite spices on the stovetop. Cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, and citrus peels work extremely well.
Lastly, for those super stubborn smells, leaving a bowl of vinegar on your counter overnight will eliminate odors.
4) A broken glass.
It’s bound to happen. An extremely over-animated guest’s gestures or an intoxicated Uncle Vinny, can cause it – a broken glass.
Let’s hope the glass was empty, if not, revert to the introduction where I said you should have amble carpet stain removal solution on hand.
Once you’ve cleaned up the liquid mess, and removed the large pieces of glass, there are always those tiny pieces of glass that can cause the most painful of experiences if it gets in your foot. In the interest of not ruining anyone’s holiday, it behooves you to try to get those pieces up ASAP. Using a piece of fluffy white bread to pick up those small pieces works like a charm. Your feet can thank me later.
5) Spilled Candle wax.
Candle wax seems to get everywhere it’s not wanted. Your tablecloth, your carpet, your chair, but it *never* seems to find its way into your bedroom during sexy time with that Tinder match that you’ve been seeing for the past few weeks. Amiright?! So, if that pesky candle wax finds its way onto anything you don’t want it on, use heat! I know you would have never thought of this if I didn’t tell you, but go ahead and re-melt the wax. Use a hair dryer to melt candle wax on hard surfaces, and an iron to melt candle wax on fabric or carpet. Slowly remove the wax as it melts.
Since it’s the Holidays, and I’m in the giving spirit, here’s one more bonus tip for you.
6) A Heated Political Debate
Let’s face it. Your family will, 100-percent, discuss politics during this holiday season’s celebrations. If you and your family love to have a good political debate, then go for it! However, if you and your family are like me and my family, then I wouldn’t recommend it. Trust me when I say that mixing politics with a group of loud-mouthed, out-spoken, Brooklyn Italians in one room (with wine, mind you), is absolutely never a good idea! However, if you find yourself in the middle of a heated political debate, it is your responsibility as host to take control. Assert yourself into the conversation and politely, but sternly, make it known that politics is not to be discussed this evening.
If you are a victim of a holiday hosting crisis this season, just remember to take a deep breath, a really big gulp of wine, and try to think outside of the (wine) box. Have a holiday hosting nightmare or solution to share? Let us know in the comments below!
Godspeed, my holiday host.