A: As many as possible.
Sunday dinner was supposed to be some favorite Cuban dishes for 19 because he's home and doesn't get to eat this when he's not here. Fine. He's only here for a couple of weeks so I invited some friends (who are like family) over for dinner to make sure they get to see him since schedules are complicated with such a short visit. Fine. So far, so good.
The menu is decided. Boliche (essentially a Cuban Roast), Red beans, and Flan for dessert. Fine. Everyone likes that. It's all good. Well, the snafu is that 16 likes to have baked chicken on Sunday. We have it so often on Sunday that it's been dubbed Sunday chicken when prepared this way. According to him the world alters its rotation when Sunday chicken is not had. Puleeze! It happened once but that was just coincidence. At least until yesterday.
I made the flan on Thursday. I had made 2 one to take to SIls on Friday and one for Sunday. Ahead of the game. Woo Hoo. That's like such a rarity all in itself. I was very proud of myself. Dessert for Sunday was all set. When we tired it on Friday night it was good but not great. The consistency a little off, a tad overcooked. Oh well. Sunday's might be better since it was made in a different mold maybe the cooking time will match up with that mold. We'll see.
It's Saturday. I am going to make the beans. Why so early? Because they beans are always better the next day so, I figure lets make them ahead of time. Fine. It's a slow process. I make my MILs recipe. Hubby and I have a small taste once it's done and it is fabulous. I'm thrilled with the outcome. It has tons of meat and squash in it, its delicious. Great. I put it in the fridge overnight.
So its Sunday. I only have the roast left to make. No problem. I have made it dozens of time. This should be the easy part. I also eventually need to reheat the beans which I take out of the fridge and place on the stove for later. We had bought a large roast. This is made in slices in a pressure cooker. Cooked low and slow to be fall apart yummy. As I put it all together, I tell hubby that I need a bigger pressure cooker that it barely fits in there. I start doing house chores while the roast cooks. Suddenly from the bedroom I smell something. Run to the kitchen. Somehow, magically because I certainly don't remember doing it, the beans were on HIGH and at a rolling boil! OMG! I take it off the stove and they are stuck burnt to the bottom of the pot. Crap! Who did this? Questioning everyone got me no where other than starting 16 on a tirade of I told you to fix Sunday Chicken.
At this point 19 tells me his girlfriend is coming for dinner too. Great. I mean it is great but man do I have dumb luck or what. First, it's only her 2nds time over for dinner and its the exact same menu, down to the dessert. Second, the first time the beans were over cooked and had almost disintegrated this time they are burnt. She's going to think I can only make one thing and I really can't even make that well. Ok. Fine whatever. It will be nice to have her over. More funny stories to look back on later which I am beginning to think may be my purpose on this planet.
When the time came for the roast to be done. I open the pressure cooker and it's not fall apart good. Of course. I think it's because the pot is not big enough and it didn't have enough space to do its thing. I remove the potatoes that are super done. Add some more liquid and turn it up so that it pressurizes again hoping the extra time will do the trick. I won't tell you how many times 16 has said the words: Sunday Chicken and I told you so.
My friends brought Cuban bread and fixins for a salad that I prepped and we set the table. OK. Dinner should be ready now. I am really not happy with it. The beans burned and I know the meat is going to be so so and the flan who knows. Whatever. Dinner is ready! And I screech! The rice! I forgot to make the rice. Everyone starts moaning. (I've done this before.) We're hungry, everything is ready and now we'll have to wait 1/2 hour for the rice. Forget it. I am going to dash to the corner where they sell food-by-the pound and buy white rice. 19s girlfriend is not here yet, we have some time, my girlfriend and I go to the car, 19 stands at the front door shaking his head at us like he can't believe we are ditching them in their hour of need. We park at the place and they are picking up the outdoor set up of tables and chairs. I yell, OMG I think they are closed. I ask the man as we approach. Not yet he tells me. Thank God for small favors, I think. I tell the guy at the counter I need white rice for 10 people. They really don't have that much left. I'll take it all. He packs it up. Then we see the baked chicken. I buy a piece for 16 because, I think it will be funny. We tell the cashier about the dinner snafu as I take the price off the pack so hubby doesn't see how much I paid for rice. Everyone laughs because I clearly exist for their amusement. As we drive back home, I think of my grandmother who used to buy/order the food from the restaurant and put it in her pots and let everyone think she made it. As we pull up to the house girlfriend's car is there. Can't put it in a pot now and let her think I made it when she sees me walk in with it. Failed ya grandma - sorry.
So now we start plating dinner to be served. The burnt beans, the not falling apart roast with a sauce that's not saucy because it has been cooked down so far and over-reduced, the store bought rice and the pretty salad. Whatever. I don't even care anymore. I'm barely even hungry, let's get this over with. The ribbing continues with the kitchen gods not being happy because this isn't Sunday chicken. Add to irony that had I made that girlfriend would have tried something new made by me. We relive that previous fiasco when Sunday chicken was not made. We laugh a lot. The food all tastes pretty good. There's plenty of flavor it's just not right but memorable to say the least. And now for the flan. I flip it onto the plate. And we all agree it's good but slightly overcooked. Shocker! :)
I think we had fun. An instant classic moment. One they will rib me about for many years to come. But I think next Sunday we'll have Sunday chicken. Where's that camera? I promise you, I'm not making it up. Gimme patience!