1 Bank Street
FEBRUARY 25, 2019
David Arnold, Owner – I love my family dearly but the house I grew up in wasn’t exactly a foodie’s paradise. At six years old my sister decided she wanted to be a vegetarian and my mother, a long time vegetarian herself, couldn’t have been happier. On the rare occasion that my father and I were able to campaign for some chicken or a burger, he preferred his WELL, WELL DONE. Once I got out to college and then on my own professionally, I began to learn more about food and became convinced I could teach them all something about properly cooked meat. As you can no doubt guess, my hubris was not to my benefit. One Thanksgiving, shortly after I graduated college, I puffed out my chest and informed my parents that I, as the only man who regularly ate properly cooked meat, would prepare the turkey. She consented, while I’m sure laughing on the inside (and knowing that her vegetables were safe). I read brining recipes, basting schedules, and so on. I carefully considered what herbs to use, and how to stuff the large bird to help it stay tender throughout. The day came and I prepared, alone, in the kitchen, telling everyone I didn’t need their help before a dozen or so friends came to join us. Sometimes we get so fixated on the details we forget the basics. When I took the bird out of the oven everything smelled great, juices ran clear in the pan, BUT THE ENTIRE THING WAS UPSIDE DOWN. Sure it was cooked, but the crispy skin you peel off the breast which everyone fights over? A pile of mush! The meat was good, certainly not great, and not better than what my mom had lovingly learned to prepare for us after so many years, although she didn’t care for it herself. Some expert! My tail has been between my legs on the 4th Thursday of November ever since.
Edith Hileman, Operations Manager – Where to start on my family’s holiday meal disasters. The first one that comes to mind is a failed recipe for pie crust. My mother had given me this “no fail” recipe for flaky pie crust. I seem to remember that it involved using ice as part art of the liquid ingredient. I used the recipe for several months prior to my holiday meal … sending pies to work with my husband, giving them to neighbors. Finally, the big Christmas meal came and I presented my pies. My mother took a bite and quickly pointed out that there was something terribly wrong with my crust. I told her that I followed her recipe to the letter - here it was in her own handwriting. But my mother had left out an important ingredient – shortening. Over the past few months, I had been serving the very kind and uncomplaining people a pie crust that was essential dried school paste. Turkeys, they should be left to the professionals. I once shared a large house with a bunch of friends who were all fresh out of college. Two days before Thanksgiving, one of the housemates decided to put on a holiday dinner for those that were staying in town. She didn’t realize that you need to allow time to defrost the bird and, of course she bought an 18 pound turkey. Her solution to the problem was to put the bird in a warm water bath in our one and only bathroom. For the next two days, you heard “Oh my god, what’s in the bathtub!” as each housemate pulled back the shower curtain. I finally convinced her that there are probably food contamination protocols violated by showering with a turkey and maybe we should just get some take out. The unifying thread of my stories is that holidays often demonstrate the kinder side of human nature, whether it is friends who are too nice to point out an inedible pie crust or housemates trying to make it easier to bear a holiday away from our families. The holidays are an annual reminder that there is good will and kindness to be found all around us.
Perri Burka, Office Assistant – My family has had plenty of holiday disasters over the years (burnt potatoes, clogged sink, rotten turkey, etc, etc) so it’s hard to pick just one, but I think this one might be the best (or worst?). When I was around 15, my family and some of our friends went to Nemacolin resort in PA for a little getaway and to celebrate Hanukkah together. While our Hanukkah dinner was cooking, we were all playing games and having a great time until we started to smell something burning. Within seconds the entire kitchen had filled with smoke and it was starting to flow into the whole house. A few people ran frantically into the kitchen to figure out what was happening. It turned out that my Mom’s friend left a plastic cutting board on the electric stove top and instead of melting, it caught on fire. My dad put the fire out and threw what was left of the board outside. The whole place smelled like burning plastic and we all retreated outside so that we could breathe and escape the smoke. Thankfully, after opening all the doors and windows for a few hours, the house aired out and all was well, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget that awful smell. Moral of the story- don’t leave plastic cutting boards on any hot surfaces- it won't be pleasant!
AND THE WINNER IS … The results of our charitable giving contest are in. Our winner, The Dwelling Place received a $250 donation. The Choral Arts Society of Frederick and Operation Paws for Homes each received a donation of $125
Years of experience have prepared us to guide you through your life transitions.
We create strategies that are tailored to your needs and goals.
We help you protect your lifetime ability to generate income, maintain employment, grow earnings and build your net worth.