...and all was NOT well!
I love entertaining and having people in our home. I've grown to especially love doing so over the holidays that can be particularly difficult for expats living overseas. It's nice to be able to provide a little holiday cheer both for our family and those friends who have come to be like family that we are surrounded with on this side of the ocean.
I've always loved the idea of hosting a big open house at Christmastime but have never really lived in a place that was conducive to a very large crowd. Thankfully, the apartment we moved into last spring has at least enough room for a large dining room table so we decided to go for it this year.
So we baked and baked in advance- all our favorite Christmas goodies. Like in the states, there is just so much going on at this time of year, I knew we'd have to get most everything done in advance. Saturday, December 14 was quickly approaching and our calendars were full to say the least!
I had plenty of helpers!
However, with snow-mageddon 2013, we found ourselves with a lot more baking time on our hands when we became snowed in for all of the days leading up to the Open House.
Unfortunately, by Friday evening, when this was the view out my kitchen window...
.... I realized that all the stubborness in the world (on my part) to will this event not to have to be cancelled would not allow friends from across Amman to be able to get out of the 18-24 inches of snow most of us were buried in!
So we put it off one day and re-scheduled for Sunday afternoon, hoping that maybe the roads would be somewhat cleared after a day of forecasted sunshine.
Unfortunately snowy roads were the least of our concern. We woke up Sunday morning to no electricity! Thankfully, our stove/oven works on gas along with our hot water so we could still take hot showers and wash the dishes. Also, thankfully, we had done most of the cooking in advance so things just had to be taken out of the freezer and thawed.
We even made the fillings for the whoopy pies in advance (which would have required the electric blender or a lot of elbow grease to whisk by hand) so all I needed were my helpers to fill them. Maddie and Naomi were a big help in filling the red velvet and choco-mint whoopie pies.
I had planned on heating the wassail, pumpkin spiced lattes and cocktail meatballs in crockpots but we had to go to plan B for that as well. We were glad to have an excuse to turn on the stove to help heat up the kitchen which has turned out to be one of the coldest rooms in this apartment...
Since we had done most of the prep work the day before, my helpers were able to take a break for a manicure mid-day. Still no electricity but thankful for gas heaters!
Naomi was eager to help Jason clear off the front walk-way so that people could get to our front door safely. We realized that parking would be an issue on our icy but prayed it wouldn't be an issue....
Some good friends bailed us out when our gas to the stove almost ran out by braving the elements to bring us one of their bottles. They also provided extra crockpots just in case the electricity came back...
Anabelle helped me get the living room ready and in the process discovered that she could see her breath- doesn't take much to entertain her!!
The table was set and the house decked out in full Christmas mode. Now we just have to hope our guests can make it!
Our list of goodies included:
German chocolate cake
Blue cheese bites
Pecan coconut tarts
Red velvet whoopie pies
Chocolate mint whoopie pies
Gingersnaps with pumpkin dip
3-cheese cheese balls
Christmas raspberry/cream cheese dip
pumpkin spiced lattes
and lots of other amazing treats that our sweet friends brought to share.
The electricity came back on about an hour before the party was set to start so we were able to crank up the crockpots and not worry about running out of water (which needs electricity to be pumped up to the roof...)
All in all it was a big success. I think people were stir crazy like us and those who could get out of their houses were eager to. We originally expected around 75 and we had around 60 come. Not bad for an open house in the middle of a snow storm!